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End of an era: Seidman issues final newsletter

Danbury, Conn. -Every week since 1951, Seymour Seidman has sat down at the typewriter to compose an industry update on the latest doings in sheets, towels and home textiles retailing. This week, Seidman issued his 3,100th and final newsletter.
The Seidman News Bulletin -written on a typewriter and mailed via U.S. Post up to the last issue - began life as The Wamsutta News Bulletin when Seidman was a merchandise manager at the now-defunct mill.
"We've been keeping track of the industry for all those years," Seidman told HTT last week.
In addition to tracking U.S. government data on home textiles production - before the collapse of American mills rendered such reporting moot - the Seidman News Bulletin weighed in on new product introductions and store programs. Its editor did not hesitate to share his view on any of it.
"It was useful for directing the retailer about what to put on the shelves," he said. "Buyers today aren't what they used to be. They don't have to be. They're logistics people."
Seidman, who will continue to do consulting work in the industry, said it's time for some sheet and towel manufacturing to return to the United States, but with the caveat that the product is distinct from import product.
"I would not make any product that's already in the store," he said.
Although he's seen many changes in the industry and evaluated thousands of products, merchandise displays and marketing campaigns, Seidman concluded it was time to put the newsletter to bed.
"It's a good time to decide on something when you're able, not when events force you," he told HTT.

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