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Market Buzz Builds in Las Vegas

Carole Sloan, Staff Staff -- Home Textiles Today, January 29, 2007

Home textiles exhibitors at the Las Vegas Market here see this market as a growing business opportunity, focused primarily on West Coast and Southwest customers.

And a number of home textiles companies are dipping their toes into this venue at the World Market Center and Pavilions for the first time, to try to tap into that segment of the retailing community. Among the newcomers are Eastern Accents and Home Source International, while previous exhibitors including Company C and Manual Woodworkers & Weavers have moved from temporary spaces to permanent showrooms in Building B.

"It's our first time, and we're very hopeful," said Ridvan Tatargil, president of Eastern Accents. "It is very useful to have a show on the West Coast" to cater to the many buyers that don't come to East Coast events, he said. Previously, the company showed in Los Angeles, "which is okay, a regional show — and it never was good in San Francisco."

Richard Downing, president of Leggett & Platt's top of the bed business said, "We expect a good show here, with especially good traffic among the bedding retail folks." For those retailers especially, he believes, "It's time for a change on their floors." Key for the company here are the MicroPlush mattress protector program, new bed pillows, and an extensive new range of decorative bedding.

"It's a ready-made market," said Jason Carr, president of Softline Home Fashions, whose company also is showing at the New York event this week. "We're featuring a lot more finished product — top treatments and pinch pleats as well as new pleated and crushed satin looks and new burnout velvets in fabrics."

With 37 shows a year on its agenda, Softline considers shows "as exposure — it's about leads and follow-ups rather than writing orders at shows."

Hallmart Collectibles sees this show as an opportunity to reach a diverse customer base from catalog retailers to decorators for model homes, and a variety of specialty retailers, according to Jesse Ghalili, vp sales. "And we understand there are a lot of customers from Canada and South America. Ninety percent of the buyers here never come to High Point," N.C., where the company has its main market, he said.

Home Source International, which is here for the first time, is utilizing part of the showroom space of its rep company, One Coast. While the company anticipates a number of high end, luxury retailers attending, "Our West coast reps have done the inviting," said Craig Benepe, president of Home Source brand. "We expect the show to be at least on a par with Dallas, and considerably better than Los Angeles."

"I'm very optimistic," said Lonnie Scheps, vp, Hudson Inds. "The show has built a good buzz, and we've been growing in the amount of business we do here. We've had a lot of definite responses to our invitation to visit."

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