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Hits & Misses

Companies Reflect on What Worked and What Didn't at this Month's Market

Allure Home Fashions

Gabrielle Colquitt, VP, design and marketing

Hits: “Our hits were all of our novelty [bath coordinate collections], especially our Frogs and City Streets. The traditional hits were Bella-Rosa, Kellee, Daisy, and Conversion Stripe. In our Raymond Waites line, our biggest hits were Tribeca, Princeville and Parisienne.”

Misses: “Our miss was Golden Botanical. And from our Raymond Waites line, the miss was Luxe.”

The Baltic Linen Co.

Rick Lipton, Director of bath coordinates

Hits: “A hit was Thor, an interpretation of a traditional paisley design that has been updated with the feelings and sensibilities of a Victorian classic. In tones of neutral and grays this design connected with most, if not all, of our retailers.

“Another hit was Orsay, featuring whites and grays combined for a sexy and very classy coordinate.”

Misses: “A miss was Magic Wings. Butterflies are no longer the iconic novelty design of choice. We were, in all probability, late. The same can be said for Queensland — our offering of a very elegant coral design in shades of blue and white.”

The Baltic Linen Co.

Jo Ann Wanamaker, VP design, bath

Hits: “One favorite was [the Egyptian cotton towel] Greenwich. We showed four colorways of Greenwich Stripe — pool, key lime, apricot and lemon soufflé. Each was a monochromatic stripe with a light and dark version of the color on a white ground. We coordinated eight solid colors to tie back to the stripes. I think the pile, being very soft and plush Egyptian, along with the yummy colors made it well received.”

Misses: “On the miss list — we showed the yarn-dyed Gingham, which had some fans. But Gingham is a very specific look and a lot of the buyers are trying to be as broad as possible in their selections.”

Bardwil Industries

Amy Zemser, VP, sales and marketing

Hits: “Bardwil's hits include Logan, a print tablecloth and accessories. Our Natural Inspirations collection includes Logan, which features subtle details of uncomplicated texture and color in soothing neutrals, greens and browns that capture the theme of our collection.

“Another hit was our Microfiber tablecloth, which is water resistant and leak proof. It wipes up instantly and leaves no moisture.”

Misses: “Aurora, a flat-woven plaid that coordinates with the 'Out is In' collection, was a miss.”

Brentwood Originals

Loren Sweet, President

Hits: “Our hits were the entire Hemingway's Travel collection, which includes the Kuba cloths, two new solid chenilles, tapestries and animals in a global/ethnic collage. It was a real hit across the board.

“The Organic Chemistry collection was also a hit in the zen/spa feel. We had a great response in window to the Blackout Suede drape and the new pile plush fabrics.”

Misses: “The Larissa herringbone pattern was a miss in both pillows and window. It just did not have enough 'oomph' or texture to gain attention. Drama and texture is clearly what people are responding to.”

CHF Inds.

Joan Karron, Executive VP

Hits: “All but one in the Peri Silk Road Collection, the rust/tan silk jacquard, the yellow/cream print, the blue taupe plaid, and the mocha/light blue quilt coverlet. Also the Flip It bedding program and Pillow Talk for kids. The bath and bath coordinates were enormously well received. Three of the four Hemingway patterns were strong and the Punch It Up towel coordinates and two Umbra beds were winners.”

Misses: “The Cameo Collection was a minor blip, and Romana, a white bed in the Peri Silk Road Collection, was too expensive.”

Creative Bath Products

Bob Weiss, Director of sales and marketing

Hits: “Creative Bath had the best overall response to our new collections than we had from the last three markets. The hits included: Joseph Abboud's Fortaleza, Hautman Brothers' Foggy Morning, Echo's Island Mist and Rive Gauche, and the Wiggles, Silhouette, Sand Dune, and Madam Butterfly styles from our open line.”

Misses: “This market, we designed three solid-colored marble collections. We were unable to set the right price, which prohibited commitments from our customers. Everyone loved the styling but we need additional work tweaking the costs.”

Ex-Cell Home Fashions

David North, VP, marketing development

Hits: “From the bath division, hits included our new decorative tension rods, the Nature Lover bath coordinate, the Potpourri bath coordinate, and the Synthesis bath coordinate.

“From the table linens division, Belle Fleur, a fabric and vinyl collection; the Bellaggio tablecloth; and Hemstitch, a solid in new spring colors; were all hits. Also, all napkin rings were exceptionally received.

“From the window treatments division, Artisan button-up shades did well, as did the tweener program, particularly Can Can, Zip-It, and Tie Dyed Links, which were all hits this market.”

Misses: “From the bath division, misses included the Sachet bath coordinate. Also, traditional themes sold well, but sometimes didn't work because they were too niche.

“From the table linens division, English Garden was a miss.

“From the window treatments division, Sofia and Sanibel were disappointments.”

Karsten America

Clarissa Townsend, Product manager

Hits: “A hit was our Nanocotton solid-colored bath program in 10 colors. Customers were intrigued by the state-of-the-art construction and performance benefits indicative of this product.

“Another hit was our Premium Egyptian cotton solid-colored bath program in eight colors. The allure of Egyptian cotton remains strong in the marketplace and Karsten's towel, which incorporates our exclusive Petal Touch finishing process, emphasizes the softness and sheen for which Egyptian cotton is known, but without jeopardizing absorbency.

“Still another hit was the Linden collection. This program, which consists of two different constructions in three colorways, incorporates linen in the border for a natural but elegant look for the home.”

Misses: “A miss was our Floral Sorbet solid-colored bath program with a heat-transfer border. The predominant colors in the program seemed to be too off-beat for some buyers.”

Loftex

Gretchen Dale, Senior VP

Hits: “Our two biggest hits were the mid- and better-priced performance towels — Oasis, the cotton/microfiber polyester, and Super Thirsty, the Viloft eucalyptus/cotton. The high-low pile jacquard was a hit but will be done in color palettes for each customer.”

Misses: “The low end Thick and Thirsty was a definite miss for everyone.”

Park B. Smith

Linda Smith, President

Hits: “Eco Ordinates vegetable-dyed black/celadon Vintage Stripe bed; the stone color Baja Stripe bedding; the Country Square tapestry place mat and the Eco Ordinates Resort luster corn fiber rug in natural were winners.”

Misses: “There was no reaction to the Supriya India hand blocked bedding, or to the cat-themed Royal Cat tapestry collection.”

PHI/ Peking Handicraft Inc.

Mark Grand, President and coo

Hits: “Our better and best quality quilts in a new collection by Kathleen Field; absolutely our embroideries, especially Yasmine and Sherwood — we had a huge selection at great prices — and the Cottage Collection, including accessory items.”

Misses: “Newton, a wavy look in a flocked jacquard that retailers already were covered in, and Clayton, a subtle botanical that was much too subtle.”

S. Lichtenberg

Amy Hanlon, VP of design

Hits: “Calista, a lined faux silk panel embellished with a large-scale, brocade-like floral embroidery; Bistro, a casual linen blend panel with unique tabs and an updated color palette; and Brittany, a printed floral stripe on a polyester/cotton jacquard, was a great value.”

Misses: “Aurora, a crepe-like textured sheer with subtle Lurex detail was elegant, but other styles better portrayed the metallic trend; Chloe, an apparel-inspired watercolor floral print on georgette, was ahead of its time — more traditional florals were in the forefront.”

Thomasville Home Furnishings

Joyce Post, Director of design

Hits: “Millicent, an overscaled floral in a casual mood; Mayang, a Jacobean classic in today's colors that reflects the bohemian influence; and Kalinjar, a dramatic Jacobean influenced paisley in aqua and jewel.”

Misses: “Alamosa where the colors weren't right, and Coral Reef that was too novelty looking.”

Veratex

Dale Talbert, VP

Hits: “Bella, an overall medallion, was the best; Patina and Serena were second best, Patina for its embroidery design and color and Serena for its embroidery. Raquel used a different approach to embroidery and pleating, and Skye was strong in the modern category and had good color.”

Misses: “Adisson didn't have enough oomph, and Abby was an embroidery that wasn't as good as the others.”

Westgate

Neil Zuber, Executive VP, decorative division

Hits: “Anything in paisley for both decorative pillows and pet beds — prints, jacquards, velvets, embroideries. Animal looks in brown/black and tan/natural combinations. New embroideries.”

Misses: “A group of traditional heat transfer floral prints on a linen ground. We keep trying to offer prints, but not yet.”

Windham Weavers

Richard Russo, President

Hits: “Our new Fiesta license was greatly received by all who have previewed its many components. The stores are looking for ways to cross-merchandise multiple products within it. There are also discussions of creating lifestyle statements for it in the dinnerware departments with table linens and kitchen textiles along with multiple accessories that can be merchandised together.

“Other hits for us were Railroad Stripe, Re-Mix Plaid, Tango Stripe and Windsor. These are yarn-dyed wovens and jacquards, which are being very well placed in our Summer Brights group's blue-and-yellow color combinations as well as our Pamplona color story.

“Of our chindi accent rugs, our heavyweight chindi stripe, chindi solid and chindi plaids are being very well placed. The Starlight wool accent rugs — a blended wool collection in both stripes and coordinating solids — was also a hit.

“And the Provence solid-colored restaurant tablecloth collection of 100% cotton twill restaurant-quality table linens was very well received in the pastel palette, as well as in the white and ivory colorways.”

Misses: “Our miss was Zen Garden. This yarn-dyed jacquard with its Asian influence was too fashion-forward for our customer.”

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