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Holiday Goods to Watch

Even in a retail season like this one, Home Textiles Today found some suppliers waxing bullish about key products they identified as potential winners for the holidays. Others offered more philosophical commentary.

Anchor Home Products

Frank Petronzio, president

This has been an interesting fall selling season. We need to be careful not to be paralyzed by fear in the marketplace. Be encouraged by the following quote by Mark Twain: "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."

Now is the time to press on and not be discouraged.

Arlee Home Fashions

David Frankel, president

Our Christmas has always been strong in tapestries. This year we added heat-transfers and jacquards.

Traditional looks are still core for us.

In our line Snowmen, Santas, Christmas trees and village scenes — anything pictorial — are always popular among our customers.

And it's mostly concentrated on decorative pillows and table linens.

Avanti Linens

Jeffrey Kaufman, president and coo

This holiday our best sellers include our "Botanical" collection, which has been strong all year. We're seeing strong sell-throughs in that.

Also strong for us right now is our Basketweave bath accessory collection, a group of woven stainless steel pieces available in several different finishes.

We're also seeing sales increases in our monogrammed fingertip towel collection. They make popular gift items.

Bardwil Linens

Nancy Kristoff, president

In our table linens category, our strength is our upscale brand, Lenox, which continues to sell well, even in this tough economy.

Bardwil Linens Lenox Bath Division

Linda Kulla, vp

The Lenox Holiday Nouveau ensemble (a holly pattern embellished with a red-and-green plaid ribbon and accented with gold metallic throughout) continues to be strong this year, with great sell-through at retail for the printed towels as well as the shower curtains, hooks and rugs. Also strong for us this month are our two-piece boxed fingertip towel gift sets in six Christmas motifs.

Elrene Home Fashions

Bryan Siegel, chairman and ceo

Even in these difficult times, we are receiving feedback that items with added value at reasonable costs are performing. We have also seen a strong trend towards traditional looks. Maybe a back-to-basics type of feel is emerging from the current world economic situation.

Foreston Trends

Dick Gould, vp sales

Our basic kitchen towels are selling very well for us. It's our basic, core items that are selling well now.

In terms of Christmas, we didn't have a huge line. But we do have a Snowman Plaid placemat that is selling very well in the mid-tier.

The John Ritzenthaler Co.

Elissa Vogt, vp marketing

Holiday looks in kitchen that are performing well this season are traditional motifs and colors designed with a novelty approach, for example our Santa, Elf and Naughty & Nice themes in true Christmas red and green colors.

Kitchen towel sets are also performing well.

Karastan Rugs

Anne Carley, director of marketing

Karastan offers two winter-themed rugs in its Holiday Accents collection: Holiday Wreath and Holiday Patchwork.Both are available for a limited time and are a clever way to encourage cash-and-carry business when customers are looking for unique gifts. The affordable, heirloom quality rugs are a Karastan holiday statement that can be enjoyed for years, making them a harbinger for good things to come.

Newport/Layton Home Fashions

Corey Faul, president

For us, solid-colored dec pillow two-packs, either in velvet or faux silk andin reds, greens and golds, are selling well this holiday.

What also continues to sell well for us are our heavier-weight chenille casual fabrics people use in their "great rooms," or large family rooms, at home.

Town & Country Living

Judi Alexander, vp of licensing and marketing

Our Disney children's apron sets are selling very well at retail.

Westgate

Neil Zuber, evp

Anything in red has been selling well for us, but that has always been the case for us. Red is just one of our top-selling colors and has been for a long time, whether as an embroidery, chenille or jacquard.

Also doing well for us are gift-type items, like our abstract and coastal motif looks. They may not be Christmas-y, but they make great gifts and they are trendy.

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