BTX, Elero Form Alliance
BTX Window Automation, Inc., Dallas, TX, and Elero GmbH, Beuren, Germany, have announced an alliance that will result in a new entity intended to be a complete motorization source for what it estimates as a $5 billion interior window coverings market. The two companies will make their products and services available through BTX/Elero Motorization Supply. This new entity has begun supplying modular motorized components for roller and Roman shades as well as lift systems, its proprietary and customized controls, and drapery and vertical blind systems.
Elero is one of the largest manufacturers of tubular motors and associated controls and hardware in the world. It is a member of the Guenther Group, a diversified group of many manufacturing companies headquartered near Frankfurt, Germany. BTX is a subsidiary of BTX Holdings, Inc., Dallas, TX, that specializes in the automation of window coverings and shading systems and their integration in the rapidly developing home automation and building management markets.
"Motorization is growing rapidly, but window coverings professionals do not have a single, comprehensive source. They often cannot find everything they need to fabricate motorized systems," said Rolf Walter-Seifart, Elero president.
"Not only does this alliance offer one-stop shopping to the industry, but it combines German engineering with American ingenuity. We are committed to assisting the industry and making motorization successful," said Jon Vrielink, president of the company's U.S. operations.
Eclipse, American Hardwood Partner
Eclipse Blinds Group plc, Glasgow, Scotland, UK, and American Hardwood Co., Gardena, CA, have announced an agreement to supply wood blind components to the European market. Under the agreement, American Hardwood will be Eclipse's exclusive supplier for its Venetian line of wood blind components, which includes slats, bottomrails, valances, buttons and tassels, and fully coordinated hardware.
"While we have been selling directly to the European market for more than 15 years, we have always felt that the market would be best served with local inventory that is available on a quick-ship basis," said Sandy Gray, American Hardwood CEO. "With Eclipse's market leadership and distribution strength thoughout the UK and the rest of Europe, we have found the ideal partner," he added.
"As wood blinds have become increasingly popular in Europe, we saw a great opportunity to expand our market leadership from fabrics and plastics into wood," stated Bill Macdonald, Eclipse Group CEO. "We expect great things from this new relationship," he added.
Eclipse will make its Venetian line of wood components available from its distribution center in Glasgow, as well as from facilities in England, The Netherlands and Sweden. It plans to introduce the line October 11 to 14 at the British Blind and Shutters Show.
Hunter Douglas Launches Window Fashions Institute
Hunter Douglas Window Fashions has launched its Window Fashions Institute, the newest project from its Customer Education and Development Group, Bloomfield, CO. The institute comprises various of the company's product and design seminars including Insight: A Product and Design Fair; Premieres, a national introduction of new products (D&WC, September 1998); Discover: A Product Workshop Program; Design Concepts; Hunter Douglas Theater, conducted at trade shows; and fabricator training sessions. Window coverings professionals attending any of these programs earn credit in the Window Fashions Institute.
"The Window Fashions Institute affords the window coverings professional the opportunity of an ongoing education and enrichment progrms," said Lisa Zenner, director of the Instutite for the Customer Education and Development Group. "By attending seminars on topics ranging from design and color to installation specifics, the participant gains working knowledge that enhances business," she added.
For a $20 enrollment fee, the participant may earn a Hunter Douglas Product and Performance Degree and other awards based on the number of credits earned. Credit is offered on a one point per hour basis. There are four levels of performance incorporating eight, 16, 24 and 42 credits, respectively. Participants must maintain a minimum of eight credit hours per year to remain a participant in the program.
Imperial, Kravet Announce Joint Agreement
In a move designed to capitalize on growth opportunities at the high-end of the home decorating industry, Imperial Home Decor Group (IHDG), Cleveland, OH, has announced an alliance with Kravet, the Bethpage, NY-based fabric company. The agreement became effective October 1, 1998.
The alliance will increase to 61 the number of showrooms across the United States and Canada in which IHDG's high-end brands will be shown and sold. Those brands, Albert Van Luit & Co., Sterling Prints, Katzenbach & Warren and Imperial Fine Interiors, will be sold to interior designers and professional decorators through Kravet's existing network of 30 corporate showrooms and 80 sales representatives in the United States and Canada. The alliance also opens new licensing opportunities for both companies. IHDG wallpaper designers will have access to Kravet's library of more than 60,000 fabrics from which to draw inspiration in the development of new wall covering collections, and Kravet will develop fabrics to coordinate exclusively with the wallpaper brands.
"With this partnership, we have added the missing component of wall coverings to complete our product mix," said Cary Kravet.
"The high-end of the interior design industry represents an incredible growth opportunity, and the targeting of this business is an important element of our own growth strategy," said Mike Landau, president of North American marketing for IHDG.
American Hardwood Wins Blue Chip Award
American Hardwood Co., Gardena, CA, has been presented the Blue Chip Enterprise Initiative Award, recognizing small companies nationwide that have overcome adversity to emerge stronger. The award is presented by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Mass Mutual. Sandy Gray, American Hardwood CEO, received the award at a ceremony held at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, DC.
American Hardwood was selected from more than 500 companies and was one of four national winners. The annual Blue Chip Enterprise Initiative is now in its eighth year.
DDI Holds Annual Conference
More than 550 were in attendance when Decorating Den Interiors (DDI), Montgomery Village, MD, held its 29th Annual Market Conference in August at the Fountainebleau Hotel, Miami, FL.
The theme of the five-day event was Success by Design, during which the company announced new programs to solidify its market position going into the year 2000. Among the programs to be launched are a new direct marketing program with ADVO, Inc., a direct marketing service; and the inauguration of DDI's Intranet linking of its more than 700 franchise owners to one interactive communication system.
A highlight of the conference was the keynote address by Millard Fuller, founder of Habitat for Humanity International (HFHI). Fuller's address praised DDI's recent partnership with HFHI to raise money and awareness for the cause.
Creative Tueskoes Opens New Plant
Creative Tueskoes Corp., Buckner, KY, has built a new 15,000-square-foot manufacturing facility. The new plant is located at 3510 Mattingly Rd., Buckner, KY.
"We had outgrown our smaller facility in Crestwood and decided to build a new, more modern facility to allow us to better serve our customers," said Irmi Tueskoes, vice president.
The company has supplied equipment for drapery workroom for the past 20 years. In the last three years it has added fabric inspection and measuring machines.
Bamberger Kaliko Expands NC Warehouse
Bamberger Kaliko, Montvale, NJ, has expanded its warehouse in Durham, NC, in response to the high level of interest and demand for its decorative window shade fabrics from interior designers, retail stores, architects and commercial specifiers, it says. The company also has a dedicated customer service department available at its New Jersey office.
In addition, the company announces that all of its fabrics now are available on a cut yardage basis, and access to its entire line is available without excessive inventory investment. All fabrics can be coated to meet required flame retardant codes.
Maen Line Adds Bump
Maen Line Fabrics, Philadelphia, PA, has added a new line of interlining to its fabric offering. Maen Line Bump is a 100 percent cotton substitute for English Bump Cloth that is prewashed for softness, drapeability and protection from shrinking. It also is made in the United States at about half the cost of importing English Bump, according to the company. The new interlining is being offered in natural coloring in 52-inch widths.
Schumacher Restructures Home Fashions Division
F. Schumacher & Co., New York, NY, is restructuring the company's Waverly brand finished products. The announcement was made by Gerrald Puschel, president and chief operating officer, in August.
The FSC Home Fashions division will become part of the Waverly division under the direction of Christiane Michaels, Waverly's president and general manager. The Home Fashions division manufactures and distributes a wide range of high-end finished home furnishings products. The design responsibility for the finished products will be handled within the Waverly design studio under the direction of Albert Sardelli, Waverly's vice president and creative director.
"By consolidating all of Waverly's products-including fabric, wall coverings, licensed products and now home fashions-under the Waverly brand team, we will be able to do a better job of creating totally cohesive home furnishings collections with an even stronger point of view," said Michaels.
Show Offers Business, Product Workshops
Over the course of two days more than 20 workshop sessions are planned for registered retailers attending the Fall 1998 Paint & Decorating Show November 20 to 21 at Lakeside Center, McCormick Place, Chicago, IL. The sessions will cover new product categories such as window coverings, industrial coatings and spray equipment; explore how to attract new customers through marketing, merchandising and consumer buying trends; and highlight what's new in the industry.
Business topics also will be presented from co-op funds management to grappling with the year 2000 computer problem.
In addition, a pre-show education day will be held. Certification courses for wall coverings, paint, industrial coating and interior decorating are scheduled and a Certified Faux Consultant Course will debut.
The show is sponsored by the Paint & Decorating Retailers Association (PDRA), St. Louis, MO, and Paint & Decorating Retailer magazine.
NeoCon® '98 Show Breaks Record
NeoCon '98 World's Trade Fair celebrated its 30th show with record-breaking attendance of 51,000 and more than 1,160 exhibiting manufacturers June 8 to 10 in Chicago, IL. This year was the seventh consecutive year of increased show attendance and manufacturer participation, according to organizers Merchandise Mart Properties, Inc.
The show is an umbrella event for six industry-related shows, which includes NeoCon; Decorex® USA, an exhibition of new interior design products; and BPIA Office Expo, featuring mid-market, ready-to-assemble and recycled office furniture and accessories.
• An incorrect company description of Vertilux Ltd. ran in the July 1998 Industry Profile, "Offering a Great Alternative," page 68. The description should have read:
Vertilux Ltd.: One of the largest mills producing and distributing vertical blind and pleated and roller shade fabrics; and worldwide distributor of fabrics, PVC, aluminum, wood and components for vertical binds, 1/2-, one- and two-inch mini- and micro-blinds, one- and two-inch wood blinds, and pleated, roller and cellular shades.
We regret the error.
• An incorrect photograph ran in the August 1998 Design Showplace for The Measuregraph Co. The equipment shown in the published photo is not manufactured or available from Measuregraph. The correct photograph of the company's measuring, inspection and cutting table appears on page 73 of this issue.
We regret the error.