HUNTER DOUGLAS OFFERS REMAINING MERMET SHARES
Hunter Douglas, Upper Saddle River, NJ, is making a public offer
in September for the remaining shares of Mermet, which is listed
on the French stock exchange. Hunter Douglas purchased 91.8 percent
of Mermet and its global operations from the Mermet family in July.
Mermet is a leading manufacturer of glass fiber sunscreen fabrics.
It is headquartered in Veyrins, France.
Mermet had sales of EUR 51.2 million in 2004 and employs 360 people,
according to a statement released by Hunter Douglas. Mermet operates
two plants, in Veyrins, France, and Cowpens, SC. It has distribution
facilities in Melbourne, Australia, and Barcelona, Spain. Management
will remain unchanged, the statement said.
“The acquisition of Mermet strengthens our leadership position
as a premier supplier of solar control products to fabricators and
architects worldwide; the company will remain independent, operating
under its own brand name,” said Marv Hopkins, president and
CEO of Hunter Douglas Inc.
“Our company fits well with Hunter Douglas and will benefit
from its global distribution and marketing capabilities,”
stated Gérard Mermet, Mermet chairman.
ITA SIGNS AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR
ITA, Inc., St. Augustine, FL, has signed an agreement with Cedar
Industries, Queensland, Australia, to distribute two of ITA’s
most successful engineered wood window covering products throughout
the Australian market. The agreement covers Meridian Home® MikronWood
™ composite slats for horizontal blinds, and LaPlaya®
The agreement was reached after a months-long search by ITA for
a company that had the depth of resources, marketing and sales support
and established distribution network to develop the full potential
of the Australian market. At the same time, Cedar Industries had
been seeking a source for high-quality composite window coverings
to complement its extensive lines of natural wood products.
ITA Business Director Peter Wattiker noted that both companies concluded
they were a perfect match for this kind of business relationship.
COMFORTEX RECEIVES ARIZONA COMMERCE
Comfortex Corp., Maplewood, NY, was awarded the Arizona Department
of Commerce Arizona Advantage Award. The awards recognize the economic
development partners who make Arizona business growth possible.
Comfortex expanded its Phoenix facility to 45,000 square feet and
currently employs more than 175 (see D&WC, October 2004, page
18). The Phoenix facility fabricates the company’s line of
Woodwinds® Plantation Shutters and Wood Alloy Blinds, Basswood
blinds, Shangri-La® Sheer Horizontals and Comfortex Cellular
Shades. It also manufactures and distributes shutter and wood blind
RM COCO INTRODUCES NEW CORPORATE IMAGE
RM COCO, Cape Girardeau, MO, has transformed its logo and corporate
image into a more contemporary, eye-catching look as the company
prepares to introduce a new collection.
The new image includes a re-branding of the existing two fabric
collections and the addition of a third. For the next introduction
in September, three distinct collections will be available: the
Premier, the Classics and the first release of the COCO Colors collection.
COCO Colors is a collection of eight books, each arranged in shades
of primary colors.
“The management team and I felt it was time to match our corporate
image with the upscale nature of our products,” said Jim Rust,
HUNTER DOUGLAS DEALER VIDEO WINS NATIONAL
The Hunter Douglas Window Décor Division, Fort Lauderdale,
FL, was honored with a 2005 National Telly Award for its Somner™
Dealer Video. The video was created and produced by Twig Dzine,
Fort Lauderdale; the production house was Media Lab of Hollywood,
The Somner Dealer Video launched the new Somner Collection of custom
vertical blinds. It was among more than 10,000 entries from all
50 states and many foreign countries, the company says.
Founded in 1978, the Telly Awards honor outstanding local, regional
and cable television commercials and programs as well as video and
ROBERT ALLEN GROUP RELOCATES HEADQUARTERS
The Robert Allen Group, New York, NY, plans to relocate its offices
and design studios from 79 Madison Ave. to 11 West 42nd St. The
move is expected to be complete before the end of 2005.
The company has outgrown its current space, which it has occupied
for more than 15 years, and wants to significantly upgrade its corporate
office environment. The Robert Allen Group’s new headquarters
will occupy the entire 22nd and 28th floors at its new location.
TPG Architecture, New York, NY, has been selected to design the
“Our new corporate offices will reflect the creative energy
of our workforce in a manner compatible with the high aesthetic
standards of the design industry we serve,” said Jeff Cordover,
Robert Allen Group president. “The continued growth of our
business also necessitates larger quarters for our current professional
staff, as well as room for further expansion in the years to come.”
Cordover noted that two of the company's fabric design studios were
recently relocated from Massachusetts to New York City in order
to bring all its creative activity closer to the center of the design
world. The company’s marketing services department is also
being moved to New York.
The Robert Allen Group is a leading designer and marketer of decorative
fabrics and furnishings to the interior design trade.
BEKAERT INTRODUCES NEW FILM FOR ARCHITECTURAL
Bekaert, Clearwater, FL, has introduced the spectrally selective
Panorama® Hilite 70, a window film product specifically developed
to meet the sophisticated daylighting and solar control needs of
“Cutting-edge technology allows Hilite to block select wavelengths
of the sun’s unwanted radiation, while still transmitting
a high amount of visible light,” said Peter Persoone, senior
project manager of Bekaert’s Technology Center. It is being
marketed for homes and businesses.
Hilite is an optically clear, polyester-based glass coating that
is applied to a room’s interior glass surface through an exclusive
network of independent window film professionals. The product offers
warranty coverage of 12-years to lifetime.
HISTORIC PRESERVATION, MARKETING FORECASTS
TO HIGHLIGHT IFDA CONFERENCE
The International Furnishings and Design Association’s (IFDA)
2005 Industry Forum and Conference to be held September 28 to 30
in Boston, MA, will explore historic preservation, restoration and
marketing trends, with an eye to achieving business success in the
The conference, “Preserving Yesterday, Envisioning Tomorrow,”
will be held at the Omni Parker House Hotel. It kicks off with breakfast
speaker Charles Spada, a Boston-based interior designer. Over the
next two days four panel discussions will be presented: “Restoration
or Preservation: Look at Your Projects the Way the Experts Do”;
“Historic Influences on Furniture Today”; “Inside
the Consumer’s Mind: People’s Choices”; and “Envisioning
Tomorrow: Retail Trends.”
Luncheon speakers will include Jan Turnquist, executive director
of Orchard House, the Concord, MA, home of author Louisa May Alcott,
and Einar A. Eisner, executive vice president of South Cone Trading
Co., and Amy Smith, project director of PaTS will address “Green
Giants in Furniture.”
ASID SURVEY: HOMEOWNERS READY TO GO
Six out of 10 U.S. homeowners say they would consider integrating
sustainable design practices into a future home improvement project,
provided those enhancements were cost-competitive, according to
a recent survey commissioned by the American Society of Interior
Designers (ASID), Washington, DC.
The findings, results of a survey based on a representative sample
of 1,028 U.S. homeowners, suggest that the market for sustainable,
or green, design products and services for the home may be more
extensive than previously reported.
Sustainable design seeks to conserve energy, reduce waste and minimize
the use of harmful substances and non-renewable resources. A booming
area within the commercial building industry, sustainable design
for the home has been gaining the interest of the home design media
during the past several years but is generally assumed to appeal
to more affluent homebuyers and homeowners.
The ASID survey, performed by International Communications Research,
however, found that interest in sustainable design was almost as
strong among households with annual incomes of $25,000 to $50,000
as among those with annual incomes of $75,000 or higher.
CORRECTIONS AND CLARIFICATIONS
The company featured in the August 2005 D&WC Industry Profile
(page 68) was incorrectly identified. The company’s correct
name is Team B & B, Inc., 11920 W. Carmen Ave., Milwaukee, WI
53225. We regret the error.