Springs Industries, Inc., Fort Mills, SC, has acquired the assets of Sierra Window Fashions, Vacaville, CA. The company will continue to operate in its current location under the name Sierra Fashions West, according to a statement from Springs.
Dan Spaeth, a 17-year veteran of Springs Window Fashions Division, Inc., has been named acting general manager. Former manager Steve Brown has agreed to remain as a consultant to ensure an orderly transition.
Vertilux Adds Drapery Hardware with Partnership
Vertilux Collection, Miami, FL, announces a partnership with WorldWide Window Treatments/Gould, Long Island City, NY, that will add a complete line of drapery hardware to its extensive package of window covering products. The new line will be available from all of Vertilux's facilities in Miami, FL; Dallas, TX; and Los Angeles, CA; as well as through its distribution centers in Puerto Rico, Mexico, Central America and South America.
By partnering with WorldWide Window Treatments, a company with more than 100 years of experience in the drapery hardware industry, Vertilux shows its continuing commitment to providing the best of product selection and quality as defining aspects of its service to customers, the company says.
The extensive new line offers traditional metal traverse rods and accesories, aluminum track and components, curtain rods, decorative brass traverse and café rods, brass rings and brackets, and a complete selection of wood components in many sizes and finishes.
Newell, Rubermaid Merge
Newell Co., Freeport, IL, the parent company of Newell Window Furnishings Co., has reached "a definitive agreement" to merge with Rubbermaid Inc., Wooster, OH. The merger agreement was approved by the boards of directors of both companies in October.
The new combined company, which will be called Newell Rubbermaid Inc., is expected to reach sales of $6 billion in 1998 through its leading brand names in home furnishings, housewares and hardware, which include Newell®, Kirsch® and Levolor® window treatments; Mirro®, WearEver® and Calphalon® cookwear; Anchor Hocking® glasswear and Rolodex® office products.
Novo, Allied Consolidate Distribution Center
Novo Industries, L.P., Houston, TX, and Allied All-Teck, Coral Springs, FL, consolidated operations at a Chicago, IL, area distribution warehouse in early November. The new center doubles the distribution in the growing Midwest market, according to a statement from Novo.
In addition to Novo's full line of vertical PVC vanes, horizontal PVC slats and component parts, the new center will feature a complete assortment of Laserlite[TM] PVC products.
Novo/Allied Midwest can be contacted at: (630) 773-0384; fax: (630) 773-4123.
Wood Experts Go On-line
American Hardwood Co. (AHC), Gardena, CA, has created an on-line forum called "Ask the Experts" to answer questions about wood. Visitors to the AHC site (www.americanhardwood.com) can access the forum to get answers from company experts to questions about wood species, trees, forests, ecological concerns, wood and shutter components, milling, manufacturing and more.
"Our new message forum is using the Internet in a way that provides education and service not only to our customers but to the community at large," said Lisa Neiman, AHC marketing manager. "One of the features of the forum is that the public can jump in and answer a question or ask a follow-up question. This will provide some lively interaction, which is what the Internet is all about," Neiman said.
March Is Month for Industry Trade Shows
Spring 1998 is packed with opportunities for window coverings professionals with the Boston Curtain & Drapery Show, March 5 to 7 in Providence, RI, and the International Window Coverings Expo, March 25 to 29 in Atlanta, GA.
The shows offer two opportunities for retailers, designers and decorators to form a face-to-face bond with suppliers. Suppliers from across the country and abroad will show their latest introductions displaying hard and soft window coverings, fabrics and textile products, decorative accessories, workroom supplies and equipment, manufacturing equipment, wall coverings, area rugs, merchandising and sales tools, and computer technology.
The Boston Curtain & Drapery Show will be held at the Rhode Island Convention Center, with more than 1,500 visitors expected, according to show co-sponsors Messe Frankfurt, Inc., and Window Fashions magazine.
More than 10,000 attendees and about 300 exhibitors are anticipated for the International Window Coverings Expo at the Georgia World Congress Center.
Educational seminar programs will be held at both shows covering trends, design, sales and marketing, business management, and installation and workroom techniques.
For more information on either show, contact Messe Frankfurt, Inc. at (770) 984-8016; fax: (770) 984-8023; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
DDI Franchise Network Expands
Decorating Den Interiors (DDI), Montgomery Village, MD, opened 16 new franchises throughout North America in September and October. The new franchise locations opened in 12 U.S. states and four Canadian provinces.
Each of the new franchise owners attended and successfully completed DDI's Lifestyle University Professional Design and Sales (PDS) course held at the company's Maryland headquarters. "PDS teaches Decorating Den Interiors' decorators design techniques as well as business management, sales and marketing and product knowledge," said Dale Bruss, director of training and education.
Brewster, GenCorp Reach Distribution Agreement
Brewster Wallcovering Co., Randolph, MA, has entered into an agreement with GenCorp Polymer Products, Maumee, OH, to be the authorized distributor of all Sanitas, Essex and Fashon Wallcovering products in metropolitan New York, New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania markets. Effective immediately, retailers in these areas should place orders with Brewster at (800) 366-1700.
Brewster reached the agreement with GenCorp after the closing of General Wallcovering, Pine Brook, NJ, in September and the recent closing of Kayser & Allman, Inc., Bensalem, PA. Brewster is a long-time distributor of GenCorp's Sanitas and Essex brands.
Fabric Place Wins Best of Boston Again
Fabric Place, Framingham, MA, has been acknowledged as "Best Fabric Store" by Boston magazine in its Best of Boston Awards for the second year in a row. The annual award is decided by the magazine's editors and is based on mystery shopper visits. Retailers cannot enter or solicit recognition.
"We believe this honor is based on our huge selection, great service and excellent prices," said Ron Isaacson, owner. "We work hard to improve our product mix and pricing every year," he added.
Fabric Place, which opened in 1947, operates stores ranging from 27,000 to 32,000 square feet in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut.
IHDG Restructures Brands
Imperial Home Decor Group (IHDG), Cleveland, OH, has introduced two new wallpaper brands and clarified the positioning of its other brands in an effort to reflect the changing needs of consumers. "We wanted all of our brands to have distinct identities and to address the needs of consumers in various life stages," said Jim Holthus, IHDG vice president of brand management.
As a result, some of the collections previously manufactured under separate brands are being united under two new brand umbrellas: Colorfields by Sunworthy and Imperial Fine Interiors.
Colorfields by Sunworthy will be available primarily through discount mass merchants and is aimed at consumers looking to incorporate wallpaper into their homes with a minimal financial investment and those with no prior experience with wallpaper.
Imperial Fine Interiors will house IHDG's major licensed collections including Lenox, Eddie Bauer, Ralph Lauren and Nautica and former Sunworthy Designer Circle brands Alexander Julian and Bob Timberlake. These collections are aimed at consumers more confident in their decorating styles, willing to spend more money on home decor and receptive to incorporating wallpaper into decorating.
Sunworthy brand wall coverings will be available from home centers, specialty stores and mass merchandisers and aimed at the do-it-yourself market with pre-pasted wallpaper, strippable papers and re-positionable borders.
The Imperial brand will aim for consumers using wall coverings as the foundation for a design theme such as contemporary, traditional or country and will include coordinating fabrics that can be used for draperies, slipcovers, pillows and seat cushions.
According to Holthus, the refinement of the brand strategy was a logical step following the formation of IHDG in March 1998 as a result of the merger between Imperial Wallcoverings and Borden Decorative Products. (D&WC, May 1998)
Winning Walls Contest Winners
The winners of the Winning Walls With Wallcovering contest were honored by the National Guild of Professional Paperhangers, Inc. (NGPP) at its 1998 Annual Convention and Trade Show in July. Roman Adhesives, Inc., Calumet City, IL, once again sponsored the contest, which recognizes exemplary wall covering projects in residential and commercial applications.
This year's winners are: Joe Mauer, first place, commercial; Bill Armstrong, second place, commercial; Jeff Smith, first place residential; and Kerrie Walden, second place, residential. Winners in each category received a $1,000 cash award along with other prizes.
Roman Adhesives also announced it will sponsor the 1999 contest, which is open to all contractors and installers. Projects must have been completed in the 1998 or 1999 calendar year and all entries must be sent by May 1, 1999.
For entry form or for more information, contact NGPP, Fredericksburg, VA, (540) 370-4503; fax: (540) 370-0014.
Astrup Catalog Now on CD
The Astrup Co., Cleveland, OH, has introduced an electronic edition of its product catalog, EC 121 on CD-ROM. The computer disk contains product descriptions and ordering information for the company's fabrics, hardware, finishing supplies and trimmings and cordage products for awning, sign, marine, casual furniture, industrial and recreational makrets.
The easy-to-use CD-ROM also contains technical drawings, yardage conversion charts, measuring aids and fabric specifications. It includes updated list pricing and a ready-to-fax or phone-in order form. It is available for Windows 95/NT and Macintosh System 7.0 or higher.
Antoshak & Siegel Agency Formed
Perry Antoshak & Associates and CNG Global Public Relations have entered into a strategic alliance to create Antoshak & Siegel, an advertising, public relations and consulting agency. The announcement was made by Perry Antoshak, a veteran textile publishing executive, and Gary Siegel, who started CNA as a service to Che-Nobel Advertising's textile client base.
The new agency will provide custom publishing for client-sponsored inserts, tailored research for focusing market direction, and network consulting for matching clients and contacts for sales opportunities.
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