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Vegas Exhibitors Expect Good, but Slower Traffic

C&F EnterprisesC&F Enterprises beckons the sea with a new coastal collection of quilted bedding called Water’s Edge.
LAS VEGAS - Maybe keynote speaker and former president Bill Clinton will have some good advice about the debt ridden economy when he addresses the upcoming Las Vegas Market, next month. In the meantime, exhibitors at the home furnishings showcase are anticipating a good market, albeit with slower traffic, as has been the case for recent shows and markets around the country, including Dallas and Atlanta.
     "I always want to be positive, but I think we'll see less traffic than in the past. That has been the pattern," noted Nelson Chow, vp, sales C & F Enterprises. "For us, it's more about the quality of buyer, and despite less traffic, we expect serious buyers who will place orders."
Hudson IndustriesHudson Industries is showing the SensaGel Collection, a cooling gel memory foam bedding system designed to help its users maintain a lower body temperature.
     C & F will be showing new bedding collections in transitional patterns. Kasbah features aqua and greens in a paisley design, while Montpellier features a scroll pattern in a range of grays. According to Chow, the company has also introduced a set of microfiber quilts in multiple designs, partly in response to issues of cotton worldwide. "We've also seen a real surge in decorative pillows," he noted. "I think people are finding pillows a good way to update a room or area without a total renovation."
      For Lonnie Scheps, svp, Hudson Industries, the atmosphere at the Las Vegas market is unique and in itself makes a great show. "We love this market as we are a member of a strong team of vendors who feed off of each other to strengthen the classification and each category," he said "We are all grouped in one huge showroom at the Specialty Sleep Association. We consistently address more large and small clients in one showroom every day of market than any other show- makes Las Vegas so very special and unique. No other market has this environment."
     Hudson will be featuring its Polar Foam pillows & toppers and is introducing an extended array of related specialty bedding items, including Sensa- Gel, its next generation of gel enhanced Pillows. Next up according to Scheps. a third generation Gel-Infused Memory Foam. "Buyers are still very cautious, but I am seeing a loosening up of OTB funds as everyone looks to the third and fourth quarters to produce true traction especially in the therapeutic category," he said.
Wolf collectionWoven Workz’s new faux fur Wolf collection of throw blankets is made of a polyacrylic blend.
     Andrew Sedlock, national sales mgr., Pine Cone Hill, said that attendees at all the markets he's been so far are concentrated on new ideas. "There are many that are working with reps and through catalogs to do their buying, saving the expense of visiting every market," he noted.
     One thing that has worked for the company and will be shown in Las Vegas: a large folded display of Pine Cone Hill's extensive offering of matelasse bedding. "It was stacked with every color and pattern and it made an impression. We got a lot of response and are going to do that again," said Sedlock. In addition, the company has added juniper and lavender to the color selections of its popular Matte Velvet bedding.
     One more thing that may have buyers taking a second look at Pine Cone Hill is pricing. Sedlock said that the company increased prices in January, responding the cost of cotton, but has now rolled back prices on select items.
     For Jitti Pillows, it's all about color. According to owner Goga Bouket - who forecasts a "very good market" - the company is showing a range of outdoor pillows in fi ve vibrant colors, a trend she sees continuing through summer and fall. Also on display, the company will have six new bedding ensembles with rich details such as appliqués and embroideries.
     Meanwhile, Manual Woodworkers is going to the dogs ... and cats. It has introduced a new collection of decorative pillows called Paws & Whiskers, featuring different breeds of the animals, including Dachshunds, Boston Terriers and Bichons. According to the company, long lasting inks are used to print the image on the fabric. The 18-by- 18-inch pillows are expected to retail for $22.

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