COMFORTEX LAUNCHES BLINDCRAFTERS PROGRAM
Comfortex Corp., Maplewood, NY, announced the launch of a new business
strategy, Comfortex BlindCrafters, at its national meeting in June.
The program is intended to help the company’s retail fabricators,
Comfortex Composers, significantly grow and expand their businesses
with minimal capital investment risk, the company says.
The BlindCrafters strategy comprises four elements: quality, innovative
products for retail fabrication; business support and training; marketing
and advertising support; and business expansion. These programs will
include fabrication certification, business development classes, leasing
support and software. Participants also will have access to highly
competitive health insurance and retirement plans.
To expand their businesses, retail fabricators who build a network
of retail affiliates—furniture stores, paint and wallpaper stores
who choose to sell Comfortex Window Fashions products—will be
given the title Master BlindCrafter. Master BlindCrafters and their
retail affiliates will retain their own independent identities, but
will work under the Comfortex BlindCrafter Center brand name. That
way the company’s retail fabricators can expand their businesses
without further investment and their retail affiliates can add a line
of name brand window coverings to their product mix.
PANORAMA® RECEIVES SKIN CANCER FOUNDATION
Panorama designer window films have received the Seal of Recommendation
from The Skin Cancer Foundation, recognizing all its films as products
effective for protection against ultraviolet light.
The Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated solely to skin
cancer prevention and education, has stringent qualifications for
product endorsement developed by an independent committee of photobiologists.
They include the repeated testing of a product’s SPF factor and
evaluation of phototoxic reactions and contact irritation.
Panorama received The Skin Cancer Foundation’s Seal of Recommendation
across the board, according to Lawrence Constantin, program manager
“We’re very proud to have the recommendation,” Constantin
says. “Most homeowners know that their furnishings will fade
over time after being exposed to ultraviolet light through a window
or door. But most don’t realize its true intensity. It isn’t
just harmful for fabrics; continuous exposure is extremely dangerous
for people, as well.”
VINYLBILT EXPANDS INTO ASIAN MARKETS
Vinylbilt Shutter Systems, Inc., St. Augustine, FL, has opened a new
marketing channel in Asia by signing a turnkey fabrication agreement
with the Asia Pacific Vinyl Shutter Co. in Selanger Darul Ehsan, Malaysia.
Asia Pacific will become the primary regional supplier for Vinylbilt
The new agreement is part of Vinylbilt’s overall strategy for
globally expanding the fabrication and distribution of its shutter
systems. Through its ongoing market research, the company has determined
that the emerging tropical and subtropical markets of Southeast Asia
hold strong potential for its product line, which includes 2 1/2-inch
and 3 1/2-inch style louvers.
LASSEN MOVES TO NEW FACILITY
Lassen Window Fashions Inc., Anaheim, CA, has moved to a new facility.
The new location is 1300 N. Jefferson St., Anaheim, CA 92807. The
company can be contacted by telephone: (714) 996-9399; fax: (714)
996-6379; and e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lassen officially changed its name earlier this year from Lassen Windoware,
Inc. (see D&WC, March 2002, page 19), although its management,
structure and company profile has remained the same.
ROYAL EXPANDS CUSTOM SHUTTER MANUFACTURING
Royal Windows Inc., Arlington, TX, has committed more than 10,000
square feet of space at its Arlington facility to manufacture the
Century Shutter, the company says. This new space is in addition to
a facility already in operation in El Paso, TX.
The Century Shutter is manufactured in every form, shape and size
using the finest grade poplar and basswood available. Detailed craftsmanship,
hand finishing and high quality paints and stains are the company’s
hallmarks. Measuring and installation also are available in most areas
of Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Colorado.
HUNTER DOUGLAS OFFERS EXCLUSIVE DEALER WEB
Hunter Douglas Window Fashions, Upper Saddle River, NJ, has launched
a password-protected extranet site, www.dealers.hunterdouglas.com,
exclusively for dealers, designers and installers.
“This site was specifically developed to simplify and improve
the way dealers do business,” says Linda Bellitt, manager of
marketing technology. “To better serve dealer needs, the site
includes information on new and existing products, tools, training
and educational opportunities, advertising and marketing programs.”
Available on the site is an online version of the company’s Reference
and Price Guide offering the most up-to-date product and pricing information.
The new site can be accessed directly or from the company’s consumer
Web site. Dealers can log onto the site by using their e-mail address
and a personalized password.
ASTRUP ADDS FULL TRANSACTIONS TO WEB SITE
The Astrup Co., Cleveland, OH, has launched a fully transactional
Web site, www.astrup.com/online,
enabling customers to view and place orders via the Internet 24 hours
a day, seven days a week.
At the site, the company’s customers can establish their own
user IDs and passwords to enter the fully secure site. Users can search
thousands of up-to-date product descriptions in the online catalog,
get real-time pricing, review product specifications, order products,
check the status of existing orders, access manufacturer warrantees,
create their own order templates and e-mail communications to their
local Astrup distribution center.
“When we released our catalog on CD three years ago, we observed
that our customers have a growing interest in using technology to
make their businesses more efficient,” said Jeffrey W. Kirk,
THREE NEW SHOWROOMS FOR TODAY’S WINDOW
Today’s Window Fashions® announces the opening of three new
showrooms: Palm Springs and Rancho California, CA, and Huntsville,
Today’s Window Fashions now offers a special discounted franchise
package for individual window coverings business owners to become
part of a larger organization. The company also offers a new television
commercial customized to individual businesses.
HUNTER DOUGLAS MEETS HABITAT CHALLENGE
For the eighth consecutive year, Hunter Douglas Window Fashions, Upper
Saddle River, NJ, has participated in the Annual Paterson Habitat
for Humanity Corporate Challenge. More than 20 employees participated
in the local effort to build homes for families. The company has been
involved in Habitat for Humanity for more than 10 years and has provided
window coverings for every Habitat home built in the United States
The Paterson Corporate Challenge was held June 4 to 6. Corporate volunteers
donated their time along with financial contributions. Hunter Douglas
pledged $125 on behalf of each participant who worked for the effort.
Last year the Corporate Challenge raised more than $122,000 with 100
percent of the funds dedicated to purchasing materials to build homes
(see D&WC, October 2001, page 15).
CORRECTIONS AND CLARIFICATIONS
In the June issue of Draperies & Window Coverings, an incorrect
Web site address was printed for Levolor Kirsch Window Fashions. The
correct address is: www.levolor.com.
We regret the error.