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Home Textiles Today's Top 15

Springs Industries

Rank Est. '01 Sales ($mil) '00 Sales ($mil) %chg
1 $1,801 $1,801 0.0%


SIGNIFICANT EVENTS: Holding its own in a punishing retail environment, Springs takes over as the nation's largest supplier of home fashions products. In a profound change that will alter the company's course, the major mill went private, and the controlling Close family joined forces with financier David Stockman, signaling a more aggressive management style. Springs linked up with Charles D. Owen Mfg. in a bid to penetrate the blanket market with its Wamsutta nameplate. Dale Williams signed on as senior vp, global sourcing, underlining the growing importance of overseas suppliers. In fashion, Springs made a major statement with luxury lines.

Westpoint Stevens

Rank Est. '01 Sales ($mil) '00 Sales ($mil) %chg
2 $1,752 $1,883 -7.0%


SIGNIFICANT EVENTS: In a top management shuffle, veteran Chip Fontenot took the reins as president and coo, and not long afterwards brought on two veterans: Bob Dale, to head up sales and marketing, and Dupuy Sears, as cfo. The new team had its job cut out for it as the mill coped with falling sales, a declining share price and a myriad of financial issues. On the product side, WestPoint brought on board the Ralph Lauren license for basic bedding and launched the Disney Home program. After the prior year's buyout of the Chatham blanket business, a new basic bedding division was formed to link Vellux, Chatham and Liebhardt pillows and pads.

Pillowtex

Rank Est. '01 Sales ($mil) '00 Sales ($mil) %chg
3 $1,114 $1,423 -21.7%


SIGNIFICANT EVENTS: Working its way through a painful restructuring and downsizing, the bankrupt major mill lost more than a fifth of its sales, 21.7 percent, as it sold off the blanket business it had paid so much to acquire under ousted ceo Chuck Hansen. It also lost two key licenses, Ralph Lauren basic bedding and Disney, and gave up major programs at Kmart. Making major strides elsewhere, Pillowtex overhauled Royal Velvet, re-thought Cannon Royal Family and told the market it's still a force to be reckoned with in a dramatic reconstruction of its New York showroom. Brought on Gretchen Dale to head up styling, design and product development.

Mohawk Home

Rank Est. '01 Sales ($mil) '00 Sales ($mil) %chg
4 $600 $536 11.9%


SIGNIFICANT EVENTS: Growing in importance with each new year, this long-time floor coverings producer continued to diversify into home fashions, working fast last year to integrate its newly acquired Crown Crafts woven products business, which made it the nation's largest producer of jacquard woven products. Mohawk has been among the industry's busiest consolidators, and through a long string of strategic acquisitions has more than doubled its home fashions sales over the past few years, up 149 percent from just $241 million in 1995.

Dan River

Rank Est. '01 Sales ($mil) '00 Sales ($mil) %chg
5 $482 $450 7.1%


SIGNIFICANT EVENTS: In a big boost to its home fashions top line, Dan River rolled out a major Martha Stewart program at Kmart, helping to offset continued weakness in its apparel fabrics division. The company's big juvenile business, acquired from The Bibb Co., remained a major contributor to sales, with new licenses including Bob the Builder, Thomas & Friends and Tonka. But the core bed-in-a-bag franchise remained under siege with its competitors among the major mills nibbling away at the business. Shutting down two home fashions plants in a modernization and cost-cutting move. New air jet looms will replace older projectile looms.

Pacific Coast Feather

Rank Est. '01 Sales ($mil) '00 Sales ($mil) %chg
6 $318 $285 11.6%


SIGNIFICANT EVENTS: As if defying the laws of gravity and a stunted retail environment, PCF grew sales by almost 12 percent, even after last year's big 24 percent increase. While the rate of growth slowed, "That was to be expected, given the customers that have gone out of business," said Jerry Hanauer, chairman. "Under those circumstances, the rate of growth we did see was not insignificant." After adding capacity in recent years, the company focused last year "on improving our processes," said Hanauer. "We've refined them to include better inventory control, better lead times, better quality control." Opened its first New York showroom.

Croscill Home Fashions

Rank Est. '01 Sales ($mil) '00 Sales ($mil) %chg
7 $315 $302 4.3%


SIGNIFICANT EVENTS: Expanding its core franchise in upstairs bedding, Croscill launched a 310-count Couture sheet program, "and we'll expand that to a 400-count program," said president and ceo David Kahn. After years of an intense and highly successful focus on decorative ensembles, it is taking another look at basics, said Kahn. "We'll be in the solid-color and fashion basic towel business, something to make a simple towel slightly more decorative. We're going after the basics with a decorative twist. That should be a good move for us, and I can see a $30 million incremental gain in sales with these new basic products."

Glenoit Corp.

Rank Est. '01 Sales ($mil) '00 Sales ($mil) %chg
8 $252 $237 6.3%


SIGNIFICANT EVENTS: In a tumultuous year for Glenoit and all of its workers, the company continued to steer toward a turnaround and a recovery from its pre-packaged bankruptcy of the year before. Raising cash and sliming down, the company sold off one of the jewels in its home fashions crown, the American Pacific business. Only two years after it was acquired from the founding Block family, which continued to manage it under Glenoit ownership, the business was sold back to the Blocks. In a major blow, Tom O'Gorman, Glenoit's much beloved and much admired ceo, died in December after guiding Glenoit through the toughest of times.

Burlington Industries

Rank Est. '01 Sales ($mil) '00 Sales ($mil) %chg
9 $249 $293 -15.0%


SIGNIFICANT EVENTS: Weighed down by $1.1 billion in debt, and its core denim and apparel business under crushing pressure from low-cost imports, the 78-year-old major mill was the latest major textiles producer to seek bankruptcy protection. And lashing out at U.S. trade practices, chairman George Henderson also blamed the government's history of using the textile industry as a bargaining chip in international relations. Continuing to overhaul its operations, Burlington earlier sold its decorative mats business, marketed under the Bacova name.

Hollander Home Fashions

Rank Est. '01 Sales ($mil) '00 Sales ($mil) %chg
10 $203 $211 -3.8%


SIGNIFICANT EVENTS: On the face of it, sales slipped by 3.8 percent last year, to $203 million. But that's only part of the story, said chairman and ceo Leo Hollander. "Business was actually up, if you exclude all the business we lost when some of our customers disappeared, like Bradlees, Wards, HomePlace, and a third of Strouds. So I count myself a lucky man if we lost that many customers and our total business was down less than 4 percent. We had more than $5.2 million in unrecoverable Chapter 11 losses with some of our customers." Putting further pressure on the top line, the price of down declined, reducing the unit price of goods that Hollander sells.

Maples Rugs

Rank Est. '01 Sales ($mil) '00 Sales ($mil) %chg
11 $181 $177 2.3%


SIGNIFICANT EVENTS: Still on a roll, but with the rate of growth moderating, Maples drove its sales up by 2.3 percent last year, following a 10.6 percent increase the prior year. Bath rug sales were flat at $49 million, in line with the broad retail environment, and virtually all of the growth came out of accent rugs, where the business grew by 6 percent, to $132 million, said Arnie Stevens, vp. "Accent rugs, both print and olefin, were the drivers in solid-color and prints." Stevens added, "We continue to expand with a new warehouse, added print capacity and six additional tufting machines. We put back into the business a major part of our earnings."

Franco Mfg.

Rank Est. '01 Sales ($mil) '00 Sales ($mil) %chg
12 $180 $153 17.6%


SIGNIFICANT EVENTS: Franco Mfg., a leading supplier of licensed products to the mass merchant channel, continued to maintain its historically low profile, and likes to stay off the radar screen. Nonetheless, it continued to drive its business sharply higher than most of its peers among the nation's 15 largest home fashions suppliers. Despite a lackluster retail environment, sales shot up in excess of 17 percent in 2001, to $180 million, improving on the year-before growth rate of 5.5 percent. Solid growth was driven largely by the continued rollout of the Hanes for the Home bedding program, and by continued growth in kitchen textiles.

Crown Crafts

Rank Est. '01 Sales ($mil) '00 Sales ($mil) %chg
13 $177 $310 -42.9%


SIGNIFICANT EVENTS: Years of rapid and heady growth, fueled by a fistful of acquisitions that put it into the infants business, were followed by mounting losses and a painful restructuring and downsizing that mired it down in later years. After the earlier sale of its woven products business, Crown Crafts completed its transformation by selling its adult bedding business to former ceo Michael Bernstein — still a majority shareholder — leaving Crown a company now devoted to the infants business it entered only a few years ago under the direction of now ceo Randall Chestnut. The payoff: Crown returned to profitability for the first time in years.

Louisville Bedding

Rank Est. '01 Sales ($mil) '00 Sales ($mil) %chg
14 $177 $173 2.3%


SIGNIFICANT EVENTS: "Just holding your own was a major accomplishment last year," said John Minihan, president. "For a lot of people out there, survival was a real big deal, especially when you lose big customers. For better or for worse, Wards was a big account for us, and so was HomePlace. We managed to come out ahead, and that wasn't easy. For every piece of business you picked up, you seemed to lose one someplace else. Mattress pads were up for us. We picked up some pad volume in the United States and Canada, but then we lost the chair-pad business at Wal-Mart. It's very difficult to forecast where you're going to be next year."

CHF Corp.

Rank Est. '01 Sales ($mil) '00 Sales ($mil) %chg
15 $124 $116 6.9%


SIGNIFICANT EVENTS: In a heartening success story, CHF climbed back to the Top 15 after an absence of several years, revitalized, growing and freshly profitable under a vigorous new management team led by president and ceo Frank Foley. "Windows are up about 20 percent with strong growth in our Peri line," said Foley. "In bedding, we're growing our youth business and now have an all-cotton program for kids. The accessories business is very strong, and the growth in juvenile business and accessories is ratcheting up our margins. For years we were drowning; now we are cash-flow positive and profitable." Beefed up management and marketing with the addition of veteran Bob Gehm.

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