More hits than misses for suppliers at market
GDA Staff -- Gifts & Dec, April 19, 2004
What's headed for store shelves this fall? Home textiles with strong color, dimensional weaves or prints, contemporary retro looks and Asian-inspired designs.
BALTIC LINEN COMPANY
Jane Berger, vice president, bedding
HITS: "A hit was our Logic comforter set, a multi-colored chenille, matte and shiny, modern geometric bed, which was colored right-on in shades of natural, wheat and straw. It is sharply priced and has pieced styling on the shams, and the comforter features accent flat cording.
"Also a hit was Prestige, a chenille in architectural motifs, colored in shades of sage and wheat. The design is more traditional master bedroom looks. The cut-and-sew makes it look modern. The fabric and styling is the main event with only trimmings on the decorative pillows.
"The hit from (our) opening price point (offerings) was Capri, which is an aloe-colored piece-dye jacquard bed-in-a-bag. It has a master bedroom look, great value and circular motifs."
MISSES: "Our luxury comforter set, Retro, is a pieced jacquard that features micro-fiber quilting and solid-textured chenille accents. It was too whimsical and fun for the price point. Our miss for our opening price point jacquard offerings was La Brea, which is piece dye in a patina colorway. Maybe the color was too uptown for the promo price point."
Dianne Morris, president
HITS: "Some of the hits included Roundelay, Stratton Hall and Prism. Roundelay was a jacquard with a beige, aqua and brown color scheme offering a new motif that is very fresh looking. Stratton Hall was a high woven jacquard in black and ivory with an overscale woven floral center with a four-inch black frame surrounded by a dimensional lattice accent. This was a very dramatic custom-looking master bedroom pattern. Prism was a basic hookweave with pastels woven into the pattern for a really useable look."
MISSES: "Savoy, a rich paisley in browns and orange with accents of houndstooth and microsuede was lovely but a miss, because we've already sold our customers this look."
BIEDERLACK OF AMERICA
Peter McCabe, executive vice president
HITS: "The home run was the Pet Lovers collection of novelty pillows and throws. We had a wonderful reaction to our new printed raschels, especially the sports themed and the Hautman Brothers looks. On the jacquard side, we had a hit with the Child's Play and the Kitty Kuddle Wrap. In blankets, we had a terrific response to our Modal rayon blanket. That was really well received."
MISSES: "The only miss was the Tradewinds collection of Chinese characters with English translations. It just didn't click."
CHARLES D. OWEN DIVISION OF SPRINGS INDUSTRIES
Brian Munsey, vice president, licensing and marketing
HITS: "All of our designer collections; Tommy Hilfiger, Kate Spade, Court of Versailles and Crabtree & Evelyn were major hits. So was the new throw assortment."
MISSES: "In the Wamsutta line, our acrylic reversible bed blanket failed to make the cut."
CROSCILL HOME FASHIONS
Patrick Clemente, assistant product manager, bath accessories
HITS: "Our number one hit was Verbena, a contemporary floral on sculptural earthenware shapes. The Jonathan Adler range was also widely popular, particularly the fresh colors of Signature Lacquerware and Stripes.The textured Salsa and three-tone Shadesmetal ensembles had strong reactions, too."
MISSES: "Our Habitat accessories became an endangered species for lack of customer reaction. And our Renaissance accessories did not live up to our expectations."
Toby Weinstein, vice president, sales and marketing
HITS: "Our use of contemporary and traditional in the same setting was a major hit. In our Dakotah dec pillow line, a key focal point was our use of different fashion textured solids to bridge the two. Green Tea, our solid tweed texture from spring was a major hit in our new fall colors. We used an opulent textured stripe, Treasure, as a fashion solid to pop different color stories. Our classic Zulu animal skin combo is like the energizer bunny — it continues to work, not only in our exotic collection, but also for our contemporary and traditional groups. There was great excitement in the three-color stories from our Bohemian Rhapsody collection. Strong patterns with many paisleys, paired with great trims, made this a standout group. Our entire collection of Tweener Conversational pillows continues to be strong, including the new ones that move up in age. In our Echo dec pillow license, we scored a hit with the Craft Show collection for the 20- to 30-year-old crowd and nostalgia for those who experienced the '70s.
"In Dakotah bedding, Sweet Georgia is a definite hit with its floral tapestry that resembles crewelwork. It has a mix of patterns and strong colors on a crushed fabric ground. Luna, a neutral, was a hit in the contemporary class."
MISSES: "The one noteworthy miss we had was our English Damask collection. The colors were too subdued and monotone, and the group didn't fit a niche."
Dick Gould, vice president, national sales manager
HITS: "Our hits were Malibu jacquard spring floral in royal blue and sherbert, Portola dobbie coordinate to Malibu and embroidered floral designs."
MISSES: "Our misses were embroidered vegetable designs, embellished silk Wonderland, Bamboo Patch jacquard bamboo design and Keefer dobby coordinate to Bamboo Patch."
HOLLANDER HOME FASHIONS
Glenda Heffer, design director, fashion bedding
HITS: "The Fiesta Latina line was a huge hit this market with the vibrant colors of Mosaic and Fiesta Siesta being the most popular ensembles. These designs proved to have a broad appeal beyond the Hispanic market for which it was geared.
"In our Crossroads collection, Topaz and Marangu created a lot of excitement by capturing a unique global and exotic feeling. Hits in the Romantic Revival theme were Exotic Flora and Rose Court, which hit compelling price points for the elegant looks displayed. In the Urban Oasis theme, Metro and Silver Streak got a great response by adding just the right modern touch to this category."
MISSES: "The Urban Blossom duvet cover received mixed reviews. The embroideries and accents are progressive designs hinting at the design possibilities for the future of fashion bedding."
HOLLANDER HOME FASHIONS
Beth Mack, senior vice president, basic bedding
HITS: "Supersides density pillows, because they are unique with a purpose. Elegant Sleep puffball pillows provide a great value for a luxury product. Soft Touch Puffball has a great feel at a great price. Orders have been placed from market for Cuddleroll Minis."
MISSES: "Modal as a double cover was a miss. The consumer needs to see it in other areas before it is known in pillows."
INTERNATIONAL HOME FASHIONS
Tedd Smith, vice president, sales and marketing
HITS: "Our cotton blankets were really strong. Our mercerized cotton did extremely well, and so did our sherpa, both as a blanket and a throw."
MISSES: "We had a couple of wools, a blend and an all-wool that were disappointing. They got very little reaction."
LAWRENCE HOME FASHIONS
Gail Walfish, merchandise manager
HITS: "Our big hits were Retrospect, a black and white jacquard with a modern '60s motif; Area, a menswear-inspired geometric woven jacquard ensemble, cut and sewn with corduroy and embellished with leather belt buckles; Cachet, an Asian-inspired asymmetrical patchwork design; and Genoa, a master bedroom multi-colored floral jacquard in spice colors.
"Another big hit was the Aura collection, an exquisite range of sophisticated duvet covers in luxury count textured fabrics with accessory pillows."
MISSES: "Out of 17 beds, we only had one real miss, Palazzo, a medieval patchwork design, using faux suedes and dark herringbone-textured cloths."
Merle Johnson, vice president, marketing
HITS: "The Modern Elements and Urban Sleeks collections were big hits at market. And Rosabel Paraliticci's collection, aimed at the Hispanic market, was also a hit."
MISSES: "Our new patterns in Natural Touch collection were misses."
PENDLETON WOOLEN MILLS
Bob Christnacht, manager, Pendleton Home
HITS: "Our Summer Dreams awning stripe was really well received. We had it on a bed and everybody loved it. And our Easy Care Block Plaid was another big hit."
MISSES: "The big miss was our Desert Flower bedding group. We have to go back and re-work the colors. The blue really didn't work."
Jeff Chilton, vice president and national sales manager
HITS: "We enjoyed a high level of interest in our launch of the Jockey brand of basic bedding. Buyers appreciated the thought that went into our marketing and merchandising strategy."
MISSES: "Our lineup of satin basic bedding products received mixed reviews. We are going back to the drawing board to add different colors to our comforter assortment."
Janis Meek, director of merchandising and product development
HITS: "Tuxedo collection: 400-count Egyptian cotton sateen sheets with a brushed finish for extra soft hand and triple pintucked cuff in a 10-color, mid-toned palette. This worked because of the extra soft hand, pintucked cuff, and fashionable, but saleable, color palette. Also, the coordinated comforters and quilts created instant merchandising for the buyers. Hepburn collection: a combination of cotton velvet and SilkAllure in tonal colors with bow accents. The comforter has a wide placket of SilkAllure with bows that tie for accent. Matching throws, dec pillows and the Black Tie window made this a story that will be picked up across multiple products.
MISSES: "Jardin Comforter. The last of the sateen print comforters was totally reversible with a russet top-of bed to ivory ground reverse. We wanted a bold red bed, but we compromised on the color and the print was too Jacobean for our customers."
Jim Barnes, vice president, sales and marketing
HITS: "Our printed raschel throws line was really successful, and the printed high-pile throw was also well received. Our new stadium blanket was very well received as an alternative to fleece."
MISSES: "The negative was a printed bedspread. It didn't get much of a response."
Dan Harris, vice president, marketing and product development
HITS: "Revere Mills had another very strong market. The trend continues toward new ideas, specialty fibers and constructions for towels to keep interest in the category that is not just price-driven. Revere Mills' strong investment in the Naturally Soft-Twist towel fabric from India has grown to three total ensembles. The newest in this category is "Royal Indulgence," a 30-by-58 inch, 18.5-pound (per dozen) bath towel. These super-soft towels from India are made without polyvinyl alcohol, which is becoming a concern."
MISSES: "One fiber that has not caught on, as it has in Europe, is modal. Whether the mix is 50 percent modal and 50 percent cotton, or 70 percent modal and 30 percent cotton, or 100 percent modal loops, it will take a little longer to get the U.S. consumer to really understand its value in a towel."
THOMASVILLE HOME FURNISHINGS
Joyce Post, design director
HITS: "Out of 11 beds in the showroom, seven were hits. They included Eternity, an overscale botanical on an ottoman matelasse; Debussy, an Old English tapestry and floral combo; Tea Garden, an overall tapestry of carnations and peonies; Valencia, a paisley on a spice ground with pistachio and champagne accents; Camelot, an updated Jacobean look in blossom pink and apple green; Jamboree, a geometric quilt pattern; and Jewel, a Mascioni-inspired chevron pattern in silky chenille velvet."
MISSES: "A few of our misses were in the very contemporary range, which was not our forte, at least for this past market. These patterns were Radiance, a Japanese kimono-inspired jacquard; Denali, a printed chenille look that is kilim inspired; Carnaby, a '60s op-art look in copper and brown or acidic blue and green; and Granada, an abstract contemporary masculine look in chenille and polyester."
TRENDEX HOME DESIGNS INC.
Lorraine Ragland Maberry, vice president, sales and merchandising
HITS: "Hyde Park and Tribeca jacquards were hits. These are more sophisticated designs. Hyde Park is a stylized bamboo motif, and Tribeca is a modern geometric. Both patterns are available in nine great colors. Also, napkin rings were hits. We now carry over 100 styles of napkin rings, and continue to introduce more. This market we introduced 10 new patterns from traditional to funky."
MISSES: "Printed suedes. Customers did not like the unbacked mats, and we may have been a little early with some of the colors."
UNITED FEATHER & DOWN
Becky McMorrow, marketing manager
HITS: "Joseph Abboud 400-count logo design-print bedding collection (down pillows, blankets and comforters in white, ivory and gold). Fully reversible color down bed-in-a-bag ensembles, which include reversible down comforter, Easy-On shams and bedskirt. Lyocell Down, our patented blend of natural lyocell fiber and Freshness Assured Down in new lyocell covers. PrimaLoft Elegance, the luxury down alternative that's softer, even more down-like and easier to launder. Kocuchi neck roll and fun huggable pillows."
MISSES: "An assortment of animal print-covered pet beds that was too wild for the market."
Vive von Walstrom, director of design and marketing
HITS: "In sheets, our biggest hit was a collection of new prints and new solid colors that we added to our 200-count CVC sheet sets. In towels, our biggest hit was the Everyday Embellished group made in Turkey and featuring honestly usable, really washable embellishments."
MISSES: "In sheets, our biggest miss was a collection of trimmed 300-count sateens, which were priced too high for the market. In towels, our biggest miss was a collection of highly hand-embellished guest towels in two packs. They were too highly priced in this very price-sensitive environment."
Dale Talbert, vice president
HITS: "Our biggest bedding hits were Castaway, Simone, Serrano, Malibu and Sencha. Castaway was a suede-like contemporary design with a hand-stitched diamond motif. Simone was a lovely double woven pattern with beautiful feather and appliqued accents on dec pillows. Serrano was a contemporary cotton woven bed in burnt orange tones with leather basketweave accents. Malibu had a raffia-like fabric with a Greek key accent and distressed leather euros. Sencha was a pieced cotton bed with embroidery and silk ribbons."
MISSES: "Patina, a medallion jacquard in cinnamon tones with highly embellished dec pillows and trims, was a miss because nobody bought it. We're just comforter pimps here, and no one liked this bed. Maybe it was a little too dark."
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