U.S. sales of alternative window treatments are expected to top $2.2 billion by 2002, according to a study released this year by Sullivan Marketing Group, Frazer, PA. Led by strong growth in wood blinds and newer categories such as window shadings, this market segment is expected to continue to generate significant opportunities for manufacturers, suppliers and distributors of these products, the study says.
"The Alternative Window Coverings Information Base: 1997-98" is the fourth edition of Sullivan Marketing Group's industry study. It examines the U.S. residential market at the manufacturer, fabricator and retail level and contains insights from the market research and consulting firm's latest survey of U.S. households regarding attitudes, use and purchase practices for alternative window coverings.
"Between 1987 and 1997 the total sales of alternative window coverings in the United States grew about one to two percent a year on average. However, fashion-oriented products such as wood blinds and window shadings have made spectacular, above-average gains. We expect growth in these categories to outpace the overall market through 2002," says Susan Gilbert Cohen, principal associate and author of the report.
Other findings reported and elaborated in the study include:
• On average, buyers of wood horizontal blinds are about four years younger then buyers of metal horizontals.
• The role of women as the primary decision maker when it comes to home decorating products is confirmed with about half of the respondents in the latest survey saying the female head of household made the selection and purchase on her own.
• The availability of new retail formats "is likely to exert a powerful influence on the industry going forward." Vertically integrated manufacturer/retailers have gained four share points since the report was last published in 1995.
For information on subscribing to the study, contact Sullivan Maketing Group at (610) 647-3707, e-mail: SMG@compuserve.com.
PRODUCT LAUNCH AN EVENT FOR HUNTER DOUGLAS
Hunter Douglas Window Fashions, Upper Saddle River, NJ, officially launched several new products and product enhancements at an event held at The Cirque in New York, NY, in May. Most of the new products were first seen at the International Window Coverings Expo in Atlanta, GA, in March. Featured at the launch were three lift systems to make it easier than ever to raise and lower the company's blinds and shading products.
The PowerRise® remote control motorization system-first introduced on Duette® honeycomb shades and expanded with a vane tilt function on the Silhouette® line-has been added to the company's Brilliance collection of pleated shades. New features for PowerRise include a timer that can be programmed to raise and lower all the shades in a room at specified times or at random, a satellite battery pack and an AC transformer to allow it to be used with a wall socket. A tilt-only PowerRise system is planned for a fall introduction for Lightlines® and Decor® aluminum blinds as well as some wood blind products.
Hunter Douglas also introduced the LiteRise[TM] Touch System[TM] to raise or lower shades and blinds with a light touch of the handle. The clean, cordless operation eliminates safety concerns associated with cords.
Another safety-conscious innovation is the UltraGlide[TM] lift system. Using a retractable cord that remains the same length whether the shade is being raised or lowered keeps the cord above and out of the reach of children and pets.
SUPERIOR INTRODUCES LACE VERTICAL FABRIC
A new vertical blind product has been introduced by Superior Shade & Blind Co., Inc., Pompano Beach, FL. Chantel[TM] is a French-inspired lace vertical blind fabric constructed of 100 percent polyester jacquard laminated to a nonwoven spunbonded polyester fabric.
Superior will custom fabricate Chantel in its own factory for retailers. It will be added to its Opulence Collection of vertical blinds, and will be available initially in five colors in both stock and custom order programs. It also will offer Chantel in stock drapery panels.
KIRSCH ADDS NEW SCARF HOLDER COLLECTION
Capitalizing on the continued popularity of scarf window treatments, Kirsch, Freeport, IL, has unveiled its new Scarf Holder Collection. The collection of scarf holders and holdbacks creates a venue for the designer's imaginative draping of fabric with or without poles and rings.
Translucent rings in a variety of colors, vine rings in a gently intertwining motif, and several rings designed as leaves, spirals, swirls and disks make up the new collection. In all, 17 new items are included, all available in a variety of finishes and materials.
"We designed these, and all of our unique new scarf holders, in order to satisfy the ever-growing demand for products to accommodate window treatments using scarves," said Cathi Garn, senior product manager.
SAMPLE BOOK TELLS THE STORY
Oxford House, Oxford, IN, debuted its Sheer Radiance vertical, sheer-wrapped window covering at the International Window Coverings Expo in Atlanta, GA, in March. But what's new didn't stop there.
Wayne Senesac, Oxford House partner, displayed a talking sample book to promote the product. A push-button on the book's inside cover produces a vocalized description and benefits of the product. "We expect great things with Sheer Radiance and plan on having a lot of fun with the sample book," Senesac said.
H.T. BARNES ADDS KIRSCH CELLULAR SHADES
H.T. Barnes Co., Inc., Foley, AL, has expanded its facilities and is now fabricating Kirsch Accordia cellular shades. The added product line is the first of what will be a series of Kirsch products H.T. Barnes will begin fabricating, according to a company statement.
The addition of the Kirsch products will provide its customers a complete selection of decorative hardware, trims, window coverings and accessories, it adds.
SCHMALZIRED CONSOLIDATES IN EXPANDED FACILITY
A.F. Schmalzried Co., Inc., Dallas, TX, has acquired space for a new showroom and corporate office. The new facility, scheduled to open August 1, will contain 25,000 square feet and enable all of the company's Dallas operations to be consolidated in one location.
"The additional space will allow us to continue the growth of our various business segments and increase new product representations," said Clyde Gustafson, vice president.
A.F. Schmalzried supplies decorative trimmings to the home furnishing, contract and hospitality markets. In conjunction with the opening of its new showroom, negotiations are underway with several furniture and fabric manufacturers, the company says.
ITA TO REPRESENT VALLEY MFG.
ITA, Inc., St. Augustine, FL, has been named exclusive sales representatives for Valley Mfg. & Engineering, Inc., Sun Valley, CA. The company manufactures horizontal window blind components in North America and South America.
Valley Mfg. operates a major injection molding production facility now in its 26th year of business. Its production is centered on 30 high-speed closed loop injection molding machines with 28- to 500-ton capabilities. Its components are used in fabricating one-, 1 1/2- and two-inch horizontal blinds.
MORE INDUSTRY SUPPLIERS GO ON-LINE
Elmar Inc., Willow Grove, PA, and Classico Window Covering Corp., Fairfield, NJ, have launched a site on the World Wide Web. Visitors to www.elmarinc.com can find out what's new and what's happening with the latest Hunter Douglas products, promotions and Elmar's and Classico's exclusive Priority Dealer Program.
Royal Capital Stamping & Tooling Ltd., Etobicoke, Ontario, Canada, invites visitors to its new Web site: www.capitalstamping.com. Once there, viewers can browse through The Royal Line window blind hardware catalog and read about the company and the other products it manufactures.
BIRD, WENZEL TEAM FOR SOFTWARE SUPPORT, DEVELOPMENT
Joseph Bird Interiors, Oakland Park, FL, and Wenzel Computer Service, Chicora, PA, have joined forces to create Systems and Solutions of South Florida for the sole purpose of the support and continuing development of EasyQuote software.
"Input and suggestions from our current users will indicate the direction of enhancements and upgrades as well as other program needs," said Joseph Bird. Developed by a window treatment workroom, EasyQuote enables businesses to process the time consuming jobs of quoting, ordering, receiving, invoicing and reporting.
MIDWEST EXPO SET FOR SEPTEMBER
Celebrating its 10th anniversary, the Window Fashions Expo conference and trade show will be held September 8 to 10, 1999, at the Navy Pier exhibit facility located on the lakefront in Chicago, IL.
For the second year, the show will be hosted by Window Fashions magazine and Messe Frankfurt, Inc. Companies from across the country will show their latest introductions allowing customers to see them firsthand and form a face-to-face bond with suppliers and manufacturer's representatives. Exhibitors will display items such as the latest in window coverings, related products and services, wall coverings, fabrics and textiles, decorative accessories, area rugs and floor coverings, bed coverings, awnings and exterior products and computer technology.
A seminar and speaker program also is offered. For more information contact Window Fashions, (651) 293-1544 or Messe Frankfurt, (770) 984-8016.
FABRIC, FINISHES AND SOURCING SHOW SLATED
Fairchild Urban Expositions, Atlanta, GA, announces it will launch Material World September 19 to 21, 2000, to be held at the Miami International Merchandise Mart & Radisson Centre, Miami, FL. The show is designed to be a premiere exhibition for textiles, trim and sourcing opportunities, according to its producers.
"For the most part, these sectors have primarily been served by regional markets or featured within larger exhibitions. We think that the potential for a targeted show of this nature is tremendous," said Doug Miller, Fairchild president.
Material World is expected to include 400 booths showcasing the latest introductions and innovations from leading textile, trim and related product manufacturers, importers, exporters and mills.
IFDA CELEBRATES RONALD MCDONALD HOUSE ANNIVERSARY
International Furnishings and Design Association (IFDA) president Frances Phillips was in Philadelphia, PA, in April to help celebrate the 25th anniversary of Ronald McDonald House, a program creating havens where families can reside temporarily while their children are treated for serious illnesses in nearby hospitals.
IFDA chapters across the country have adopted a number of Ronald McDonald Houses, lending their expertise, garnering materials and raising funds to help create attractive, comfortable and welcoming environments for residents. An estimated $1.3 million in goods and services has been donated by members and resources of IFDA chapters to about a dozen Ronald McDonald Houses since 1995.
The name of the designer and photographer was inadvertently omitted from a photograph published in the May 1999 issue of Draperies & Window Coverings.
The photograph, which appeared on page 40, features a hand-woven natural fiber window shade paired with drapery panels trimmed and tied back with a faux zebra print fabric. The room's designer was Barbara Mack, Fleece to Fibers. The photographer was Jame Boa Photography, Walnut Creek.
We regret the omission.