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Fall market goes ahead as planned

The fall New York Home Textiles Market will go forward on schedule next month.

That's the word from the Home Fashions Products Association, whose president noted that canceling or postponing the show would play into the hands of the terrorists who hoped to disrupt American business with the Sept. 11 attacks on New York and Washington.

"Our president, our governor and our mayor have asked everybody to get back to work," said Park Smith, HFPA president and chairman of Park B. Smith Ltd. "I can't believe that anyone would even consider [delaying the market]."

The New York Home Textiles Show, held at the Jacob Javits Center here, also will come off according to plan, from Oct. 12 to 15.

"Many of our exhibitors and attendees have inquired about our plans. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and rescue workers involved in this terrible tragedy," said Penny Sikalis, GLM vp and group manager. "However, we have decided to heed President Bush's and New York mayor Guiliani's directive to move forward and to continue with business as usual. As the Javits Center was unaffected by the damage to the buildings in lower Manhattan, our efforts in the coming weeks will continue to focus on bringing a solid group of attendees to the shows and delivering a strong market to participants."

Many vendors are expressing support for holding the market as scheduled.

"The scare won't keep buyers away. In New York City things will calm down, and the country emotionally will, too," Bud Frankel, ceo and president, The Arlee Group, New York. "We are looking forward to a tremendous market week."

To cancel or delay market, some suggest, would be to knuckle under at a time when U.S. business needs to make a show of strength.

"If we allow fear to grip us, then these terrorists have succeeded in doing what they set out to do — upset us and force us to change our lifestyle," said Rick Lipton, national sales manager, Creative Bath Products Inc., New York. "I'm not saying a new shower curtain or wastebasket is the most important thing. But let's do our best to carry on with our lives as normally as we can."

Town & Country's Judy Neu, design director, decorative pillows, concurred: "I just don't think anyone will allow this to affect market. We are resilient and will not allow it to affect us, maybe as an act of defiance."

Others in the industry noted that market week has the potentially beneficial effect of helping people refocus after the tragedy.

"I think market should and will happen as normal. We need to go on and get back some kind of normalcy in our lives," Steve Mazarakis, president, Hellenic Rug Imports, Brooklyn, NY.

The view at Revere Mills' showroom in New York is similar. Said Dan Harris, vp, marketing and product development, "The October market is going to happen no matter what."

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