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Sales Down Across Categories

For most of the category leaders in HTT's annual Top 5 Suppliers rankings, 2008 was a year of sales declines that ranged from tolerable to profound.

Bath accessories: Sales declines for all major players.

Bath rugs: Three companies flat, one decline, one new entry — Faze Three USA, the U.S. division of the Indian company, which replaced Bacova Guild on the ranking.

Bath towels: Three decliners, two gainers.

Blankets: Three decliners, two gainers.

Comforters: Three decliners, one gainer.

Curtains/draperies: One flat, three declines and one gainer, newcomer to the ranking Ellery Homestyles. Also of note: S. Litchtenberg moved into the top spot after nipping at CHF's heels for several years.

Decorative pillows: A relative healthy category, as it turned out. One decline, two gains and two new entries: Spencer N. Enterprises, which joins the ranking in the No. 2 spot; and Westgate/HFI, which comes aboard as No. 4.

Down and down alternative comforters: Three down, two up.

Foam pillows/toppers: Only one company reporting a sales decline, four reporting gains.

Kitchen textiles: Two flat, two with increases and one new to the chart — 1888 Mills, which replace Style Lab (formerly AvonHome).

Mattress pads: All leaders down, three of them by double digits.

Rugs: Suppliers in this category also performed above the norm, with two reporting flat sales, two logging gains and one posting a sales decline.

Sheets/pillowcases: Welspun was the only category leader of the five to gain this year.

Shower curtains: Four out of five with declines, one with sales growth.

Sleep pillows: All but Louisville Bedding lost sales.

Table linens: One decline, two slight gains, one flat and one new to the ranking — W-C Designs, which debuts at No. 4.

Throws: Declines for all save chart newcomer Ellery Homestyles.

Springs and WestPoint Home — each of which retrenched in 2007 from domestic manufacturing to off-shore production — show up in the largest number of categories: 10 for Springs, four for WestPoint Home. In every instance the companies posted double-digit sales declines.

Royale Linens/Yunus posted the largest sales gain — up 116% in comforters. The jump represents an emphasis the long-time sheet supplier placed on ensembles last year.

Despite the calamity that befell so much of the industry last year between liquidations of Linens 'n Things, Mervyns and Value City, six companies managed to make double-digit sales gains.

Sunbeam bumped up 11% in blankets; Ellery Homestyles, up 35% in curtains/draperies; Arlee, up 11% in dec pillows; Blue Ridge Home Fashions, up 21% in down/down alternative comforters; Hudson Industries up 16% and Sleep Studio up 25%, both in foam; and Welspun up 12% in sheets.

Taking Share Top sales gainers by percentage

Category % increase
Royale Linens/Yunus Comforters 116%
Ellery Homestyles Curtains/draperies 35
Sleep Studio Foam pillows/toppers 25
Blue Ridge Home Fashions Down/Down alt 21
Hudson Industries Foam pillows/toppers 16


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