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New York, Las Vegas Gear Up for Upcoming Shows

Carole Sloan -- Home Textiles Today, January 25, 2010

New York and Las Vegas – Expectations are fairly strong for the New York International Gift Fair, and slightly less so for the World Market Center show in Las Vegas, both of which begin next week.

Home textiles exhibitors at both events see a recovery from the mostly negative results of last year's events in both venues — but they are not completely bullish on the outcome.

The positive results from the Atlanta show are buoying their expectations for New York especially.

Some exhibitors, Home Source International among them, show at both events, as well as at the Atlanta and Dallas shows earlier this month. “We're optimistic – but it's so hard to gauge in advance,” said Scott Sorgeloos, vp, sales for Home Source. Looking at Dallas as an example, he said, “The first few days were very slow, but the show wound up really good.”

As for Vegas, “that's a show that can be so fickle, but we're optimistic for Vegas and New York in relation to the improvement in the economy.”

For Laurie Phillips, vp of soft line merchandising at Aico, “We've developed four bedrooms for the new Michael Amini/Jane Seymour collaboration, and we see opportunities for stand-alone retailers as well as furniture stores.”

“We're writing more business now versus last year and expect that this will continue in Las Vegas,” said Ridvan Tatargil, owner of Eastern Accents. “Maybe trade shows are coming back, and we're writing more business from our clientele — furniture stores and interior designers — but it's not back where it should be from two years ago. And hospitality is still slow.” As for attendance in Vegas, he feels there will be far more from the West than the East.

“I think both New York and Vegas will be upbeat,” said Cathy Stemmler, national sales manager for SDH, which exhibits at both shows. “Atlanta was really good and upbeat, and since the August show in New York was significantly higher we anticipate the same for this show.”

Sferra had a strong showing at Atlanta — “more than two times what we did in '09. It gave me a lot of optimism. I'm terribly excited about the upcoming New York market,” commented Paul Hooker, president.

In addition, Hooker noted that a lot of customers that visited in Atlanta are coming to New York to write.

Business overall is starting to get more active, said John Rose, co-owner of Textillery.

“All indicators are that our customers did very well with our products over the holidays, and as a result, lots of people are calling to say they're coming to New York.” In addition, he noted that hospitality is beginning to pick up.

As the result of the Atlanta show, which was good despite the closing of the airport for a day because of weather, Traditions by Pamela Kline is showing “a lot of linen in New York. The most response we had in Atlanta was to our Heritage Duvet, a straight-edge style with a small ruffle and big tortoise shell buttons,” said Shari Kline, president.

As for New York, it seems that a lot of people who didn't make Atlanta will make New York,” she commented.

Atlanta and Dallas were very good for Peacock Alley. People were upbeat and making strategic decisions about buying; there were fewer [holds for confirmation] than usual, said Krista Sonnier, director of business development.

“We're hoping New York will be the same and interestingly, many who were in Atlanta are also coming to New York.” Overall, Sonnier said, business has picked up. “We've made our goals and created items to add on to basics like throws and decorative pillows.”

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