Suppliers Expect Regional Focus at Hospitality Show

Carole Sloan, Staff Staff, November 9, 2009

Exposure. That’s a key word for many exhibitors at the International Hotel/Motel and Restaurant Show at the Javits Center here this week.

Exhibitors are expecting a smaller attendance base but more focused players from the Northeast. And a number of companies are showing both at the Javits and at their full time showrooms in the city, or simply at their showrooms with preset appointments already logged in.

New products created specifically for the hospitality segment of the contract business will be plentiful, with specific formulations and constructions in both bed and bath in the forefront of product introductions.

For WestPoint Home, “We’re excited about the opportunity for our institutional business, and while Javits may be lightly attended, we’re excited to have our name out,” said Geri Wetmore, vp, sales.

At Javits, the company is focusing on the new applications for its proprietary Staybright fade-resistant and bleach-friendly products for institutional uses and pool products.

The Javits show marks the debut of Peacock Alley in the hospitality arena. “Previously we have been reactive — hotels have come to us. Now we want the recognition that we are in the hotel industry. We’re looking to go forward,” explained Josh Needleman, vp, strategic sales. The company also has a well developed program of spa merchandise “that brought us attention for bed and bath,” he said.

In addition, a new product line keyed to affordable luxury in bed and bath including all-natural products is also featured this week. “These are being highlighted to create an awareness of our brand. But we also have an online business for hotel gift shops to tie into,” Needleman added.

“It appears from early responses to be a fairly well attended show, and we’ve moved our space to a more central location,” said Chad Altbaier, vp, sales and marketing, Downlite. “We’re seeing key customers.”

As for products intros, the company is featuring eco pillows, comforters, blankets and mattress toppers of post-consumer regenerated polyester as well as a new bed pillow construction with a new fill blend Primadown that is a 50/50 blend of Primaloft and down.

CHF Industries’ One Park Avenue launched last year with a traditional range of high-count bedding. It has expanded this year to new ranges: Innovation, high performance towels with enhanced properties using patented fibers; and Ovation, a new sheet that will last about twice as long as comparably speced sheets, said Frank Foley, ceo. Ovation also is a proprietary fiber using long staple Egyptian cotton with a wrinkle-free soft hand.

The rest of the presentation, Foley said, will focus on fashion and core products. “And we expect more traffic but the same kind of higher level people similar to what is happening at retail.”

United Feather & Down will show exclusively at its permanent showroom here, said Brandon Palmer, co-president, “and we anticipate softer attendance relative to recent years — but it’s still a good show.”

As for why the company is showing only in its showroom, “We think we can make a much stronger statement with our showroom,” which will feature the tie-in with the Borghese brand in personal care products. “We’re working on how we can package the line to hotel guests.”

At Baltic Linen, “although hospitality has been slow, the combination of health care, retail, and commercial laundry has enabled us to survive very well as a company,” said Adam Pinkow, regional vp, hospitality division, Baltic Linen.

He added, “We anticipate a very slow and regional show, but since we are heavily regional, we will see a lot of our best customers.”

The company will feature new beds and throws offering splashes of color against the widespread white beds.

“We’re featuring bed linens made in Italy, and we’re featuring prints explaining that prints make a fresh fashion statement,” said Manlio Zucchi, director of hospitality for Mascioni. In addition, the company is showing a new line of luxury bedding from Descamps, another of the Zucchi group companies.

Overall, Zucchi commented “there’s been a lot of postponing of projects because of the economy, but last year we came out with some good connections from the show, and there can be interesting contacts both at the show and outside,” he noted.

Pacific Coast Feather will showcase a small selection of its new and most popular hospitality items at Javits with a full assortment of new and core products at its showroom here.

The showroom presentation will focus on eco and eco-friendly products, including Natural Living using Ingeo fibers, and an expanded offering of Renova, a fiberfill that uses two-liter, recycled bottles, said Britt Rife, director of international hospitality sales.

The company is also launching a global training website and printed training manual in multiple languages, she added.

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