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Showtime exhibits bright outlook

The economic tide has turned if exhibitor reactions to Showtime here last week are any indicator.

The mood of the market was especially upbeat, with the majority of exhibitors reporting enthusiastic response to newness and innovation.

While attendance was down slightly — due in part to weather concerns — the reported improvement in November and December business buoyed the feeling of those in attendance.

"The reaction to our line was terrific. People are pretty positive about business ,and many had a reasonably good November and December, which affected attitudes," said Larry Liebenow, president and ceo, Quaker Fabric.

Similarly, Jack Eger, vp, Craftex, said "Business has been great, especially retail, top of the bed and pillows."

He added, "We had a lot of success in our mid-range goods, as well as the upper end with jobbers."

"There's a renewed interest in new looks; we had very positive interest," said Tom Forrester, president, Golding. Part of the interest came from the combined efforts of Golding with Swift for denims and Dan River for yarn dyes.

Noting that both furniture and top of the bed elicited strong interest, Tom Finneran, vp, Cone Jacquards, attributed some of this to the fact that "our design team is very focused."

Roger Burnim, vp, Concord Home, remarked, "The interest level for new looks is back again. People were here because they needed to be — to find new."

While the mood and interest level were strong, exhibitors agreed that Showtime is basically a sample ordering event, although some orders were written.

And many echoed the view of Jill Liebson, president, QF Industries, who said, "They have to change the dates so they don't keep conflicting with the biggest textiles show in the world — Heimtex. I've written ITMA, called and talked personally — but no one pays attention."

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