One of the surest signs of the season is the rush of activity and the flush of anticipation seen and felt throughout the window coverings industry following the post-holiday quiet. The urge to expand and grow seems to affect manufacturers. Mergers and acquisitions-or call them partnerships if you like-often are announced to the industry this time of year, and we've seen some activity along those lines already. If nothing is said officially, certainly the rumors and gossip of mergers take seed and begin to flower!
Meanwhile, new product lines and collections are timed for spring debuts. D&WC recently had the opportunity to review (and judge) entries for the 1999 Product Innovation Awards presented by the Window Covering Manufacturers Association. Entries included new style concepts and technical and safety innovations for products from pleated shades to shutters. Retailers and decorators will be impressed with the new products, features and finishes manufacturers are releasing-along with the merchandising materials to help sell them. The winners will be announced at the International Window Coverings Expo in Atlanta, GA, at the end of the month (and featured in our April issue!).
Speaking of the show, the industry converges on Atlanta this month. Exhibitors will display their newest and best selling product lines. Attendees will shop the aisles looking for new ideas, comparing notes and, no doubt, talking about who's there and who isn't. (Please see pages 56 to 86 for a list of show exhibitors and a preview of products to be displayed.)
This year D&WC is offering a slate of free workroom and business seminars to be presented at our booth on the exhibition floor-it's booth #1731. The sessions will be led by four renown industry professionals and regular magazine columnists (click here for more details). We're also reprising our Internet Café featuring live Internet access. Join us for a fresh cup of coffee and surf our sponsors' Web pages. Also, be sure to stop by our booth for details on our free subscription offer!
It's an exciting time of year, full of anticipation-and perhaps a few surprises. See you in Atlanta!