New York Readies for August Market

Carole Sloan, July 31, 2006

It's a first — an August home textiles market.

And the why's and how-can-they's have been sounding for weeks, if not months, with lots of crying towels being drenched.

— “It's too hot in New York in August.” Has anyone tried Vegas in July?

— “There's only been a couple of months since the April market” — the last official market for that month. The Home Fashion Products Association, voted to change the dates of both markets to accommodate the new reality of the home textiles world, off-shore sourcing, retail needs and calendars.

— “Retailers won't come to New York in August.” Our roll call of the majors and some not-so-majors showed that there's going to be a goodly number of customers coming to the city for the August market. By and large, it's the normal roll call of players coming in.

These folks are accustomed to Dallas and High Point, N.C., in blistering summer climes; and to typhoons and other watery pleasures across the big pond; and the delightful weather in Germany in January. So for some, New York in August could well be a lark!

Obviously, there had to be a shrunken time zone for a pair of markets. And the sooner done the better. So this year was the obvious one. Yes, it's been a tight squeeze for everyone, but it appears that most everyone will be ready or very close to ready when the Monday morning bell sounds.

And the interesting thing is that most of the supplier/exhibitors are adhering to the Monday opening. Of course, there are those, especially the New York metro-based retailers, that are planning market visits this week prior to the official opening. But few are setting dates for the weekend, and a number of players will not be open on Saturday or Sunday, or either day.

Post market, the critical thing will be analyzing the congestion load in showrooms as companies tighten appointment times for the five-day period.

Hopefully, by the time next week ends, everyone will be able to put away their very soaked crying towels. And if a change is really what you want, why not join the HFPA to really become a player in the marketplace? Sitting on the sidelines is not an effective tactic.

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