State of the Industry - Part 4
We keep hearing that consumers are becoming more demanding, that
they are more knowledgeable about interior fashion products and
the decorating process than ever before. Certainly the speed of
communications today, our global interconnectivity and the growing
number of information outlets both print and electronic make that
quite possible. But if that’s true (and I believe customers
have always been demanding and at least always thought they knew
what they wanted), then what’s a decorating professional to
In our fourth in a continuing series of articles on the state of
the window coverings industry (see page 30), Robert Döhlemann
of döfix tells us he sees an exciting and profitable future
for the custom window treatments market, “if sold with the
right approach.” What’s the right approach? Döhlemann
says it’s emphasizing the custom in custom window treatments.
The facts are right there: more than 1 million new homes sold in
2003, the largest share going for between $300,000 and $500,000.
“Exquisite homes that need exquisite window coverings,”
Döhlemann says, and that doesn’t even count sales of existing
homes. But, he adds, the success of the industry does not rely on
national statistics. Even with the multiplicity of suppliers and
products available today, success for dealers and decorators is
not in offering more colors and patterns and styles and whatnot.
It’s in putting these selections together to create truly custom
window coverings that provide solutions to the many specific, particular
and sometimes seemingly contradictory demands of customers. And
they must fit the customer’s personality and lifestyle, too.
That can be a tough job. It demands creativity, familiarity with
product performance (each product’s strengths and weaknesses)
and the tools for making it right, making it beautiful and making
it work. That’s where suppliers like döfix come in.
On a side note, we raise our glasses to toast the 50th anniversary
of ADO (25th anniversary for ADO-USA) in this its milestone year
(see page 28). ADO has been a big supporter of the window coverings
industry, and Draperies & Window Coverings magazine, since its
early days. The company takes pride in its quality fabrics and customers
service, and rightly so. Cheers!