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Next Big Thing Finalists Named

By Home Furnishings Business in Markets on April 25, 2013

Dallas Market Center has named three finalists The Next Big Thing, DMC's national product search contest.

The finalists--Lawn Lights, Maggies and Tady Tote--will exhibit before attendees countries during the June 20-23 Dallas Temp Show to be held in conjunction with the June 19-25 Total Home & Gift Market.

Lawn Lights
is an illuminated outdoor decoration that blankets a large area in lights, doing for lawns what net lights do for bushes and shrubs. Designed primarily for use at Christmas, they also can be used for weddings and other special occasions. Users can create a unique nighttime display in a short time by unrolling the string of LED lights in arcs, loops or semi-circles and staking them in the ground. No tools, ladders, extension cords or staples are needed. Each set of 36 lights can cover roughly 1,600 to 3,600 square feet depending on how far apart the lights are set.

Maggies are a patented magnetic textile fastener powerful enough to allow several layers of fabric to be secured without slipping. Ideal for shawls, scarves and sarongs, they hold as securely as stitching and are very simple to use.

Tady Tote provides a large, indoor/outdoor cushioned area for a child to play on. Tady Tote converts from bag to mat instantly and has waterproof backing and a snuggly teddy bear blanket that is removable and easy to launder. Large enough for parent and child, Tady Tote also has pockets for baby bottles and snacks. Toys and other items can be left on the mat--users simply fold and go.

The Next Big Thing contest received dozens of applications from product designers, entrepreneurs, and other creative minds from across the country and internationally. The contest allows up-and-comers, whether companies or individuals, to show their product in front of domestic and international retail buyers at Dallas Market Center.

Judges from consumer and trade media as well as industry experts and a former winner will help select the winner based on the finalists€™ products. In addition, the public will have a chance to vote to show their support for their favorite product on the Dallas Market Center Facebook page by €œLiking€ the photo of the finalist of their choice in €œThe Next Big Thing 2013 Finalists€ Facebook album. Popular voting will begin May 1 and run through June 12. The winner will be selected based on a combination of judges€™ feedback and popular vote.

The Next Big Thing winner will be announced June 22 and receive a prize package worth more than $12,500 including a $2,500 cash prize. The package includes exhibit space at the Dallas Temp Show in January 2014, a profile in Dallas Market Center€™s award-winning custom publication, and consultations from industry experts regarding branding, marketing, public relations, visual merchandising and more.

Ethan Allen Reports 3Q Results

By Home Furnishings Business in on April 24, 2013

Home furnishings retailer Ethan Allen (NYSE: ETH) reported net income of $4.4 million for the third quarter ended March 31, compared to $27.5 million for the same period last year.

Net sales for the quarter were $168.1 million, compared to $175.9 million reported for the third quarter last year.

Net income for the nine-month period ended March 31 was $24.2 million, compared to $42.4 million during the same nine-month period last year.

The company reported third quarter net sales of $132.1 million for its retail division. Last year's sales in the third quarter for the retail division were $131.4 million. Third quarter sales for Ethan Allen's wholesale division were 108.1 million, compared to net sales of $121 million for the previous year's third quarter.

The entire earnings release is available online

La-Z-Boy Honors Surya

By Home Furnishings Business in Rugs on April 24, 2013

Home furnishings supplier La-Z-Boy (NYSE: LZB) honored Surya as vendor partner of the year.

In lieu of presenting a plaque to Surya, La-Z-Boy contributed $500 to Surya's philanthropic partner, the Akshaya Patra Foundation, a meal program that feeds 1.3 million underprivileged children daily in schools across India.

"Our Vendor Partner of the Year Award is the highest recognition the La-Z-Boy Retail Division bestows on our vendor partners," said Dan King, vice president of La-Z-Boy's retail division. "Surya earned this honor through consistent execution of our customers' orders, teaming up with our buyers to stay relevant in the market place and by having strong sales performance. In addition, we were very impressed with Surya's commitment to philanthropic efforts and helping those who are less fortunate. We feel very thankful to have a world-class team like Surya helping La-Z-Boy Retail to delight our clients."

Surya's association with La-Z-Boy has grown over the years, and this latest recognition solidifies the long-standing relationship between the two.

"We're extremely honored to receive this award from a retailer like La-Z-Boy-a brand that consistently shows such commitment and attentive service to its customers," said Satya Tiwari, president of Surya. "It reaffirms that the passion we put behind our products and services can directly translate to shopper satisfaction. This honor also further strengthens our commitment to customer service and our ongoing efforts to develop training and sales tools that simplify the rug and accessory shopping experience."

Art Van Contributes to Flood Relief

By Home Furnishings Business in Community/Charitable Support on April 24, 2013

Art Van Furniture help has established the Art Van Furniture and Mattress Flood Damage Relief Program for Michigan.

Torrential rains have left Grand Rapids, Mich., and surrounding communities coping with widespread flooding damaging the contents of many local homes including furniture and mattresses. Warren-based Art Van Furniture will extend its Employee Family Purchase program pricing to flood victims. Customers need to bring photos of damaged furniture or an insurance check into an Art Van Furniture store. Their purchase needs to be approved by a store manager or sales manager and is good for a one time purchase.

"These storms cause a great deal of destruction and upheaval in people's lives," said Art Van Elslander, founder and chairman of Art Van Furniture. "If we can help alleviate any of the financial hardship that comes from these events, and give back to those communities who have supported us throughout the years in any way, we will be among the first in line to do so."

While Grand Rapids was hardest hit by the storms, the program is valid state-wide offering assistance to all Michigan homeowners who were impacted by this spring's severe weather conditions. The employee discount program expires in six months.

Home Decor Keeps Growing at Las Vegas Market

By Home Furnishings Business in Accessories on April 24, 2013

Las Vegas Furniture Market will launch of a new floor of permanent showrooms dedicated to home decor at the July 29-August 2 Summer Market.

In line with this introduction, which comes six months ahead of schedule, International Market Centers also will reposition its home décor-focused temporary exhibitors to create synergies between permanent and temporary resources.

€œThere is increasing momentum for expansion of better home décor resources in the Las Vegas Market,€ said Dorothy Belshaw, president of Gift & Home Décor, International Market Centers. €œWith the summer debut of new home décor showrooms on C4, we will continue to build upon our recent success creating concentrations of like resources on B3 and C3. Combined, these three floors will offer 750-plus better home décor vendors in a quarter million square feet.€

Debuting this summer--six months ahead of schedule and at 65 percent occupancy--C4 will deliver the finest in better home décor and textile resources. Six leading home décor brands have confirmed their intention to anchor the July 2013 debut of C4: Surya (rugs, pillows, throws and art for residential and contract markets) will expand its current Las Vegas showroom presence by nearly 400 percent into a 30,447-square-foot showroom; Andrew Martin International (UK-based supplier of upholstered sofas and chairs, living room tables, and home decor), will make its U.S. showroom debut in a 10,681-square-foot showroom shared with Cisco Brothers (furniture crafted in Los Angeles from green materials and building methods); Luna Bella (designers and manufacturers of clocks, accessories, furniture, lighting) will establish its exclusive western states presence in a 2,286-square-foot showroom; Moe€™s Home Collection (modern home furnishings featuring top grain leathers, luxurious fabrics, flawless lacquers and stylish lighting) will open a 6,643-square-foot showroom; Palecek (woven furniture, accessories and lighting for retailers, designers, and the hospitality industry) will open a 5,500-square-foot showroom; and TerraSur (manufacturer and distributor of exquisitely crafted furniture from Argentina) will open a 2,300-square-foot showroom.

In line with this, four home-focused categories of temporary exhibits--HOME, STYLE, TEXTILES and MADE (a new segment featuring artisanal, handmade products)--will relocate to the fifth floor of Building C in July. This redesigned floor will provide a cohesive collection of home décor, furnishings, bedding fashions, home textile designs and gifts from more than 300 exhibitors, including confirmed newcomers Adivik Linen Company, Grand Legacy Art, Images 2000, Iron Thread Design, ORE International and many others.

€œIn less than 12 months, we have created a critical mass of leading home brands on three floors (B3, C3 and C4) of Las Vegas Market, and the growth trend shows no signs of slowing,€ said Belshaw. €œOur strategy began last July on B3, with the re-merchandising of existing better home decor resources, and continued in January on C3, with addition of leading suppliers to the marketplace.

Notable changes on C3 this July will include the expansion of Classic Home (furniture and rugs) and the addition of Low Country Originals (lighting). In addition, home furnishings floor B4 will be sold-out this summer with the addition of JLA (home furnishings) in a 10,000-square-foot showroom.