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Heimtex Americas narrows focus

A slimmed down Heimtexil Americas that focused only on decorative fabrics drew what exhibitors called a slimmed-down audience as well.

But interestingly, some of the American exhibitors had positive feelings about the show, despite the smaller visitor base. Said Rocco Simone, senior vp, sales and marketing for Sunbury, "This show is a very unusual thing for us. It's a very good show. We typically get the seven or eight companies we can't get to effectively in their home towns, and we personally visit with them here."

Similarly, Warren Leshen, president of Dukane Fabrics, noted, "There were a number of significant people there, and a bunch of closeout guys, which is our market."

But he was quick to observe that "the visitor base is a quarter of what is was three or four years ago. Basically, we're disappointed with the poor promotion of the show."

Most important, Leshen related, "The show is still good for me, but it is not like it used to be."

From a global perspective, Johnny Keeton, owner of Johnny Keeton Studios, which represented six companies from around the world said, "We weren't unhappy, but it could have been so much better. There were far fewer buyers than last time. But even Ashley Wilde set up a number of new programs, and some American suppliers looked at the off-shore sources for their products."

Keeton sees an opportunity for the show to be a "travelling fashion show for Latin America and South America tying in with the key fabric shows in places like Mexico and Brazil." For Hoffman Mills, "there were not enough exhibitors and visitors," said Alan Rodus, national sales manager. "We had a decent Sunday and saw certain key people, but beyond that it was not good." Another negative Rodus added was the American fabric companies that took hotel rooms nearby and came into the show arena to solicit customers.

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