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Exhibitors Positive on Decosit

Upbeat Reaction as Attendance Down

Carole Sloan -- Home Textiles Today, September 17, 2007

With acknowledgement from all quarters that attendance was down, American exhibitors at Decosit here last week continued to express support for the decorative fabrics show that is changing with the global situations.

For most American exhibitors, Decosit produced good business with new customers developed from different geographic areas such as Russia and some Eastern European countries. For many, the show still offers the opportunity to work with existing and potential customers in far flung areas without traveling to each of the countries.

On a country by country tally, the exhibitors cited the apparent downturn in attendance from customers from Japan and the Middle East. Additionally, there was concern that the textile show held in Shanghai just a week before perhaps cut into the attendance here.

"We've been really busy," said Mike Shelton, president of Valdese. He attributed the activity to several things: the acquisition of Circa 1801/Doblin, the expansion of its various brands' product lines, and the reworking of its agent network by Cynthia Parrish, who has been director of international sales and marketing for the last 18 months.

"The quality of the customers coming in during Decosit with our new agents has been dramatic; it's the best show we have ever had," Shelton explained.

For Crestimot Fabrics, "Decosit helps us in that we can see customers here rather than making a trip to Asia and Europe twice a year," related Tony Ramotar, director, contract and finished product.

The launch of a new Vervain luxury fabric collection and the debut of Isaac Mizrahi to the global market provided a strong Decosit for Fabricut, according to vp David Klaristenfeld: "Vervain was extremely successful, and Isaac was an unqualified success — he's so right for Europe."

"It was better than OK," stated Stewart Jervis, vp, P/Kaufmann. "Although traffic was down, business was good. Decosit is a great way to see the world in a week." For P/Kaufmann, prints were a "mainstay" of its success, he said.

With a new stand and a dramatic presentation of a color story, Tietex "was very busy and the show was very good," said Martin Wildeman, chairman and ceo. "We made a big push with piece dyed fabrics produced in our plant in Thailand with an eye to the European market. We see Decosit as a European market."

"This is the first Decosit that we didn't write substantial orders, but still we were very pleased with the results," said Rocco Simone, svp of Sunbury. Despite the drop in traffic, which he estimated as down some 20%, "We were very pleased with attendance; the dollar probably influenced Europeans — and Asia, South America, Australia and New Zealand were strong. We're not unhappy at all."

"Given the state of the market in general, I thought it was pretty good," said Roger Gilmartin, president of Covington. "It was a good show for us."

Admitting that Decosit attendance was below that of 2006, Patrick Geysels, director of Decosit added, "We have the professional and quality level of the visitors we are seeking. But we are not satisfied with the total number of visitors."

Geysels added, "We are focusing on high level and quality exhibitors and visitors as well as the creativity and product development that was seen at Decotec."

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