Conso Trimmings, a division of the Wm. Wright Co., West Warren, MA, has revitalized its sales effort for this fall. As a result of its recent distribution focus and restructuring, Conso will be fully stocked with sample cards, catalogs and products.
In the last year the company has undergone a re-integration of sales and delivery, manufacturing and inventory systems. A key element in the effort has been the consolidation of manufacturing and distribution facilities, formerly based in Union, SC, to a new distribution facility in Tennessee (see D&WC, October 2005, page 16).
“A particularly strong focus of our revitalization of the Conso product and service initiative has been in our ability to get all products, samples and catalogs into the marketplace in a timely and dependable manner,” said Jerry Cohn, president and CEO of Wm. Wright Co.
Cohn was named the new president and CEO of Wrights in September 2006. He served as president of Conso before its merger with Wrights in 2005. Cohn brings more than 33 years of experience in consumer products development, sales and marketing, distribution and international sourcing to his senior leadership position at Wrights.
Conso also has announced a new collection of Raymond Waites products called Vintage Luxe. The line is due for release in January 2007 with sample cards scheduled for availability during the latter part of this year. Vintage Luxe is the first collection designed by Waites for the Conso brand.
In addition to its own product line, Conso sales representatives and distributors will have available the full staple of products of its sister company, Wrights. Wrights is well known in the retail craft market for its lines of bias tape, Boye knitting/crochet implements, EZ Quilting and Bondex iron-on products as well as its other staple ribbon, craft and apparel trim and appliqué lines.
HUNTER DOUGLAS INTRODUCES CENTURION CLUB TO RETAIL ALLIANCE PROGRAMS
Hunter Douglas, Upper Saddle River, NJ, has launched the Centurion Club, the newest and what it calls its most elite retailer alliance program yet.
Offered to current Gallery® and Showcase PrioritySM storefront dealers, the Centurion Club requires dealers to commit 100 percent of their window fashions business to Hunter Douglas in return for financial incentives and exclusive business-building programs, the company explained.
Centurion Club members receive rebates on incremental sales, top listing on the dealer locator, Windows To The World trip enhancements, exclusive promotions and participation in Hunter Douglas management meetings.
To qualify for the Centurion Club, existing Gallery and Showcase Priority dealers must be nominated by their fabricators and totally commit to Hunter Douglas with no competitive sample books, displays, samples, signage, advertising or information.
“The Hunter Douglas Retail Alliance Programs are based on the premise that the more a business commits to a company, the more benefits it will receive—the Centurion Club is the ultimate commitment,” said Jim Mathews, vice president of corporate marketing.
“All the programs—the Centurion, Gallery, Showcase Priority and Priority Dealer—were strategically developed to address the five key drivers of success—product mix, displays and sampling, advertising, training and education, and program participation—to help dealers realize significant business expansion and greater profitability partnering with Hunter Douglas, now and into the future.
“Our Retail Alliance Programs help dealers leverage the Hunter Douglas brand to attract more high-end consumers; create an impressive consumer experience that leads to more repeat and referral business and offers the support they need to drive sales; increase profits; and establish retail differentiation. The Hunter Douglas Centurion Club is the natural extension of the strategy we developed over a decade ago when the Alliance program concept was first conceived,” concluded Mathews.
INAUGURAL CREATIVE CAMP SLATED
The Custom Sewing Institute, owned by Susan Kostelecky, SK Designs, Houston, TX, announces its inaugural Creative Camp! weekend event for workroom fabricators February 9 to 11, 2007.
This hands-on, small group networking and educational event will be held in the central Texas countryside in Navasota. This event, which has limited seating, features Joyce Hernandez, Leslie Fehling, Gillian Wendel, Donna-Marie Lee and Susan Kostelecky as instructors. Attendees have the opportunity to create samples to present to designers or clients. Also featured is the Project Drapery Challenge. For more information, visit www.csisews.com.
WESCO CELEBRATES 60TH ANNIVERSARY
Wesco Fabrics, one the country's largest wholesale decorative fabric and window covering suppliers, celebrated 60 years in business this summer in Denver, CO. More than 500 interior designers and industry professionals attended the gala event, according to Dick Gentry, vice president.
B & W'S HORIZONS NATURAL SHADES NAMED FAVORITE ECO-FRIENDLY HOME PRODUCT
Environmental lifestyle expert Danny Seo has named B & W Mfg.’s Horizons Natural Shades as one of his favorite eco-friendly home products. Seo, an avid environmentalist who believes that "green living can be gorgeous living," promotes the concept by sharing products that support a beautiful, eco-friendly lifestyle. Seo named B & W’s Horizons Natural Shades on a segment of CBS’ Early Show on October 4.
“It is fantastic that Danny is showing people how to have a beautiful, environmentally-friendly home without sacrificing style,” said William O’Connor, CEO of B & W, Waukegan, IL. “B&W is proud to be part of the eco-design revolution.
“Our Horizons Natural Shades are made from highly renewable resources like bamboo,” explained O’Connor. “This allows consumers to have the beauty and warmth of natural wood in their home, while getting an eco-friendly, custom product that has been hand-crafted in our workrooms in Northern Illinois. It’s the way the company has been doing it for over 115 years.”
DESIGNER BLINDS TURNS 20
Designer Blinds, Omaha, NE, celebrated its 20th anniversary in August.
Established in 1986 by Lloyd “Woody” Woodworth, Designer Blinds has been known for its tradition of integrity and Golden Rule approach to working with customers, suppliers and employees. Today the company’s top-quality products service designers, decorators and retailers throughout the United States.
An exclusive, full-line Hunter Douglas independent fabricator, Marv Hopkins, president and CEO of Hunter Douglas, honored Woodworth by presenting him a Waterford crystal bowl and a framed proclamation.
ECLIPSE SHUTTERS ADDS FRENCH DOOR CUTOUT
Eclipse Shutters by Vinylbilt, Suwanee, GA, has introduced a French Door Cutout design option that can configure to a French door application. The new contoured design can accommodate the latest lever-style door handles, the company states.
The cutout option makes worry free installation possible with no more interference with a standard shutter panel on all lever-type handles. French doors now provide perfect form and function with the company’s traditional tilt bar and Clearview option, the company adds.
HUNTER DOUGLAS DIVISION CELEBRATES 20 YEARS OF SUCCESS
The Hunter Douglas Window Fashions Division celebrated its 20th anniversary at its flagship Broomfield, CO, facility in September. From a small start-up operation with 40,000 square feet of space, 52 employees and one product—the Duette® honeycomb shade—the company today employees 984 people and is situated in a 40-acre business park manufacturing thousands of custom window fashions a year.
Hurley Mitchell, president of the Hunter Douglas Manufacturing Group, and Rick Pellett, president and general manager, were recognized for their leadership and key roles in the growth of the division. Both men began there 20 years ago—Mitchell as plant manager for the newly created division and Pellett as controller of the Window Fashions Division.
NORMAN SHUTTERS FEATURED IN TAUNTON'S WINDOW TREATMENTS IDEA BOOK
Norman Shutters®, Santa Fe Springs, CA, has its products featured in the “Window Treatments Idea Book” just published by Taunton Press. The book showcases hundreds of designer images with the full range of window treatments available today. The shutter section focuses on the style and function advantages of shutters in various shapes and materials. Norman Shutters are highlighted as having a furniture-quality finish, French door cutouts and trim that replicates decorative molding, the company states.
Decorators Sue Sampson and Ellen DeLucia authored the book. Taunton Press publishes books and magazines that are sources of authentic, reliable information by practicing experts. The book is available at booksellers or directly from Taunton Press at www.taunton.com.
The Norman Shutters product family includes three distinct shutter lines to satisfy different segments of the marketplace: Sussex Shutters are completely customizable in hardwoods, Normandy® is an affordably priced hardwood option, and Woodlore® Shutters composite construction offers durable value.
LUTRON ADDS WIRELESS OPTION TO SHADE SYSTEM
Lutron Electronics, Coopersburg, PA, is making available wireless, radio frequency-based communication for its Sivoia QED roller 64 roller shade system when used as part of a HomeWorks whole-home lighting control system.
The Sivoia QED roller 64 system provides quiet control of both roller and Roman shades. When used with its HomeWorks total home lighting control system all of a home’s natural and artificial light can be controlled with one button or several.
Sivoia QED now features simplified low-voltage wiring. For power, each wireless Sivoia QED roller shade requires three conductors (for low-voltage power and earth ground). Power to the Electronic Drive Unit (EDU) within the shade is provided by a low-voltage transformer. Each EDU requires a dedicated transformer. Several transformer options are available, including: plug-in, junction box mount and power panel versions.
ANTEX DESIGNS TO BE ACQUIRED BY SWAPAN KATARIA & GROUP
Antex Designs Inc., Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, has reached a definitive agreement to be acquired by Swapan Kataria & Group. The acquisition puts Antex in a position to enhance its product offerings while strengthening its service and quality, according to a company statement.
The changeover is expected to be seamless for clients and suppliers of Antex, with little or no impact on the existing businesses, the company adds.
Kataria, the incoming president of Antex and formerly its vice president, is confident “the sale will benefit all parties, including customers, suppliers and associates while allowing for a clear and concise focus, to grow the core businesses. Antex will continue to be a leader in the home décor industry.” Kataria has spent the past 27 months gaining knowledge and developing an understanding of all business aspects with regards to the various functions involved in this transaction.
Antex Designs Inc. is a major North American custom drapery manufacturer and fabric wholesaler certified under the internationally recognized ISO 9001 Quality System. All current and existing Antex programs will remain in place and decorators can continue to call on Antex sales representatives or customer service for further information.