• Andrea Lillo

Independent textiles group closes shop

NITRO, the National Independent Textile Retailers Organization, which was founded to give independent retailers feedback and support, has dissolved, said Thom D'Addario, vp of the organization.

The group was founded about eight or nine years ago, he said, and at its apex had almost 100 members. But over the past few years, membership fell drastically, said D'Addario, who is also general manager of The Linen Store, Delray Beach, FL.

The assorted merchandise focuses of its members, which ranged from promotional to high-end goods, made group buys — a potential benefit of such an organization — almost impossible, he said. And the typical small staffs of such retailers, sometimes with only a husband-and-wife team, couldn't devote the time or resources to visit the New York home textiles market, where the group usually convened semi-annually.

"As an independent, you don't have that corporate structure to get a feel for what's happening," D'Addario said, which was one of the benefits of NITRO.

As an alternative, the Home Furnishings International Association, Dallas, has invited former NITRO members to join its group. A not-for-profit trade organization with 2,000 members in 49 states, the HFIA caters its programs and services to small- to mid-sized home furnishings retailers. It also has a presence at High Point, NC; the Tupelo, MS, furniture market; and the gift shows in San Francisco, Atlanta and Dallas.

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