• Jennifer Marks

Does Talking Back Pay Off?

Psssst…They're talking about you.

When HTT relaunched its website five months ago, we added a feature called TalkBack, which allows readers to append comments beneath individual stories. Those comments are displayed on our homepage (www.hometextilestoday.com) under a tab labeled “TalkBack.”

We've really done nothing to promote the feature, and initially, it was little used. Over the past couple of months, however, it seems to have become sounding board for consumers as well as members of the trade.

Cathy from Wallingford, Conn., loves the Anchor Home Aqua Dry kitchen towels she bought in Maine and is looking for more.

Maryanne in Hudson, N.Y., wants to know how she can get a copy of the Bergdorf Goodman home catalog.

Toni, who lives on Shorefront Parkway in an indeterminate city, wants to replace the flat sheet that came in the set she bought at Bed Bath & Beyond. The fitted sheet and cases are fine.

Aimee in Columbus, Ohio, is looking for a queen-sized Abbey Hill Medallion bedding set because her local Kmart is out of stock on that item. Michele in Monroe, La., posts advice to Aimee: call the Kmart in Natchez, Miss., as that location is in stock on both king and queen Medallion sets.

There are, of course, complaints (“It seems to be the American Way To Go these days — liquidate — liquidate — liquidate.”) and warnings to other consumers (“Don't bother buying them if you want a true black-out. They may block out 75% of sun in the middle of the day, not 99% as they claim.”).

Consumers, I think, end up at HTT because there's nowhere else for them to go. Few suppliers operate consumer-oriented websites. Among those that do, I've never seen a public area that allows consumers to comment on products and/or converse with each other. (If I'm wrong, please let me know. Post a comment on TalkBack!)

Among the volume retailers, Target is the only one I know of that encourages consumers to post reviews of its products — creating a public forum. Target also deserves kudos for leaving negative reviews in place.

In an era when consumers expect to be heard, why are so many companies closing the door on them?

Featured Video

  • 1200 Suppliers are Ready for You at Intertextile Shanghai

    Camera Icon More Videos

Subscribe to
Home & Textiles Today eDaily
Receive the news you need to know about the trends in the industry delivered right to your inbox.


HTT August 2017

See the August 2017 issue of Home & Textiles Today. In this issue, we look at the Top 50 Retailing Giants Report, plus Manufacturing: Made in the USA gaining ground; International: Portugal ramping up exports; New products: NY Now home textiles introductions; Outlook: Commentary from H&TT's editors; and Planning: Trade show calendar.

See details!