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Better Bedding Ready for Las Vegas

Despite the macro influences, manufacturers are hoping for a good, not great, market during the home furnishings market here this week.

For most home textiles suppliers, the show will be centered at the MGM Grand for temporary exhibitors, while others with product-specific lines will be in the specialty sleep pavilions outside the permanent show buildings of the World Market Center, and still others — permanent tenants — will be in the show buildings.

"We're very optimistic," said Lonnie Scheps, vp, Hudson Inds., who is looking forward to the company's new positioning in the specialty sleep group. "We've come off a very big '07, and we look for growth this year." The company has grown with "unconventional distribution channels" like the internet and catalogs, "since we can do fulfillment for them."

For Dream Fit, "If this Vegas show is anything like High Point in October and the last show here, we will continue to be blessed with wonderful traffic and orders," remarked Robert Pearce, vp of sales.

The focus at Southern Textiles, the bedding division of Leggett & Platt, will be on the upper end top-of-beds designed by Donna Kaiser. The two collections, New Generation for the hip, urbane customer, and Affluent for the more traditional consumer, will be the lead groups, said Richard Downing, division president. In basic bedding there will be six pillows to sell at a variety of prices and uses. And for the piece de resistance, there will be the L&P Starry Bed, "a $50,000 bed that will draw a lot of traffic."

New to the market here is Revman, which is featuring the luxury bedding collection from L'Erba, Rich Roman, Revman president noted. And it will introduce to this market its capabilities in internet marketing and fulfillment. Revman also will feature its Tommy Bahama bedding at the Lexington showroom to highlight a major Tommy Bahama launch.

"I'm cautiously optimistic," said Keith Sorgeloos, president of Home Source International, who noted, "In this economy our key customers are coming to us for affordable luxury." And based on results from the earlier Atlanta market, Sorgeloos reported, "Our bamboo and Microcotton styles brought our business up 25%."

The Kathy Ireland connection continues to be a strong point for Hallmart Collectibles, said Jesse Galili, vp. The new Kathy Ireland bedding collection is tied in with bath accessories, towels and wall coverings introductions, he pointed out. As for the business outlook here this week, Galili remarked, "Textiles buyers appear to be coming, as well as some international buyers — it continues to surprise me."

Ridvan Tatargil, president of Eastern Accents, is looking forward to a growth in business here noting "Our bedding business is picking up, and we're finding that customers that haven't bought from us for a while are coming back. They're looking for the delivery and not having to buy inventory because we produce here."

"We're catering to a market where customers have a resistance to price increases," said Jason Carr, president of window treatment and fabric resource Softline Home Fashions. As result, the company is introducing a broad range of new product — many with metallics and shine. Vegas, he noted, "is one of the best of our shows; we have established customers there."

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