Hearty Response at High Point

Carole Sloan, April 26, 2010

Home textiles exhibitors at the High Point Market here last week reported a significant uptick in retailers' attitudes and some order writing – a marked contrast from the last one or two markets here.

In fact. as Mark Ferullo, vp for Rizzy Home put it, “the market turnout was the best attended in four markets. We're very pleased.”

As for product, Ferullo pointed to the expanded bedding and decorative pillows “as pretty cool things; we've come a long way there.” Looking ahead, he said the company is expanding its space and will extend its lease.

“We were very, very pleased. There was a significant increase in attendance over last April and a strong increase over October,” commented John Rose, co-owner of Textillery. “And we wrote good business.”

“American made also was a strong point,” added Judith Rose, co-owner. Several new customers especially were interested in that element of the product as well as the product itself. We saw people who haven't been to market in years.”

“We came with reasonable expectations and got way beyond; all five days were busy,” John Rose said.

For Liora Manne, owner of her namesake rug and accessory firm, “it was an amazing reaction to the line and a fantastic reaction to our introduction of decorative pillows and small mats for indoor/outdoor.”

“It was probably our best show here in three or four years,” said Ridvan Tatargil, owner of Eastern Accents. “They fixed the building, and it looks really good so that might have helped (referring to MMPI's Market Square Suites).”

Customers, he reported, were talking about “not that business is bad as they have been, but things are getting better. The attitude was much different.” As for product, bed sets, decorative pillows and sheets from Italy all were strong.

“It was a little better than in October, and there were more buyers out there,” explained Jesse Galili, vp, Hallmart Collectibles. From a product perspective, “opulence is still strong and traditional is surprisingly striking.”

Ann Gish, owner of her eponymous bedding and linens business, commented: “Traffic was fine for our location, and we saw our old accounts as well as opened some new ones.” Interestingly, she noted, “There was no fake optimism but also no gloom.” In terms of product, the new sofa pillow collection was well received as were the beds and table linens.

Thief River Linens, now under new direction and ownership, was received positively by customers, especially those “who want to do a la carte or onesies,” said Emily Peele, owner. The previous company had minimums, which made it difficult to deal with designers, she explained. Another plus was the addition of luxury sheets that the company is embellishing.

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