A Global Crisis
Furniture Today Staff -- Furniture Today, December 21, 2010
AS THE GLOBAL SCENARIO for product supply reaches almost crisis proportion in the home textiles world, it's time to stop the tearing of hankies and the woe is me outlook. We all are in this mess together - for one reason or another - and I'm not about to expound on my views in that arena
At the same time, the entire consumer marketplace is bursting with price promotions across the product spectrum initiated in great measure by the frenzy over the recent Black Friday, Cyber Monday etc., etc. promotional events.
As the price frenzy escalates, we're hearing more and more about retailers' orders being accepted on this side of the water and rejected almost immediately across the ocean. Net result - new pricing negotiations here, often with negative results.
When one analyzes the pricing just in home textiles - forget about the rest of the consumer products arena - that showed up for the critical Thanksgiving week events, one wonders how these were arrived at - and what future penalties would be forthcoming since the retailers certainly will have some "pay back" with their off-shore suppliers.
Then, of course, is the issue that many don't accept. Home textiles is merely a pimple on the ass of the elephant in this crisis. But few in this business want to - or will accept that we are far down on the economic totem pole of textile manufacturing around the world.
In terms of pricing for these major events, price points dropped to all-time lows. A JCPenney towel was a typical offer at $3.99. But with this, as with its competitors similar - but not quite low ball pricing - there was no identification of what the consumer would be getting in terms of quality or size.
And in one of the more spectacular comparison promotions, Penney did a three-question ad concerning its new Liz Claiborne exclusive clothes actually citing Macy's as a place where the collection could not be obtained. A competitive salvo few have ever seen.
This is the time frame when everyone in home textiles needs to stay aware that the exercises we're going through are global and far beyond this industry's effort to correct them.
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