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HTT's Top 15 Supplier Giants

HTT's Top 15 Supplier Giants

Est. '07 Sales '06 Sales* % Change Significant Events
1 1( '06) Springs Global $1,279 $1,672 -23.5 Springs Global took the next steps in its new worldwide footprint in 2007 — at a cost: continuing steep sales declines and net losses. Its Brazilian ownership — Coteminas, led by ceo Josue Gomes da Silva — consolidated control, as Crandall Bowles and the Close family backed away from operational management. The remaining U.S. manufacturing is now migrating mostly to South America, with an eye on Asia. Nine U.S. plants were idled, 1,357 looms and associated equipment was crated up and trucked to waiting ships where it sailed south to Brazil and Argentina. Even after the most recent white collar and plant layoffs, more U.S. cuts are ahead. Springs tried to prop up shrinking U.S. sales, even as it expanded its worldwide retailing presence to lower the U.S. share from 78% of sales to a projected 60% by the end of 2008. Gomes da Silva said Springs will be operating at capacity and "normalized" efficiency for a profitable first quarter and full year in 2008. The company claims new U.S. shelf space from top retail customers, the top 10 of which accounted for two-thirds of its $1.279 billion in sales.
2 2 ( '06) WestPoint Home $700 $958* -26.9 In its first year under the guidance of new ceo Joe Pennacchio, WestPoint Home focused on its transition to offshore manufacturing and sourcing, as well as lowering its overhead. The company shuttered nearly all domestic bedding production and downsized headquarters, eliminating some three dozen white collar positions. It is currently in the process of shuttering its retail operation, which includes 30 outlet stores. WestPoint during the year expanded a bedding mill it acquired in late 2006 and worked to advance productivity in its bath mill in Pakistan to boost its position as a retail-direct resource.
3 3 ( '06) Mohawk Home $624 $624 0 Looking to complement Mohawk Industries, its parent company's focus on flooring products, Mohawk Home decided to shed its lagging auxiliary textiles businesses — woven throws, bedspreads and decorative pillows — to give full attention to its growing soft flooring products. The result was a balanced, if flat result in sales volume. While sales of $28 million were jettisoned in textiles, Mohawk Home recovered part of those sales with a strong year in rugs (11% increase) and an uptick in bath rugs (1% growth).
4 4 ( '06) Pacific Coast Feather $352 $338 4.1 The death in December of company icon Jerry Hanauer, while emotionally significant, is not expected to alter the positive progress of the company, which has utilized the talents of non-family executives for years. Balanced increases were sustained across all categories, with sleep pillows among the best performing product areas, going from $136 million in 2006 to $142 million in 2007. Brand power extends from the PCF name itself across a range of licenses including Cannon, Eddie Bauer and Sealy. For the first time, PCF opened international sales offices — three in all — to sell into India, China and Asia-Pacific territories. The company operates direct sourcing abroad and eight manufacturing plants in North America.
5 8 ( '06) Welspun $349 $277 26.0 This was the year the U.S. division's sheeting business – launched in mid 2005 — gained traction, reaching $114 million and making it a steadily growing force in the category. The company recruited a host of U.S. mill execs in sales, marketing and design as it looked toward further category expansion in 2008. Late in the year, Welspun began shake-down operations at its new top-of-bed facilities in India and Mexico. This spring, it flips on the lights in its new bath rug plant in India. To buttress the launch — and the parent company's growing business in Europe — Welspun in late 2007 acquired Portugal's Sorema, manufacturer of up-market, innovative bath rugs.
6 5 ( '06) Sleep Innovations $316 $315 0.3 Rising petroleum prices put the squeeze on all foam suppliers in 2007, and as the biggest of the bunch, Sleep Innovations faced a major challenge. It also wound up locked in a court fight with supplier Foamex. The parties settled in late 2007, with Sleep Innovations agreeing to pay $12 million for goods Foamex had already delivered. The companies also severed their supply arrangement. Sleep Innovations founder Michael Fux, who had returned in fall 2006 as interim president to advise the company under private equity ownership, in April turned the reins over to a new president and ceo, Joseph Lynch, a global branding executive and former president and coo of Schick-Wilkinson Sword, the world's second-largest producer of wet shave products.
7 6 ( '06) Hollander Home Fashions $301 $303 -1.0 Hollander continues to focus on basics and the numbers reflect the exit from the fashion business. According to ceo Jeff Hollander, the company showed an overall 2% dollar increase in its basic business. Areas such as bed pillows showed a 6% unit sales increase as wary consumers in the second half shifted from better products to more promotional prices. The comforters division scored a unit sales boost of 8%, and a dollar rise of nearly 4%, with a continuing shift toward down alternative fills. He added that the year saw progress in controlling expenses, improved inventory controls and fewer closeouts.
8 7 ( '06) Shaw Living $288 $288 0 Shaw Living's rug business joined the "eco" wave. The company centered on creating environmentally-conscious soft floor covering products, like recyclable nylon, and establishing other "green" initiatives to pave the way for smarter business in 2008 and onward. As petroleum-based raw materials escalated in price, Shaw saw slight growth at retail among its furniture store customers, but saw a similar minor decline in the flooring and home center markets.
9 9 ( '06) Maples Rugs $270 $270 0 Sporadic sales surges at retail kept business balanced — in other words, flat — for Maples' two segments — accent rugs and bath rugs. In some distribution channels, sales were softer than the prior year, while in others business boasted more successes in both categories. Maples focused on new fiber technologies to create softer bath rugs. In accent rugs, texture and pattern drove interest at retail.
10 10 ( '06) Franco Manufacturing $260 $260 0 Significant Events Business remains a game of inches for all home textiles suppliers, especially for sourcing-oriented suppliers. The juvenile business, as always, had its hits and misses. In kitchen, the company mostly held firm in core programs with key customers. That segment was also helped by new shelf space dedicated to the category, and interest in higher price point merchandise based on embellishments and innovative fibers.
11 11 ( '06) Croscill $231 $258 -10.5 Croscill spent the year simultaneously working to build its brand and also to reach price points that can play in the sweet spot of the mid/better market. The company debuted its luxury White Label program, which by late year began making strides. At the same time, it has decided to dabble in the multi-piece set business — both branded and unbranded. Croscill saw growth in its newer businesses of window hardware and rugs. In addition, the company launched a host of ancillary businesses — Croscill branded "luxury" pet beds, lamps and occasional furniture pieces, which are showing promise and can help the company expand its branded presence beyond the core home textiles retail channels.
12 12 ( '06) CHF Corp. $222 $227 -2.0 CHF held its own in 2007, even as outright growth was halted amid the overall merchandising climate. The company's bedding business had a solid year, especially through customer-specific programs in a variety of retail channels. The introduction of a collection of interlined curtains helped propel the window category, as did good sales in hard window accessories. The bath area was off, with bath accessories facing a tough second half.
13 NA Divatex $200 NA -- Divatex joins the Top 15 after several years of steadily and quietly growing its core sheeting business. Although its acquisition by high-end fabric producer Himatsingka in late summer astonished the industry, the pairing is a good match. Himatsingka's businesses range from top-of-the-line custom fabrics to high-end silks for the bridal apparel trade. Divatex's better-best programs will be produced at Himatsingka's new state-of-the art bedding plant in India, and other programs will continue to be produced by Divatex's portfolio of resources around the world. Divatex's executive team will remain in place over the long term.
14 15 ( '06) Louisville Bedding $185 $175 5.7 Significant Events Traditional quilted mattress pads were somewhat flat, according to ceo Steve Elias, but pads and covers continue to be the biggest chunk of business, accounting for $93 million in sales. Bed pillows are a close second, accounting for $55 million. Elias noted a noticeable upswing in foam products, with about $27 million in sales for 2007. The company continues to diversify, looking toward the hospitality industry and into high-tech products like its recently introduced FireDefender brand in the mattress pad segment. (Sales figures reflect both Canadian and U.S. sales.)
15 14 ( '06) Dan River $162 $190 -14.7 Significant Events In its first full year under the ownership of Indian conglomerate GHCL, Dan River saw a revolving cast of senior execs come and go, settling finally with the early fall appointment of apparel industry executive Michael Flatow as president and coo, and home textiles veteran Herb Briggs as president, retail sales and marketing. The United States has turned its attention to new product introductions for 2008 — particularly emphasizing innovation, eco-friendly/organic offerings and new licenses.


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