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Cecile Corral

Retailers Set August Dates

Most Suppliers Open to Early Arrivals

New York — As if the shift from October to August for the biannual market did not create enough upheaval in the home textiles community, the Home Fashion Products Association's recent schedule change for the New York Home Textiles Market to Monday (Aug. 7) through Friday (Aug. 11) — instead of the usual Friday through Thursday stretch — has left suppliers and retailers wondering what to do.

Some are sticking to tradition, others are adamant about adhering to the new agenda, and then there are quite a few stuck in the gray area — straddling a little of the old and some of the new time frame.

Like many of his retailer peers, Bill Kendall, vp, textiles for Dallas-based Tuesday Morning, wishes everyone would get on the same page.

“If they are going to make a change in the schedule, then the industry should adhere to it,” said Kendall, who is coming to market with his team that Sunday through Friday. “If not, then two things will happen. Some retailers will call in to come Saturday and Sunday to see vendors for special meetings. That will force the vendors to be there, and so they are going to call other retailers to offer them weekend appointments as well, to make the most of their own time. And since they would have seen all of their customers early, the vendors will all leave by Tuesday. Meanwhile, the rest of us have to stay through Friday.”

He noted that he does “empathize with the vendors and understand they'll see retailers when necessary because they don't want to lose business” in this highly competitive time.

But he added that nonetheless it is to the industry's advantage to be uniform. “We should all stick to the new schedule to avoid confusion. If we all decided we don't like the new days, we can always change back.”

Costa Mesa, Calif.-based Anna's Linens is “following the new rules,” said Peggy Galvin, senior buyer, who will arrive Sunday night and leaving Friday of market. She said she thinks the new schedule is a “smart idea” considering the dearth of benefits from airlines for Saturday stayovers.

As for possibly missing out on early exclusive programs with key suppliers, she said that isn't a concern. “Everyone wants to be first, and if you are a big retailer you've already done your previews before market anyway,” she said.

On the supplier side, many said they prefer to adhere to the Monday through Friday schedule, but will be available over the weekend to accommodate any special requests from retailers.

That group does not include Barry Leonard, president and ceo of New York-based Glenoit Universal. He is in a small group of suppliers who are adamant about abiding by the new schedule, and not leaving an open window for potential weekend drop-ins.

“We will absolutely not be open over the weekend,” he said. “We feel that customers have a week to get in to see us and we're anxious to show what we have, but we're adhering to policies the association put in place and I think it is important everyone do the same. People have too much going on with their families, and they should be spending their weekends with their kids, especially during the summer.”

Another supplier, CHF Industries, also indicated it would firmly hold to a Monday start.

For a better idea of when some non New York-based retailers have plans of attending market, here is a list with their agendas:

Anna's Linens: Sunday through Friday

Big Lots: Sunday through Friday

BJ's Wholesale: Has not yet decided if attending

Boscov's: Saturday through Wednesday

Costco: Unable to attend; conflict with corporate meeting.

Expo Design Center: Thursday and Friday

Fred Meyer: Some buyers arrive Saturday, others Sunday; stay through Friday

Gottschalks: Saturday through Wednesday

Home Depot: Soft flooring buyers Tuesday through Thursday

HSN (Home Shopping Network): Sunday through Friday

JCPenney: Monday through Friday

Kohl's: Sunday through Friday

Meijer: Sunday through Wednesday

Mervyns: Sunday through Thursday

Sears: Attending; no arrival or departure dates set at press time

ShopKo: Tuesday through Thursday

Stein Mart: Sunday through Thursday

Tuesday Morning: Sunday through Friday

Value City: Sunday through Thursday

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