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Vegas Outlook Guarded

Carole Sloan -- Home Textiles Today, February 9, 2009

Home textiles exhibitors here are hopeful they will attract retailers from the West Coast and some from the Midwest that did not attend the three early-year shows in Dallas, Atlanta and New York.

Company C highlights high energy color with its tropical rug Royal Palm and overall floral as the chair cover.
Company C highlights high energy color with its tropical rug Royal Palm and overall floral as the chair cover.

For some, this will be a market full of promotional offers in hopes of attracting buyers to their spaces. Others will combine promotions with new product introductions designed to create fresh looks on retail floors.

But for most, the increasingly dismal economic environment will shape the way this market goes.

For Hallmart, Las Vegas market will see the company in a new space in Building C. “During the past two months at shows, traffic has been down — but the limited buyers are serious,” said Jesse Galili, vp.

“We're offering a 'Retailers Stimulus Package' with rebates and discounts for things like floor samples and initial product order discounts,” Galili added. Overall, he observed, “Business is steady; we lose and gain in different sectors.”

Keith Sorgeloos, ceo of Home Source, remarked, “Since Dallas, Atlanta and New York were so badly attended by West Coast retailers — we got none — I hope they will be in Las Vegas — and Vegas in February is a better place than in July/August.”

Here, Home Source has expanded its space in the One Coast showroom to the entire front half, letting it show a lot more product on beds, he commented.

DreamFit's new merchandising and presentation program utilizes an in-store gallery display fixture to showcase bedding products depending on the breadth of assortment a store carries.

“Our sales reps will be loaded with promotional offers,” said Gail Walfish, merchandise manager for Lawrence Home Fashions. In addition, there will be a lot of new product on beds in the showroom — we're hoping to attract new customers.”

Noting that business all over is slow, Ridvan Tatargil, president of Eastern Accents, admitted he has low expectations for this show, but the company is showcasing new product to entice buyers.

“Las Vegas is a furniture market, not a therapeutic market, and we've been doing pretty well in the therapeutic market,” commented Lonnie Scheps, vp of Hudson Inds. “Overall we're holding on, but we're concerned about whether traffic will be down for furniture.”

DreamFit is introducing a new “Partners through the Storm” program with a drop ship offering that features an in-store gallery display that requires little or no inventory.

The program, according to vp Bob Pearce, allows a retailer to feature a wide range of product from basic sheets to its patented Quilted Comfort program in price points from $59.99 to $699.99.

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