Richloom Fabrics Group
Jay McIntosh -- Furniture Today, August 18, 2008
Richloom Shanghai Trading Offers Diverse And Stylish Decorative Fabrics To Global Market
SHANGHAI, China—Leading global decorative fabric manufacturer Richloom Fabrics Group is offering the global marketplace a broad selection of fashion-forward designs, textures and colorations.
Founded more than 50 years ago by the Richman family, the privately-held Richloom Fabrics Group opened its first office in Shanghai in 2004. The company formed a freestanding Asian operations division, Richloom Shanghai Trading, in 2006, to better serve the rapidly expanding market in China and other Asian countries.
Under chief executive James Richman, Richloom has developed a commanding presence in the global decorative fabric industry, selling upholstery fabrics, outdoor fabrics, contract and hospitality fabrics, home decorative fabrics and finished bedding ensembles, window treatments and accessories to a worldwide customer base of furniture manufacturers, retailers, and the contract and hospitality trade. The company is registering annual growth of 5 to 7.5 percent.
The U.S. remains Richloom’s largest market, representing about 85 percent of the company’s business. For the Richloom Shanghai Trading division, about 70 percent of the company’s products are sold within China, with the remaining 30 percent exported to other regions, including countries throughout southeast Asia, Europe, Australia and Canada.
Richloom Shanghai Trading has grown rapidly under the direction of Jay Carlson, vice president of Asian operations, and Glenda Spangler, vice president of global sourcing. Carlson points out that Richloom Shanghai Trading is pursuing “strategic and targeted growth” and the company distinguishes itself through “our diverse product offering and operational strengths within Asia.”
Headquartered in New York, Richloom maintains showrooms in Shanghai; High Point, N.C.; Tupelo, Miss.; Los Angeles, and Elkhart, Ind. The company participates in major international trade shows, including the High Point and Tupelo furniture markets, Intertextile Shanghai in China, as well as fabric and home textiles markets in New York and Los Angeles.
Richloom is currently experiencing substantial growth in several categories, according to Carlson. “Our growth areas are hospitality, outdoor, export and retail,” he points out. “While the overall market is going to remain flat for the foreseeable future, there are growth areas in the hospitality trades and casual, outdoor furniture markets. For both of these areas, the Richloom Shanghai Trading company is reallocating resources in terms of products, sales and production to further grow within these industries.”
Carlson adds that the company has a competitive advantage, offering “highly styled product while maintaining small inventories. We work closely with the end retailers to develop a cohesive and saleable product.”
Kathleen Maple, Richloom director of marketing, points out that current best-sellers include “outdoor fabrics and contract fabrics all constructions.”
Richloom has developed a reputation for advanced design and fashion-forward colors. “All color combinations in the blue family are strong, including blue/brown, spa blue and blue/green,” comments Louise Cullen Robinson, design director. “Purple is an emerging color story – we are starting this with accents. Anything linen is strong, including linen prints, linen embroidery and linen woven constructions.
“Embroidery is a strong area for us, as well as taffeta looks,” Robinson continues. “Velvets as a category are hot now for us, including cut velvets, printed, solid or faux looks. Anything that looks natural or handmade is strong, also the eco story is big/ We are launching an eco-friendly line of fabrics which we have branded ‘Richloom Eco: Fabrics For A Sustainable Earth.’ It is the latest trend.”
For Your Information
Key contact: Jay Carlson, vice president, Asian operations
Web site: www.richloom.com
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