COTTON Council Initiates Key Dialogue With Europeans HFN
July 20, 1998
The European Home Furnishing Retailers Tour, sponsored by Cotton Council International (CCI) last month, started an important dialogue among the European executives and U.S. textile and home furnishings manufacturers,according to Marsha Powell, director of CCI's European Region, London. The seven companies, representing $2.5 billion in annual home furnishings retail sales, placed enough orders during the tour to cover its expenses twice over, but the ongoing communication about marketing U.S. cotton bed and bath products is even more critical, said Powell.
"The market conditions are different and there are product differences and practicalities that must be addressed," Powell said of merchandising to consumers where bedding sizes and color and style preferences vary from one country to another.
The tour included a vertical view of U.S. manufacturing, from visits with cotton researchers and growers, to tours of towel and sheet manufacturing facilities, Pillowtex Fieldcrest Cannon's Royal Velvet Color College, and manufacturers' New York showrooms including Springs Industries, the Bibb Co., Pillowtex Fieldcrest Cannon, WestPoint Stevens, Newmark Rug, Dan River, Thomaston Mills, CMI Industries Inc.-Chatham Consumer Products and Cotton Incorporated.
European retailers included El Corte Ingles S.A., Madrid; Le Printemps, Paris; Karstadt AG, Essen, Germany; Marks & Spencer, London; La Rinascente SpA and UPIM, Rozzano, Italy; and Sudbund Einkaufsverband Heimtextilien eG, Backnang, Germany.
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