Industry Views - May 2011

About Image: National Brands
& Showroom Design

Retailers Are Focusing On Exclusivity

“Retailers today are trying to go exclusive in what they carry, whether it’s private label or not. Private label lines help with profit margins, but it’s also a good time for national brands that consumers recognize, such as Izod or Ralph Lauren. The consumer needs brands particularly in white goods because they have a hard time knowing what to buy otherwise.

“Each retailer has its own approach to it hopes to to achieve consumer attraction. Points of differentiation can be carrying a national brand and having exclusive private label merchandise.
“I think today, retailers need to do both.”—Nancy Golden, senior vice-president marketing and brand management, WestPoint Home

Carr On Softline’s New 230 Fifth Ave. Showroom

“We always wanted a corner unit with extraordinary views and nothing was available in our buidling. Then when the timing was right and this new space became available, we took it. This was our only opportunity, because the building had few vacancies. We really wanted to experience the New York skyline. Our line keeps expanding and we needed more space to show product.

“We hired two designers, Patricia Holley from Design Therapy and Carole Azzouz. It was very important to have professionals involved and oversee the project.

“Our new space allows us to have bright sunlight, which is very important when looking at different fabrics. The new showroom gives us additional space with built-in cabinets to allow us the opportunity to expand our existing line of curtains and decorative pillows, and add other product lines, such as shower curtains and bedding.

“We believe that our new space creates a ‘wow’ factor as soon as you enter our revolving door. The showroom is nice and bright, and customers feel good working in there. It certainly reflects the Softline image of keeping things fresh and up-to-date, design driven and ahead of the game.”—Jason Carr, president, Softline Home Fashions, Inc.

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