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  • Jennifer Marks

Future shock, redux

Jennifer Marks, Staff Staff -- Home Textiles Today, October 13, 2003

Corporate futurist Watts Wacker once remarked that the greatest thing about his job is that by the time the future finally becomes the present, nobody can remember what he predicted in the first place.

With a nod to Watts, today we squint into the crystal ball and — with tongue implanted firmly in cheek — explore some potential future scenarios.

2006

Brands thrive as "captives"

NEW YORK — Three years after now-defunct Pillowtex dispersed its assets through liquidation, a new study reveals that its legendary brands are producing greater sales volumes — in the aggregate — for their retail owners than they had for the former mill.

Target's exclusive Charisma collection of sheeting, fashion bedding and towels now outperforms even its much-ballyhooed Louis Vuitton at Home line.

Sears' exclusive Fieldcrest bed and bath assortment has caught fire in a way that eluded its previous private label efforts — Whole Home, Wholly Home, At Home, Home Time and Homey.

Perhaps the biggest winner in the sell-off was Linens 'n Things, whose Royal Velvet and Cannon labels are credited with helping it to narrow the gap between itself and Bed Bath & Beyond's home chain division, which now accounts for 45 percent of that company's sales. Bed Bath & Beyond is also the parent company of Harmon drugstores, Christmas Tree Shop seasonal outlets and the Staples office supplies chain.

2007

Wal-Mart announces Ma Bell-style breakup

BENTONVILLE, AR — Steps ahead of a Justice Department probe, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. announced it will split the $700 billion company into four independently operated, publicly owned businesses.

When the spin-offs are complete, Wal-Mart's former components will become: the Wal-Mart Grocery Alliance Inc., consisting of its 3,000 supercenters, 800 Sam's Clubs and 500 Neighborhood Markets in the United States; the Wal-Mart Convenience Group Inc., including its 1,200 discount stores and 700 gas stations in the United States.; Wal-Mart China, encompassing its growing chain of 400 stores in that country; and Wal-Mart International, which consists of the other 2,000 stores which are in neither the United States nor China. Yet to be determined is which entity will consume Wal-Mart Galileo, the orbiting shop that services space travelers.

2018

HTT marks 40th anniversary

SAN FRANCISCO —Home Textiles Today will celebrate its 40th year in publication this coming September. Publisher Lucy Chen and editor-in-chief Ajay Singh announced the weekly newspaper will host a series of commemorative events at its headquarters offices in Shanghai, Delhi and here…

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