1996 - 2001 / The New Millennium
First we prepared for Armageddon with the approaching Y2K bug, then we heaved a sigh of relief as nothing much happened.
As the 20th century gave way to the 21st century, more Americans connected to the World Wide Web, and more window coverings retailers and suppliers met them there with Web sites in this period’s ultimate expression of going global. D&WC led the way premiering its home page on the World Wide Web in 1996. Following the same lines, the annual International Directory & Buyer’s Guide is added online and D&WC creates a consumer dealer locator site: BuyWindowCoverings.com.
D&WC sports a new look on its cover and inside the magazine in January 1996, which is updated to its current look in August 1998.
As the whole industry prepares to meets its future, a new window coverings educational conference is announced: D&WC: A Whole New World.
January: Hunter Douglas acquires Allison-Dize.
March: Britain is alarmed by an outbreak of “Mad Cow” disease.
The International World of Window Coverings show is held at the Indiana Convention Center, Indianapolis, IN.
April: FBI arrests suspected Unabomber.
D&WC announces the launch of its Web site: www.DWCdesigNet.com
Conso Products Co. acquires The Claesson Co., Inc.
Astrup Co. celebrates its 120th anniversary.
June: Eclipse Blind Systems acquires Montage, Inc.
August: Republican National Convention nominates Bob Dole and Jack Kemp.
November: Democratic National Convention renominates Bill Clinton and Al Gore.
Leonard Siegel joins ITA with the goal of developing ITA’s own
product lines. Meridian Home® is introduced as the company’s flagship brand.
January: Hunter Douglas acquires Shade-O-Matic.
February: Insolroll, Inc. acquires Superblinds of Denver, Inc.
March: Heaven’s Gate cult members commit mass suicide in California.
The International World of Window Coverings show returns to the Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, FL,
Newell Co. purchases Kirsch from Cooper Industries, Inc.
The Window Covering Manufacturers Association (WCMA) adopts a looped cord safety standard.
April: A car bomb explodes outside the federal office building in Oklahoma City, OK, killing 168 persons.
July: U.S. spacecraft begins exploration of Mars.
Stephen Thomas is named president of Kirsch.
August: Timothy McVeigh is sentenced to death for Oklahoma City bombing.
ITA introduces Capri, a line of textured woven shades, as the first Meridian Home branded product.
Minutes Matter introduces the first QuickBooks manual for the design industry helping designers use QuickBooks to the fullest extent.
Vista announces new, high light transmissions spectrally select films.
January: President Clinton denies allegations of an affair with Monica Lewinsky.
March: Rowley Co. is presented the 1998 Industry Achievement Award by the Window Coverings Association of America (WCAA).
May: Europeans agree on a single currency, the euro.
Borden Decorative Products and Imperial Wallcoverings merge into the Imperial Home Decor Group.
September: Techniku Holland acquires Daylighting, Inc.
October: Cary Findlay resumes as president, CEO of Conso Products Co.
Memorial services are held for Jerry Fuchs, chairman of Hunter Douglas, Inc.; and J. Reese Phifer, chairman of Phifer Wire Products, Inc.
December: U.S. House votes to impeach President Clinton on two charges of perjury and obstruction of justice.
Newell Co. announces merger with Rubbermaid Inc.
Somfy launches Radio Technology Somfy® (RTS) enabling its remotes to operate without a line of sight with the automated window
treatment and eliminating the need to point and shoot the remote.
February: U.S. Senate acquits President Clinton in impeachment trial and rejects censure.
March: Scientific Plastics, Inc. becomes part of the Eclipse Group.
April: Students Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold open fire in Columbine High School in Littleton, CO.
Royal Group Technologies acquires the U.S.-based assets of U.S. Polymers, Inc.
June: Nelson Mandela steps down as South African president.
Hunter Douglas announces it will acquire Comfortex Window Fashions.
July: John F. Kennedy Jr., Carolyn Bessette Kennedy and Lauren Bessette are lost at sea off Martha’s Vineyard.
Dian Garbarini, founder of the DraperyPro online networking forum, is appointed to head its board.
November: Elián González is rescued from the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Florida.
Memorial service is held for Alexander “Zandy” Leaderman, founder and chairman of the board of Rockland Industries.
ITA debuts the Mikronwood faux- wood horizontal blind in the
composite blind category.
Vista launches nano-ceramic technology films.
BTX enters the motorized roller shade market introducing the patented MLS 40 lift system.
January: Computer calendars switch to year 00, and virtually nothing bad happens.
April: Microsoft loses in antitrust suit.
July: Douglas R. Kelly is named president and CEO of The Imperial Home Décor Group Inc.
August: Republican National Convention nominates George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.
Democratic National Convention nominates Al Gore and Joseph Lieberman.
September: After six years, the Whitewater inquiry into President and Mrs. Clinton ends finding no evidence that either committed crimes.
October: Hunter Douglas announces the acquisition of ISO-Teck Industries, Inc.
November: U.S. presidential election “too close to call.”
The Window Covering Safety Council alerts manufacturers to a new problem with horizontal blind lift cords.
ITA’s Meridian Home line adds cellular and pleated shades.
January: The new millennium officially begins.
U.S. presidential election confirmed by Electoral College just days before George W. Bush is sworn into office.
February: Hunter Douglas Group announces the formation of Tapestria, a to-the- trade international online market place for interior fabrics.
April: The first D&WC: A Whole New World educational conference opens at the Cobb Galleria Center, Atlanta, GA.