Land of opportunity

Heath E. Combs, Carole Sloan, October 28, 2002

It was a more than interesting International Home Furnishings Market in High Point this month. Lots and lots of stuff happening that will affect the home textiles marketplace, one way or another.

First, there was the clear path of fabrics, colors and patterns. But we'll talk more about this [see page 10]. It will definitely have an impact on all aspects of the home textiles business.

Then there was the extraordinary surge in offerings in bedding for all the hundreds of beds that are introduced as part of furniture collections every six months.

One of the horror stories in furnitureland is how beds are dressed on retail floors. Many look like the visual display people go to the nearest off-price retailer and take whatever is available to cover the mattress. And what winds up on the floor is some gross red and gold damask rag on a sleek contemporary $2,000 bed.

This market was different by far.

Company after company was showing off their bedding programs with all of the right pieces, including European shams, 20-inch bed skirts and the like as part of the package. And don't forget decorative pillows and a lot of other textile accessory pieces.

And this is in a segment of the home furnishings business that "typical" home textiles suppliers have avoided like the plague. "Too much trouble." "Special orders are a pain." "Don't have the sales force to take care of them." "We only deal with the big players." These are the typical home textiles comments about selling into the furniture store market.

Yet you home textiles folks, who are the ones that know the details, the manufacturing nuances, the sourcing and the fashion statements, have, for some reason or another, just walked away from some incredible business opportunities, just because it's a different type of business from what you deal with, day-in, day-out.

And you should see the opportunities in decorative pillows where sofas often are stacked six deep and at price points that would make a home textiles exec purr.

And these furniture folks don't have a clue about reverse auctions.

Maybe by April, some of you will take a peek at expanding your retail reach either via the manufacturing community or the retailers in furnitureland.

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See the May 2017 issue of Home & Textiles Today. In this issue, we discuss our annual Market Basket survey, which finds higher prices and more polyester at leading retailers. See details!