Citing poor profitability and significant capital investment requirements in the interior wood shutter market, Springs Window Fashions Division, Inc., Middleton, WI, has announced plans to exit this segment of the window treatments business by fall 1998 to focus on its growing blind business.
At the end of July, Springs announced it will phase out production of wood shutters at its Nanik Wood Products operations, Wausau, WI, over the following three months. Some of the 50 employees impacted by the decision will be reassigned to two remaining wood product plants in Wausau, according to a company statement.
"We are very pleased with the double-digit sales growth in our wood and aluminum blind business," said James L Dudas, president, Springs Window Fashions Division. "By exiting the custom shutter product lines, we are better positioned to grow our core window businesses," he added.
"Springs remains committed to the Wausau area," said Susan Lang, vice president, Nanik Wood Products. "By focusing our business in the growing wood blinds area, we can manufacture excellent products, provide superior customer service and offer continued employment for the majoirty of our associates," she said.
Springs will offer a severance package and outplacement services to affected employees.
Techniku Aquires Daylighting
Techniku Holland, Woerden, Netherlands, has acquired Daylighting, Inc., Denver, CO. With the acquisition Daylighting changes its name to Techniku Inc. and serves as the U.S. base of operations for marketing, sales, manufacturing and distribution of both Daylighting and Techniku products.
"We are very excited about our new family of motorized products which combine Techniku's consumer product line of tilt motors for wood blinds, verticals and mini-blinds with Daylighting's manual and motorized Daylight[TM] systems for cellular fabrics," said Robert Collett, newly appointed president of Techniku, Inc.
Winner Selected for Safety Character's Name
A winner has been selected in a nationwide contest to name the life-sized character created to present the child safety educational message for 3 Day Blinds, a multi-outlet manufacturer and retailer of hard window treatments based in Anaheim, CA. After poring over more than 350 entries, the judges selected Simon Safety, the name entered by seven-year-old Ryan Freeman of Kansas City, KS.
"As we learned from last year's safety essay contest, kids are very creative and clever," said Kelly Reed, vice president of marketing for 3 Day Blinds. "There were so many entries that captured the safety message, but after much debate Simon Safety was unanimously voted as the winning choice among the judges," she said.
As the winner, Freeman will be able to take his family on an expense-paid vacation to Universal Studios/Hollywood, and his parents will receive a complimentary $500 shopping spree at any 3 Day Blinds showroom.
The contest was launched earlier this year for the character the company had referred to as its Ambassador of Child Safety. A full schedule of activities is planned for Simon Safety in the coming months. As part of the company's community education and awareness program he will appear at health and safety fairs in several cities and will make special visits to children's hospitals.
Waverly Licenses Bath Collection
Waverly, New York, NY, has announced an exclusive licensing agreement with American Pacific, which will produce shower curtains, towels and bath accessories based on Waverly designs.
American Pacific and Waverly have held a strong licensing partnership since 1995. American Pacific currently produces several products under license with Waverly including hand-pieced quilts, duvert covers and jacquard sateen bedding.
WA Contract Campaign Underway
The Contract Committee of the Wallcoverings Association (WA), Chicago, IL, has launched its 1998 Come Alive! With Contract Wallcoverings campaign-an advertising program geared to promote the benefits of contract wall coverings to the interior design community.
Funded by WA and donations from its sponsoring members, the campaign focuses on the adventures of two fictitious interior design professionals presented in a story-board format. The designers, Dick and Jane, complete design projects winning accolades for their successful use of contract wall coverings.
As a follow-up to the ad campaign, Contract Committee members are hitting the road presenting educational seminars to contractors, designers and retailers at industry events throughout the country. The seminars cover how to identify, estimate, measure and hang wall coverings and offer glimpses of new design and color trends.
Earth-friendly Fabrics Available
Covington Fabrics, New York, NY, a division of Covington Industries Inc., has introduced its Eco Collection of fabrics, its first offering using EarthSpun® yarns to create an environmentally sound, ecologically conscious product.
EarthSpun was developed by Rapier-Cambridge Mills along with Patrick Yarn Mills. The cotton-rich, high quality yarns have a large percentage of recycled fibers. They are composed of solution-dyed acrylics and regenerated fibers and other recycled materials such as cotton denim blue jeans and textile mill excess.
The Eco Collection includes Eunice, a large-scale tartan-like plaid, and Ephraim, a grid plaid.
Hashima Products Added to Line
New York Sewing Machine Attachment Corp., New York, NY, has become a full-line distributor of Hashima Products. The added product line includes a compact press, steam iron, cut processor scissors, heat transfer press and quilting machines.
New York Sewing Machine Attachment Corp. manufactures sewing machine attachments, labor saving devices and factory sewing supplies.
Design Shoji Expands Rep Network
Design Shoji, Ukiah, CA, announces the addition of new representatives and showrooms.
Window Treats, in the Boston Design Center, Boston, MA, now offers complete measurement and installation services for designers and architects. Its newly expanded showroom features a full display of Design Shoji's 13 wood finishes and exclusive insert collection.
The company also now is represented by Dean-Warren Ltd., Scottsdale, AZ, which features furnishings and fabrics open to the trade. Dean-Warren also covers the Las Vegas, NV, market.
Longtime representative Window Profiles, Seattle, WA, has moved its showroom. It now is located in Suite #425 in the Seattle Design Center. Several installed shoji displays are on view at the new showroom.
In New York, NY, Window Treatment Services offers full service measure and installation packages for designers and architects in the tri-state area. The company has more than 30 years experience in the window treatments industry including motorization for all types of window coverings.
Essex Shade, Hillside, NJ, has been added to the Design Shoji national representative network. The company offers expertise as a fabricator of alternate window treatments and an extensive network of sales reps.
WFCA Awards Record Number of Scholarships
The World Floor Covering Association (WFCA) announces the awarding of a record $115,000 in educational scholarship funds to 100 students across the country. Ten $2,500 scholarships were awarded along with 90 additional $1,000 scholarships.
Applicants were required to submit a detailed application, transcripts, an essay and undergo a personal interview to be considered for an award. Of the 100 students awarded scholarships, the grade point average of the recipients reached 3.46 on a four-point scale.
The competition was open to children and grandchildren of employees of WFCA members' business entities.
Pantone Strides Toward Colorful Millennium
Pantone Inc., Carlstadt, NJ, has announced a 56-color range extension to its current Pantone Textile Color System®, the first step toward building a palette of 2,000 colors by the millennium. The color extension is being offered for a limited time as a stand-alone product, it added. Pantone's color system currently has 1,701 tones already included.
The 56 new colors have been arranged into eight distinct palettes that reflect lifestyle directions, according to Lisa Herbert, vice president of worldwide communications for Pantone. The palettes are: Meditation, Earth Sign, Expedition, Weekender, After Dark, Remote Access, Going to Extremes and Enchantment. The extension was created by a worldwide forum of color experts as well as an advisory board of members from a variety of industries.
"We expanded certain color families such as gray, black, blue, red, brown and purple becaue all indicators suggest the importance of these colors for future lifestyle trends," Herbert said. "Red will be a favorite in the next century, from reds with blackened undertones to the newest deep, mysterious Tibetan Red," she added.