CPSC, WCSC CO-SPONSER NATIONAL WINDOW
COVERING SAFETY MONTH
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the Window Covering Safety Council (WCSC) again are joining forces to declare October National Window Covering Safety Month.
The month-long, nationwide campaign is designed to increase consumer awareness of cord safety concerns and to urge parents with young children to repair or replace pre-2001 corded blinds, shades and draperies with today’s safer products.
To simplify industry participation, the “Kids, Cords, Caution” safety slogan introduced last year will again be used as the unifying theme for the promotional campaign, as will the optional logo that depicts a child’s hand grabbing the cords of a window blind (see D&WC, August 2003, page 16; October 2003, page 48).
The WCSC will carry out umbrella public relations and safety month marketing activities on behalf of the industry. This includes news releases and feature stories for the print and broadcast media, a special safety month page on the WCSC Web site and cooperative promotional efforts with safety, health and housing groups.
In addition, WCSC is providing artwork, ad templates and cord safety information for reproduction and use by industry members and retailers in promoting the safety month. Materials can be downloaded at no charge from the Internet at www.windowcoverings.org/industry. Access requires a user name and password. The user name: Industry. The password: October.
Since 1995, WCSC has operated a national window cord safety information and education program. The council also provides consumers with free retrofit tassels, tie-downs and cord stops for older window coverings. Consumers can order free retrofit devices through WCSC’s Web site at www.windowcoverings.org, or its toll-free phone line at (800) 506-4636.
EXCITING WINDOWS! EXCEEDS PROJECTIONS
Exciting Windows! reports it has more than doubled its goal for signing up window coverings dealers by July 1. It says 13 dealers have joined its service.
Exciting Windows! is a brand of shop-at-home service that is featured under a window coverings dealer’s existing name as an added service. It provides dealers who now are selling commodity products a branded service to set themselves apart from competitors. Its two key points are no charge consultation and low price guarantees on products and tested and certified consultants qualified to sell both “hard” and “soft” window products.
The service was started by Steve Bursten and Steve Wishnow of custEmers.com after determining that advertising in the window coverings business has become commodity product and price oriented and intensely competitive. The brand is targeted to high-income customers who appreciate quality and service and are less price sensitive. The benefit to window coverings professionals is to attract better quality customers, to increase closing ratios and improve gross profits.
Part of the contractual services for dealers includes marketing, advertising, sales and business management training provided on an exclusive basis within a ZIP code territory.
WESCO'S TOP DESIGNERS TAKE THAILAND ADVENTURE
Denver, CO-based Wesco Fabrics escorted interior designers on an educational adventure to Thailand. The trip was a sales incentive based on 2003 sales.
The group island hopped and visited “James Bond Island” made famous in the movie “The Man with the Golden Gun.”
Dick and Marla Gentry took everyone to Bangkok’s most exciting Asian antique galleries, the Jim Thompson Museum and on a tour of one of Wesco’s high-tech fabric mills.
The company’s next sales trip will be to Bali.
HANES ADDS KHAKI SHADES
Hanes Fabrics Co., Conover, NC, has introduced khaki shades into four of its best-selling premium lining products: Classic Sateen, Cotton Deluxe, Pinnacle and Satinsheen.
The khaki shades offer a departure from the white and ivory drapery linings that are traditional in the linings industry. The warm, khaki color blends well with the earth tones that are popular in elegant face fabrics and provides an upscale alternative for custom window treatments.
Hanes Fabrics is a division of Leggett & Platt. It is a converter and distributor of premium drapery lining products, offering a broad range of high-quality cotton and poly/cotton linings, interlinings, sheers and blackouts for residential and commercial applications.
HUNTER DOUGLAS, HABITAT FOR HUMANITY REACH MILESTONE
Hunter Douglas Window Fashions, Upper Saddle River, NJ, in June
celebrated a milestone: 100,000 window coverings now installed in
Habitat for Humanity homes. The company has supported Habitat for
Humanity® International for 11 years, supplying custom window
coverings for the privacy rooms of every Habitat home built in the
United States and Canada. Many Hunter Douglas employees serve as
volunteers and administrators with Habitat affiliates and participate
in annual workdays.
The latest blind went into the home of Kimino Rutherford in Paterson, NJ. In addition to the homeowner, Jose Torres, Paterson mayor; Barbara Dunn, Paterson Habitat for Humanity executive director; Joe Jankoski, Hunter Douglas vice president of merchandising; and Steve Casale, Hunter Douglas vice president and controller of the Hunter Douglas Window Coverings Division, were on hand to witness the milestone.
LUTRON JOINS ENERGY-EFFICIENT HOME SPONSERSHIP
Lutron Electronics Co., Inc., Coopersburg, PA, has announced its sponsorship of the PowerHouse Home, a state-of-the-art house that features energy-efficient construction expected to lower energy consumption by up to 60 to 70 percent.
Designed and built in Newton, IA, by Alliant Energy and Zero Net, the home features Lutron’s RadioRA® home dimming system and Sivoia QED™ automated shade and drapery system, both of which are energy-efficient lighting control products.
The PowerHouse Home will be the first of its kind to utilize a revolutionary new building system with enhanced energy, structural and environmental applications. Design of the home began in 2002.
“Installing lighting controls and a shade and drapery system in this home is a perfect fit for its energy-efficient theme,” said Michael Smith, director, distributor sales.
The 3,030 square-foot PowerHouse Home features five-bedrooms and three and-a-half bathrooms.
In addition to Lutron Electronics, energy-efficient product and service partners include DuPont Corian, Kohler Co., Maytag Corp. and Pella Corp.
DURALEE FABRICS EXPANDS OVERSEES
Duralee Fabrics, Ltd., Bay Shore, NY, has opened new corporate
showrooms in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Hong Kong. These
two showrooms are the company’s first entrée into corporate
representation overseas. It will be supplying designers and specifiers
with more products in these regions than any other U.S.-based fabric
company, it says.
The UAE showroom in Dubai opens September 22. It will be managed by Arij Jandali. The Hong Kong showroom will open in October. Dora Chow has been appointed showroom manager, and Ruth Chen will become regional manager for Duralee Asia.
SUNTECA ADDS NEW FABRICATORS FOR DECOMATIC LINE
Sunteca Systems Inc., Leetsdale, PA, announces new fabricators
for its Decomatic‚ vertical blind system. Each fabricator offers
the entire line of Decomatic verticals.
The new fabricators are: Blind Builders USA, Inc., Brooklyn, NY; Chateau Enterprises, Sacramento, CA; Chicago Shade Makers, Alsip, IL; John Dixon Co., Beachwood, OH; K.M. Manufacturing Co., Cincinnati, OH; Private Label Blinds, Amherst, NY; South Florida Vertical Supply, Inc., Pinellas Park, FL; Tech Styles Window Coverings, Oxnard, CA.
SURFACES 2005 ADDS WINDOW, WALL COVERINGS PAVILION
Surfaces 2005 is poised to be one of the biggest shows to date
offering more products and services, a bigger selection of suppliers
and better opportunities for floor covering professionals at the
show scheduled for January 26 to 28 at the Sands Expo & Convention
Center in Las Vegas, NV. And this year something special has been
As retailers look to expand profit centers in their stores, many are adding product categories to capture more of the consumers’ attention. To aid them in this and respond to the growing demand for these products, Surfaces will introduce its first Window/Wall Coverings Pavilion. Retailers will find many new and returning window and wall covering suppliers participating in this important new feature.
Hanley Wood, LLC, the show’s producer, says the show is 85 percent sold out—a five percent increase over this time last year. “Preliminary indications point to another exceedingly successful Surfaces trade show for 2005,” says Chris Davis, CEO, World Floor Covering Association (WFCA), official sponsor of the show. “Business is solid, optimism is high and is likely to sustain into the foreseeable future. All levels of the distribution channel are reporting healthy results and plans are in place for new product introductions and innovative marketing initiatives.”
Surfaces also is seeing a significant increase in international companies that either have not been in the United States before or have participated in other shows now making the shift to Surfaces. The 2005 show will have a much larger international presence and many more products represented by China, Italy, Mexico, Spain, Brazil, Turkey and many other countries.
Close to 40,000 floor covering professionals are expected at Surfaces 2005 to wander the 500,000 net square feet of exhibit space. Plus, Surfaces 2005 will again feature education and prime networking opportunities. An all-new conference program will offer 40-plus seminars and workshops with topics and practical information that can be put to use right away.
EARLY AMERICAN INTERIOR DESIGN FEATURED IN ANNUAL LECTURE SERIES
The Maryland Historical Society (MDHS), Baltimore, MD, and the
Baltimore Civil War Museum are offering a variety of educational
programming for fall 2004 and winter 2005. Its Third Annual Signature
Lecture Series will feature nationally prominent scholars on a variety
of subjects including early American interiors.
“Lights, Color, Action: A Lively Look at Early Americans Interiors” will be led by Elisabeth Donaghy Garrett on Thursday, February 17. Garrett is vice president at the Strawbery Banke Museum. She will examine the material culture of the early American period and discuss early American homes, their interiors and the people who resided therein, with a focus on their taste for light, color and pattern. Garrett is the author of “At Home: the American Family 1750-1870” and will delve even further into the lives of the people that lived the American Fancy movement.