Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Retail sales falling short of target

NEW YORK -- The Johnson Redbook Retail Sales Index was up 3.4 percent in the fourth and final week of August, lowering the month-to-date increase to 3.7 percent against a targeted 3.9 percent gain.

"Sales softened in the final week of August. Consumers focused on food, home appliances and electronics," stated Redbook Analyst Catlin Levis. Some retailers believe hot weather may be delaying back-to-school activity, especially in the apparel categories. Despite the month's softness, retailers continue to expect satisfactory back-to-school and fall business in coming weeks.

In anticipation of Hurricane Katrina, consumers in Florida and other affected states made a run for food, water, batteries and other emergency supplies, with discount stores and hardware stores being the main beneficiaries, she said.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Hotels taking fresh sheets off room-service menu

I found this article today while browsing. I think this is a step in the wrong direction. When I go to a hotel the number one thing I pay for is service. I hope hotels do not follow this trend.


"Barbara Huberman wants fresh sheets on her hotel bed every night.

She's annoyed that a growing number of lodgings are now changing them less often. "It's ridiculous," says the executive for a Washington-based charitable organization who stays up to 100 nights each year in a hotel. "I have always looked forward to that feel of clean pressed sheets every night. At $200-plus a night, I think I deserve this." (Story: More hotels try fewer sheet changes)

Hotels say that Huberman is in the minority and that most of their customers accept the less frequent sheet changes during their stays. Any guest can simply request a daily change, they add, and it will be done free of charge. But Huberman says it's not that easy. A business traveler is often busy, she says, and may forget to put a card on a bed requesting a sheet change or to make a call to the hotel staff. She says she sometimes returns to her room late at night - an inconvenient time for a linen change. She recently requested a change at one hotel and the housekeeping staff declined, saying it was against hotel policy, she says.

Luxury Hotel Linens

A USA TODAY survey of the policies of 25 hotel brands reveals that most do not require a daily change of sheets during a guest's stay. All said they would change them daily for no charge if a customer makes a request. Eleven said they provide a daily change, nine said they change sheets a few times per week or weekly and five said polices vary at their lodgings."

Full Story Here

Monday, August 15, 2005

Kohl's posts strong numbers

MENOMONEE FALLS, Wis. -- Kohl's Corporation had a decent spring season in home, but home did not rank among the top three business segments for the second quarter, company executives during a second-quarter earnings call late yesterday.

Down Pillows

Kohl's Chairman and CEO Larry Montgomery said, "As expected, we continued gaining momentum in comparable-store sales in the second quarter, achieving the high end of our guidance for both comp store sales and EPS. Looking forward, we continue to target comparable-store sales growth in the mid-single digit range for the fall season."

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Whisper Soft to debut Crayola bedding in October

NEW YORK - Whisper Soft Mills has unveiled six bedding concepts for its new Crayola home license to debut during the October New York Home Textiles Market.

The colorful new collection features an interactive theme and will be gift packed in a mesh duffle bag with a comforter, sheet set, decorative pillow and box of eight crayons for fourth-quarter shipping.

Duvet Covers

The six new designs include two girl beds: Crayola Butterfly and Crayola Fairytale; and two boy patterns: Crayola Dinosaur and Crayola Sports. The last new pattern, Crayola Pockets, comes in a version for girls and another for boys. Sheets are 200-count cotton.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Liz Claiborne expands cottage and young attitude looks

NEW YORK -- Liz Claiborne Home has expanded the cottage look with several vintage-inspired florals and added a few younger attitude patterns in bedding, bath and window.

Some of the cottage looks include: Tamara, Lindsay, and Annabelle.Younger attitude patterns include Salerno and Sherbet Denim. In back-to-school, Fresh Stripe has been added to retail as mini sets for $79.99 twin or $99.99 full/queen.

The cottage influence continued in window and bath where new constructions abounded.

A mid-weight cotton viscose dobby was added in window as a new base cloth with six solids and six prints that are merchandised with reversible print shades.

Meanwhile in bath, several cottage looks were added as $39.99 shower curtains that work back to bedding.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Jeep rides into Bedding

NEW YORK -- Jeep Consumer Products has signed a licensing partnership with Whisper Soft Mills for a line of active lifestyle themed bedding and room decor for young boys.

The new bedding line for Jeep, a registered trademark of DaimlerChrysler Corporation, caters to boys ages 9 to 14 and will feature outdoor-adventure, extreme sports and lifestyle basics with an emphasis on a rugged "4-x-4" appeal, the company said.

Duvet Covers

The line will include printed comforters, cut-and-sew detailed comforters, quilts and throws, printed sheets, novelty accent pillows, window fashions, accent rugs, blankets and slumber bags. The room d├ęcor line, which has been designed to coordinate with the bedding line, will include lamps, wall shelves, nested bins and other personal storage pieces.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Yves Delorme launches new looks

Yves Delorme, Inc. has introduced several new looks for luxury bedding and bath to its mid-year collection that will be available in stores this September.

In bedding, they include architectural Eiffel with hand-embroidered raised French dots and hemstitch squares on white 460-count percale. Matching towels, bath robes and table linens are available. Also new is Pastorale, a classic toile de Jouy with illustrations on the grounds of Versailles paired with ticking stripes in denim and taupe.

Anna's Linens opening breaks record

LAS VEGAS -- The grand opening of Anna's Linens 200th store here this morning not only marked a new milestone for the rapidly expanding home furnishings chain, it also broke the record for sales volume in the first hour of business for a new store.

Sales at the Silverado Ranch Shopping Center store during the first 60 minutes of business were double the norm, according to Alan Gladstone, chairman, president and CEO.

Baltic adds to its Wardrobe

NEW YORK - Baltic Linen Co. is launching the newest addition to its Wardrobe fashion bedding line -- basic sheet sets and duvet covers.

The Wardrobe Basics assortment composes jacquard and dobby sheet sets and duvet covers in multiple solid colorways, as well as some printed sateen styles. All can stand alone but were also made to coordinate with existing Wardrobe designs.