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Hits and Misses

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

Arley

Don Johnson, Executive vp

Hits: "In window, Chesterfield was outstanding — a mix and match stripe/diamond and stripe/damask. Also, Soho Squares, a contemporary block pattern.

"In bedding, Danielle Quilt, a pretty floral stripe with an engineered quilt design was tops."

Misses: "In window, Everett, a texture, was not different enough, and Novato was too different. In bedding, Madison, a pieced comforter in navy and grays with embroidery was too much like others in the market."

Avanti

Jeff Kaufman, President

Hits: "Monet was huge in towels and accessories; the accessories added to Chapel Hill were strong; the Swarovski crystal trimmed towel at $100 was an artistic hit; and Empress, a pleated jacquard cuff with a multi-fabric trim."

Misses: "Blossom, a white and ivory towel, did not have enough going on."

Park B. Smith

Linda Johnson Smith, President

Hits: "Service for One placemat, napkin, napkin ring set, offering flexibility in mix and match; the Complete Bath shower curtain, curtain ties and rug for styling, coordination and packaging.

"The Spa collection with natural fibers and soft touch."

Misses: "The Tiffany tapestry collection's styling did not appeal to our customers."

Creative Home Fashions

Lisa Granger, Divisional sales and marketing manager

Hits: "A definite hit for us was Strata, especially in the vintage golds and caramel colorways. And a decorative pillow on the Strata bed, the embroidered piece, was our No. 1 pillow at market.

"Also, our Floral Rouche panel had an embroidered design detail and rich colors that retailers really liked.

Misses: "Our Bay Leaf collection had a beautiful embroidery retailers liked, but the colors were too trendy."

Ex-Cell Home Fashions

David North

VP, marketing development

Hits: "Bath division hits included the Opulence shower curtain and accessories; Colette fabric shower curtain in five colors; and Paradise, a full bath coordinate. Table linens hits included some of our holiday fabric intros such as Cross Stitch Trees and Flocked Vine Trellis and placemat introductions such as Gridlock, Maxwell, Festive and Three Snowman."

Misses: "A bath division miss was the Fantasy Fish vinyl shower curtain. In table linens, the miss was the Acorn stripe fabric tablecloth."

Foreston Trends

Dick Gould, VP, sales

Hits: "Hits included the solid color Spring Hills silk with contrasting border placemat and the leather placemat introductions in the crocodile and lizard."

Misses: "Our misses were the Spring Jacquards Beverly and Mayhill placemats."

Hilasal

Larry Price, Director of U.S. sales

Hits: "Our hit was the Spa collection of three-ply ring-spun bath ensembles."

Misses: "The miss was the 23-pounds-per-dozen Egyptian cotton collection we call Luxurious. The price point, at $19.99, was too high."

CHF Inds.

Joan Karron, Executive vp

Hits: "Kitty Couture in the Hello Kitty collection; the Flip It program; our Design Lab program that retailers liked for the trend and forecasting direction; the Peri faux silk plaid bed in the Silk Road collection; and Channel 4, the four ply rib textured towel in 12 colors."

Misses: "The vinyl photo beach collection in bath that was outdone by the other photo vinyls."

Thomasville

Bob Flynn, President

Hits: "Responding to more regional requests from our signature looks, Key Largo, a tropical had the right combination of colorings, styling, and pricing; Telluride was a strong southwest look, and Vienna and Sherbrooke were important entries in master bedroom."

Misses: "Sorrento, a chenille/jacquard combination that didn't hit the mark."

GTT

Bill Spencer

National sales and marketing manager

Hits: "Overall, the Room in a Bag programs and bedspreads which are growing considerably. Rhythm, a modern, clean feel, metallic threads on embroidery, and an oversized floral motif. Boston Vine is another oversized motif with embroidery and a printed ground."

Misses: "Sophia maybe was ahead of its time in soft pinks and greens — and Shiraz, a red and gold traditional woven motif similar to others that stood out."

Faribault

Jeff Kambak, VP

Hits: "The new SOFTTEC blanket, a 50/50 blend of Outlast and combed cotton, was a natural extension of the earlier Valencia wool/Outlast blanket. Feather, a washable wool in an ultra-luxurious weave; and Velvet Chenille, the top of the line cotton blanket; and the Kathy Ireland Home collection."

Misses: "The cotton version of the Feather weave that didn't translate as well as we hoped. The 50/50 wool reversing to cotton that needs additional work."

Loftex

Gretchen Dale, Executive vp

Hits: "The whole new St. Tropez collection and Sojourn, a fiber reactive Jacobean floral print. La Vie, a 25-pound jacquard towel in 12 colors."

Misses: "Collette, a jacquard with a weft insertion end hem; and Printemps, a fiber reactive print that lost to the jacquard version."

Veratex

Dale Talbert, Senior vp

Hits: "Velvet appliqués — with Charmonte the best, and Bennetti also strong. Drake, a clean, casual look in pewter colors; Bellage, an updated jacquard with a pinstripe was a good marriage of a menswear look and a traditional scroll."

Misses: "Royalton, a bed in an effervescent blue that was too strong of a color."

TexStyle

Dan Cacella, Executive vp

Hits: "In slipcovers, our stretch micro-suede that looks like upholstery; Spencer, a plush, comfortable look. In window, Juliet, a light, airy sheer with metallic flecks; Palmer, an inverted pleat, a modern look."

Misses: "In slipcovers, Doris, a chenille/faux suede mix, and Luca in window, a mid-weight jacquard where the design got lost in itself."

Commonwealth Home Fashions

Barry Goodman

VP, national accounts

Hits: "Shangri-La, our insulated faux silk dupioni in nine colors. Highland, a heavyweight woven grommet top — a hit on the casual side. Roslyn, an embroidered sheer priced at $9.99 — a hit with our more economically priced retailers."

Misses: "Baccarat, a velvet — maybe we're just a little bit late with velvet. Perez, a banded program of faux silk and sueded — it lacked bright colorways."

Lawrence Home Fashions

Gail Walfish, Merchandise manager

Hits: "The Sky Collection with its back-to-nature theme was number one — with Passage, Valencia, Environments, and Zen Garden all coordinating with our bamboo blended sheets. Chrysanthemum in our Maison de Vie Collection, where the Far East meets the West, with a large scale woven floral in black and gold on a luminescent ground and accented with Asian inspired details.

"Madison, a casual, menswear-inspired woven striped jacquard in contrasting colors of chocolate, turquoise, and camel, a classic tailored appeal."

Misses: "Divine — our burnout velvet pieced ensemble did not get a very strong reaction."

Ellison 1st Asia

Kevin Finley, President

Hits: "Lyric was our best jacquard, with great colors like tomato and chocolate on a strie ground. Duchess Rose, an embroidery on shantung; Empress, a quilted comforter; 230 Fifth, a menswear look."

Misses: "Hippie Chic — it was young and perhaps too colorful; Garden Square, the least popular of our jacquards."

Croscill

Julie Brady, Office of the President

Hits: "Boulevard, a contemporary bed, is unusual for us, and it was priced right. Both Portland and Mirror Lake, a traditional and a transitional, were strong in our signature looks."

Misses: "Ming Blossom, we were trying to capture the organic trend and were maybe too far out."

Croscill

Jack Mahon, VP (window)

Hits: "Watermark, an apparel weight fabric in solid color texture, did very well. Coordinating printed sheers in a variety of patterns — and not just on plain voile; we're printing on novelties. Chenilles in solid colors in different constructions."

Misses: "A coordinate to Ming Blossom bedding — people didn't react to it in bedding, and we didn't get any reaction down at our end."

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