2011年4月28日 星期四

It's Bright and Sunny at the Marimekko at Crate & Barrel on Madison

Today, Marimekko continues its Finnish invasion of New York by opening its second shop-within-a-shop at the Crate & Barrel on Madison Avenue. If you recall, we partied back with the Finns back in October for the unveiling of their first venture at the Soho Crate & Barrel locale and we're also anxiously awaiting the label's flagship to open in the Toy Building this fall.

But back to the Madison Avenue launch, which kicked off morning—thankfully providing a much needed burst of bright, sunshiny color and fresh, crisp flavor to this spirit-dampening, coif-decimating muggy weather. The shop is located on the ground level toward the back right and is a bit smaller than the Soho outpost at a pinch less than 1000 square feet.
Bags, paper napkins and Marimekko for boys, this way>>

Here, Marimekko and Crate & Barrel shoppers will find the classics as well as the most recent designs, which will be continually introduced four times a year. For the crafty and Marimekko-crazed, the shop boasts a well-stocked by-the-yard section, which starts around $43 per yard for basic light textiles ideal for pop-art curtains and bedding whatnot and going up to $65+ for waxed-sheets (perfect for easy-clean tablecloths and messy kids' rooms) and heavier-knit upholstery fabrics.

For those more craft-challenged, there is a plethora of bedding, towels, curtains and even paper napkins in classic designs like the oft-copied poppy, Crate & Barrel exclusive issues (classic prints in special color schemes), and the all-encompassing (i.e. masculine enough for the boys) Ruutukaava graphic print. Bedding starts around $24.95 for a pillow set. An exec dressed in a Marimekko ensemble pointed out that the patterns and graphics are meant to be mixed.

There are also non-householdy items like coin purses ($16 to $18), light totes ($18), fabric-covered notebooks ($20+), whimsical umbrellas ($40), and super adorbs pastille tines ($4 each). For those in search of a fab gift set, check out the Japanese cult-pub Mook combo, featuring a mini-canvas tote and a small zip-pouch,—all for $29. A range of canvas bags in exuberant, color-popping prints are also on tap, starting at $85 for the small purses and ranging up to about $129 for the bright, solid neon yellow or orange messenger bags.

Bedding producers offer many new lines

Bedding producers are offering a loaded lineup of new mattress models at the High Point Market in one of the broadest showings of flagship lines in years.

Each of bedding's Big Three - Sealy, Serta and Simmons - is rolling out a new flagship line.

This marks the High Point debut of the new Sealy Posturepedic line, the flagship line that company officials are expecting to generate strong sales and to make market share gains.

The new line offers several key new features: A CoreSupport center that is reinforced with memory foam and is designed to enhance support and resist body impressions; LiftRight fabric handles that surround the mattress, making it easy for consumers to move and adjust; and a Stay-Tight rubberized gripper fabric on the foundation designed to keep the mattress in place.

Three new springs, one an encased coil model, were developed for the line, offering new levels of support, according to Sealy officials.

The line is backed by a comprehensive marketing program that includes new television commercials and a broad digital media package.

Serta is showing two new lines. Its flagship Perfect Sleeper line was designed with input from the National Sleep Foundation and aims to solve common sleep problems, while the new iComfort line features gel memory foam, a combination of gel and memory foam that Serta officials say offers superior comfort and support.

The iComfort line, backed with new retail display elements, represents a major effort by Serta to gain ground in the specialty sleep arena. Retails are more modest than for other memory foam lines, according to Serta.

And Simmons brings a new Pocketed Coil spring to market, the Smart Response Pocketed Coil, which offers "superior performance," said Gary Fazio, CEO of Simmons. He said it represents an evolution of the Pocketed Coil that has always been a hallmark of the company's signature Beautyrest line.

The Smart Response Pocketed Coil is offered in two Beautyrest lines here: the NxG line, which combines springs and NxG memory foam, and the Elite, which replaces the Beautyrest Anniversary Collection introduced last year.

Also new from Simmons is a Beautyrest Classic line with new styling and a BeautySleep line targeting promotional price points.

Other Top 15 producers also have new products on tap for High Point.

A new High Point exhibitor is Comfort Solutions, which is introducing a new "no sag" warranty on its Extended Life line, intended for all sleepers, especially those with larger body types. The warranty covers a half-inch or less of normal wear. Retails will range from $1,099 to $2,999.

Comfort Solutions has re-branded and re-engineered its Laura Ashley line to intensify its "all about her" focus. And the company also is unveiling a new two-sided bed line called "Advantage by Comfort Solutions" to address consumers who still want two-sided beds.

International Bedding has a new Airsprung line that represents a partnership with Airsprung of the United Kingdom. It features three different foam-encased spring units, all available on European-design platform bases. The producer also is showing new American-Pedic and Classic lines.

Therapedic has a broad offering of new lines: BackSense, featuring the company's proprietary HourGlass support grid, retailing from $399 to $999; additions to the Kathy Ireland Home by Therapedic Essentials line, retailing from $599 to $1,999; and new PureTouch latex beds retailing from $1,199 to $2,999.

Gerry Borreggine, president of Therapedic, said latex remains an "underdeveloped category." On one hand, he said, bedding veterans praise the responsiveness and support offered by latex, but that message hasn't taken hold with consumers. "It remains a mystery to me why that story hasn't resonated with consumers," he said.

Restonic is showing a new HealthRest line, featuring memory foam and latex models and retailing from $999 to $2,499, and a new encased coil line called ComfortCare Select, retailing from $799 to $1,999.

Symbol is showcasing its Symbol 50th Anniversary beds and the Symbol Response Collection, both of which have been strong performers for the company, said Mike McQuiston, vice president.

"We are also excited about expanding our Comfortec line and launching our new Discovery PLUS Series, combining fresh looks and comforts at velocity price points," he added.

New bedding exhibitors bring lines to High Point

Sleep experts, bedding veterans and High Point newcomers will be part of the bedding scene here, showing new innerspring and specialty sleep lines.

Norfolk, Va.-based Paramount Sleep is introducing a new line of bedding designed with the help of sleep expert Dr. James Maas and carrying the title of his new book, "Sleep for Success!"

Maas, who is Paramount's product spokesman as part of a new partnership with the bedding producer, will be in Paramount's High Point showroom meeting with retailers to help introduce the new line. He says it will be designed as "the ultimate bed for a better tomorrow."

Paramount is also introducing a new A.H. Beard line of beds that celebrates the heritage of respected Australian bedding producer A.H. Beard. The innerspring line represents a partnership between Paramount and A.H. Beard, headed by bedding veterans Allyn and Garry Beard. Allyn Beard will be in the Paramount showroom in High Point to help launch that line.

Thomasville, N.C.-based Carolina Mattress Guild is celebrating its 20th anniversary, appropriately enough, with a 20th anniversary sleep set. Neal Grigg, president of CMG, said the "high style" quilted innerspring bed, targeting the $799 to $999 retail price points, is designed to spark conversations with its strong value.

"Retailers can run a promotion and generate some excitement with this bed with their customers," he said. "The value is so strong they will be telling their customers all about this bed."

CMG will also be showing its new Flex line of latex beds, which is off to a promising start at retail, Grigg said.

Shifman Mattresses is relaunching its premier line, the Masters Collection, which features natural materials, hand-tufting and eight-way, hand-tied box springs. Retails range from $3,199 to $7,399.

New to the Masters Collection is the Cezanne, designed with 95% natural materials, including pashmina cashmere, cotton and natural latex. It retails at $7,399.

"Just when you thought a Shifman couldn't get any better, our designers found a way," said Bill Hammer, the company's president. "The Masters Collection is our most luxurious collection, and the new Cézanne is the most comfortable mattress ever made. Every detail, including luxurious layers of pashmina cashmere, combines to create this proud example of fine hand-craftsmanship. We anticipate a lot of interest in the product during High Point Market and know our dealers will have a lot of success selling this improved and expanded collection."

InnoMax, showing in the new Specialty Sleep Assn. space in the International Home Furnishings Center, M-413, is adding a latex bed to its InnoPedic Plus line. "Adding the natural resilience of latex to the InnoPedic Plus, with its Energized Isotropic Support Core, has created a mattress that instantly adjusts to provide uniformly contoured comfort and feels like nothing else available in the industry," said Mark Miller, president of InnoMax. The new latex bed retails at $1,999.

Pure LatexBliss, offering latex beds, says that type of bedding is on the ascent. "It's growing," said Kurt Ling, CEO. "The number of manufacturers producing all-latex beds is growing. There is a wholesale availability of the product that wasn't there in the past."

Pure LatexBliss is showing the first bed in its new World's Best Beds Collection, a $4,499 offering with 19 inches of latex. "There is more latex in the foundation of that bed than many other latex beds have in the whole bed," Ling said.

De Courcy & Co. makes its High Point debut with the Hevea Grove collection of natural latex mattresses. "We combine our European roots and latex expertise with American comfort," said Marc de Courcy, CEO. "The result is an attractive, well-tailored product, exuding personality and warm sophistication."

Bob O'Neill, an executive with Leggett & Platt's Consumer Products Group, said the new SilverShell anti-microbial mattress protector the company is showing here is resonating with consumers. The new mattress protector is treated with elemental silver to inhibit more than 99% of germs, according to L&P.

"It is unbelievable how well that product is being received in the market," O'Neill said. "Many people are worried about germs."

New to the market is Vivon, offering the Vivon Prestige, powered by a Brookstone massage unit inside the mattress. The unit has five massage modes with six motors (in queen and king size) that provide a massage for the shoulders, back and legs. Retails range from $949 to $1,299.

2011年4月26日 星期二

Spring is the time to buy plants and various groups are hosting sales

Whether it’s a few containers on a balcony or an acreage with multiple planting beds, homeowners are always looking for ways to beautify their surroundings.

The Lower Mainland climate offers gardeners, no matter how green the thumb, many options for plant materials.

There are several sales coming up that offer selections of flowers, bushes, shrubs, trees, fruits and vegetables.

• The Langley Garden Club

Saturday, April 30

9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Sharon United Church grounds

“The Langley Garden Club’s Annual Spring Show and Sale this year also marks the 70th anniversary of the club,” noted Pam Erikson, a longtime member.

To mark the occasion, Langley Township Mayor Rick Green is scheduled to cut an anniversary cake at 1 p.m.

The club’s annual Spring Show and Sale marks the official start of the blooming season. Spring bulbs and other flowers, foliage and photographs will be judged in the parlor show, while the club and selected local vendors will have plants and garden items for sale

“Come and see what unusual items you can find for your own garden this year,” she said.

• Kwantlen Polytechnic University School of Horticulture

Saturday, April 30

9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

School of Horticulture greenhouses (Langley Bypass)

The School of Horticulture at the Kwantlen Polytechnic University keeps turning out crops of graduates who know gardening, landscaping and food production. To learn how to do all this, they have to learn how to grow a variety of plants and the public can pick up what’s grown there at the annual sale this Saturday.

• The Maples Discovery Gardens Co-op Mothers Day sale

Saturday, May 7

7743 200th St.

The Maples is a non-profit community cooperative.

The six-acre site features botanical and native gardens with community walking paths, an events square, garden plots and agreenhouse, and is the first phase of a community development.

All plant sale proceeds go to Langley Association for Community Living Horticultural Entrepreneurial Incubator (HEI).

SA man charged over body in car murder

A 31-year-old man has been charged with murdering a woman whose body was found in a car south of Adelaide.

The 29-year-old woman was found dead in the passenger seat under some bedding on Lowana Road, near Strathalbyn, about 1pm (CST) on Tuesday, police said.

"The man was refused police bail and is expected to appear in the Adelaide Magistrates Court," police said in a statement on Wednesday.

Politics makes strange bedfellows, and so do bed bugs.

Colorado lawmakers are considering a bill that will repeal Colorado's Bedding Act, which requires that beds be sanitized before they can be resold. The bill is a move to cut red tape.

Opponents say improperly renovated mattresses are a significant cause in the spread of beg bugs in Colorado.

Lawmakers will consider the bill on Wednesday in the Senate Health and Human Services Committee.

2011年4月24日 星期日

And so to bed – but watch out for a cold snap

GARDEN centres are full of tender bedding plants, and some gardeners plant them in the garden immediately, gambling that there won’t be any late frosts in their area.

Some years they are lucky and they have a really early flush of colour from geraniums, busy lizzies, petunias and fuchsias. In other years, late frosts strike and it’s a return trip to the garden centre to buy replacements.

There’s a moral here – don’t be impatient.

Early planting of tender bedding plants is fine if you are prepared to watch the weather forecast and have sheets of newspaper to fix over the plants every evening should the temperatures fall.

Don’t be fooled by any plant label that claims it is “half-hardy”. That’s gardening speak for “not hardy at all”.

After you have bought your bedding plants, keep them for a week or more outside in their pots or trays to harden off.

A position close to the house on a warm patio is ideal as bricks and paving hold heat for many hours. A covering of newspaper or fleece will ensure the plants are tucked up safely on cold nights.

When planting out bedding, give the plants a thorough watering in the trays or pots the night before, so they have had a good drink ready for root disturbance and the trauma of new surroundings.

Take out small planting holes with a trowel, leaving space between each for potential plant growth. Firm the soil around the roots and leave a shallow depression around the stem so that any subsequent watering puddles just above the plant roots without running away.

If you get the planting right, you’ll get a summer of colour.

Bio-techniques improve efficiency

Feeding maize gluten to heifers can reduce bedding costs and create a cost effective diet, according to one Gloucestershire heifer rearer.

Because the dung is firmer, when heifers are reared on maize gluten in covered, loose yards, they need less straw for bedding compared to a forage feeding system. And in livestock areas where straw is more expensive, this saving can offset the higher cost of maize gluten when compared to moist homegrown forage.

Typical straw use on a maize gluten system is about 1% liveweight a day. For a yearling this could equate to 2kg a day. In livestock areas where straw averages £80/tonne, bedding would cost 16p/head/day. For stock on a good quality silage diet, straw use can double to 32p/head/day.

Rob Dickenson, who rears 240 heifers on contract at Catswood Farm, in Bisley, Gloucestershire, feeds 5kg of maize gluten and homegrown barley straw from the age of five months and describes maize gluten as the perfect balance for straw.

He started contract heifer rearing after giving up milk production, converting the land to arable. "It made sense to capitalise on the straw we had available by feeding it to the heifers," says Mr Dickenson, who grows 101ha (250acres) of spring barley and buys a further 121ha (300 acres).

The heifers have to achieve target weights of 600kg to calve at 24 months and maize gluten and straw enables him to achieve that goal.

"When we first started using maize gluten in 1996 it was as cheap as anything we could feed to get a 20% protein diet," says Mr Dickenson.

Maize gluten value

Although the cost has more than doubled since then, from £80/tonne to £181/tonne, the figures still stack up because the diet achieves daily liveweight gains of between 0.75kg and 0.85kg. If the heifers were on a silage diet this would cost about £130/t/DM. However Mr Dickenson makes his main savings on bedding costs.

He also sees the value in not having to invest capital in slurry storage. "We store the manure in a pit and use it as we need it - it's valuable stuff," he says.

The simplicity of the diet means he doesn't need to go to the expense of a mixer wagon either. "We put straight maize gluten into troughs and they get straw ad lib in a separate yard, we don't need to mix anything," he says.

Paul Broom, commercial manager at KW Alternative Feeds, says maize gluten and straw represent a cost effective diet. "In principle, it would have been more cost effective to feed this winter than wheat and other bought-in commodities.

"Even for a farm with unlimited forage it is perhaps more sensible to feed better quality forage to the dairy cows and maize gluten and straw to growing heifers. It won't necessarily give the growth rates that cereals would, but do heifers really need that?"

Maize gluten is a by-product of moist maize milling and incorporates maize fibres, oils and proteins. Because it can be produced from genetically modified material, its availability has been sporadic due to import regulations. Mr Broom says these rules have now been modified and maize gluten should be more widely available.

At an ME of 12.8MJ/kg DM, maize gluten has a good energy content. Both protein and starch content is 22%.

Straw inclusion

Crucial to the success of a maize gluten and straw diet is the quality of the straw. Dave Collett, nutritionist at KW Alternative Feeds, says the straw must be good quality or the heifers won't eat it.

He recommends feeding 2-3kg to younger heifers and 4-6kg to older animals. "They have got to have access to as much straw as they can eat and plenty of fresh water must be available."

At Catswood Farm, Mr Dickenson says the only issue he has had with feeding maize gluten is that it doesn't appeal to younger calves. "When the heifers first arrive on farm at 12 weeks old they aren't keen on it so until they are five months old we feed them a combination of soya hulls and wheat distillers and a bit of rolled barley."

He stresses the importance of feeding barley straw. "The heifers eat it all up but when we have used wheat straw they leave half of it behind. I believe barley straw is more nutritious too."

2011年4月23日 星期六

Titusville angler has dream tournament

For Larry Cruce of Titusville, a recent club tournament on Lake Okeechobee was one of those fishing trips that most bass anglers dream about.

Cruce, a veteran member of the LERA Bass Club of Titusville, was competing in the club's annual two-day tournament on the big South Florida lake. It's one of the biggest events of the year for the club members.
Not only did Cruce win with a two-day total of 34.50 pounds but he did it fishing alone and in record-setting fashion. The club uses the team format but members can compete solo if one member can't attend. But it's definitely a disadvantage because the lone angler is going against two-angler teams.

"It was one of my best tournaments ever," said Cruce, a 58-year-old retired State of Florida Department of Corrections employee. "We found bedding bass and a lot of fish were caught. I'd compare it to a BFL (Bass Fishing League) tournament I won out of 202 co-anglers in 2004 when I caught 23 pounds, 14 ounces in one day. I won $2,500."

Cruce competed on the BFL regional circuit in 2004, 2005 and 2006 but since has been content with smaller local tournaments. He's a lifetime bass fisherman born in Starke, where his ancestors settled in the 1840s.

The closest two-man LERA team to Cruce was Steven Clark of Melbourne and Dan Newman of Satellite Beach with 32.61 pounds. They recorded the heaviest single-day bag of 20.22 pounds the first day, including three bass exceeding 5 pounds. Clark had the big bass of the day at 5.78 pounds.

Alan Elder of Melbourne and Wayne Smith of Palm Bay finished third with 26.23 pounds.

In the process, Cruce set a Single-day club record for a solo angler with 19.95 pounds on the second day. In fact, the single-day record was broken four times in the two days, as anglers brought in heavy catches of spawning bass.

On the first day, Cruce broke Alan Elder's two-year-old club record of 13.39 pounds with 14.55 pounds. The second day, Mike Calloway of Titusville set a new mark with 15.19 only to have Tony Ciavarella of Melbourne beat him with 16.54. Then Cruce reclaimed the record for good with his 19.95.

Cruce's catch included a 6.23-pounder and a 5-pounder which he caught in the last 20 minutes of fishing.
Most of the bass Cruce brought to the scales during the two days came on a top-water Storm Chug Bug.
"No one believed me when I told them," Cruce said. "The bass were bedding in about 2 feet of water along the edge of hydrilla and eel grass. I'd put the Chug Bug right on the edge of the grass and they'd nail it."

Others in the club fished the same conditions along the north side of Fisheating Bay on the southwest side of Okeechobee.

Cruce entered as a solo angler when Tim Iler of Port St. John, his regular club partner, was out of town on business. Calloway and Ciavarella also competed as solo anglers.

The heaviest bass in the two days belonged to Ciavarella with a 6.56-pounder the second day.

Since the tournament, Cruce underwent surgery for an aortic aneurysm. He is resting at home and itching to return to fishing.

The LERA club -- the name is an abbreviation for Lockheed Employees Recreation Association, a now defunct organization that existed in 1988 when the club was organized -- is welcoming new members. Because a team format is used in its tournaments, at least one team member must have a boat.

Joburg factory fire doused

Johannesburg - A fire that broke out at a bedding factory in Booysens, south of Johannesburg on Good Friday was completely extinguished by 07:00 on Saturday, Johannesburg Emergency Services said.

"We managed to stop the fire from spreading and had it completely extinguished by 07:00," spokesperson Percy Morokane said.

Emergency services had feared that the Gordon Prince factory on Koster Street, would collapse. A structural engineer had been at the scene advising emergency services which perimeters they could work in.
"A structural engineer came in last night to advise us which perimeters we need to work on. We followed all the safety protocols."

Morokane said the factory, which manufactures bedding material such as duvets, blankets and comforters had been condemned.

"There will be no further production, entry or exit to this building," he said.

"The Department of Labour will now have to visit the premises to carry its own investigation."

The department would investigate whether anyone had "broken any rules regarding employee safety".

The building appeared to have burnt from the basement and "might have been started by a spark".

"We'll have to look to look at the machinery being used in the basement.

"We suspect that it may have started from a spark from the machinery being used."

The police, labour department and structural engineers will hold an "extensive investigation" into the cause of the fire.

Morokane said the safety of the 150 employees who were inside the building when the fire broke out could be attributed to quick response by emergency services.

He added that the fire could have been a disaster if not for the emergency fire doors in the basement where the fire started.

On Friday Divisional Chief of Johannesburg emergency services, JJ Viljoen, told Sapa water could not used to extinguish the fire because of the weight it carries and it might cause the building to collapse.

"The heat emanating from the basement was so intense, that it caused the upper floor to crack. Therefore, it could collapse at any time."

Foam was pumped into the building to extinguish flames.

He said the pipes from fire hydrants attached to the building could also not be used earlier as it was melting.
Workers, although warned not to, jostled amongst fire-fighters, in a bid to salvage blankets, and the fibre used in manufacturing it.

The employees, loaded blankets onto trucks lining the street.

Security guard at the factory, Martin Griessel, said the fire broke at 21:00.
"I was in the bathroom, when the light suddenly went off. I went out to investigate and saw smoke coming from the basement," he said.

Scarlett Johansson looks lovely in D&G ad

Scarlett Johansson looks absolutely stunning in her new Dolce & Gabbana ad. Her soft face compliments a lovely summer dress as she lays on white bedding. Her purple nail polish looks fantastic also, and really brings the ad full circle.

The photos are being called "Italian Summertime," and that name is more than fitting! ScarJo isn't the most beautiful woman in Hollywood, and usually when you think of Beverly Hills beauty, she doesn't come to mind. However, in this new ad, she really outdoes herself!

Her lovely look is making headlines, which is a home run for Dolce & Gabbana. With rumors swirling that Johansson could be pregnant, this ad came in the nick of time. Although she may have taken this photograph a while ago, she's now in the news for something so much better than a possible baby bump!

What do you think of ScarJo's new Dolce & Gabbana ad?

Still much to learn about chronic wasting disease

Happily, after recently testing 1,180 deer near Pine Island, the Department of Natural Resources found no additional whitetails afflicted with chronic wasting disease (CWD) in southeastern Minnesota, near where one was killed by an archer last fall.

Still, CWD looms as a potential threat in Minnesota, and there is much we do not understand about the disease. This could hinder our response if ever it does become prevalent.

What do we know about CWD? We're confident that people can't become infected. And while saliva and contaminated soil are suspected agents in the transmission of CWD from deer to deer, it's not clear how deer become infected in the wild. Finally, captive deer and elk farms often are blamed for introducing CWD to an area. But even this is uncertain in all cases.

The (nonliving) beast

Most scientists think CWD is caused by a naturally occurring protein that undergoes a change in shape and accumulates in the brain (and elsewhere), causing a neurological meltdown. These misshapen proteins are called prions, which physically contact normal versions of the protein and cause them to go bad. A deer can be infected for several years before showing outward symptoms of CWD. During this time it can shed prions, much as we shed flu virus via sneezing before we feel sick.

People and CWD

There is no known instance of people getting CWD from eating infected deer or elk. But we remain curious, and some answers might be forthcoming: In 2005, a fire company in upstate New York hosted a fundraiser at which venison from infected deer was unknowingly served. Scientists are monitoring 81 people who ate the venison or were in some way exposed, and there should be some results soon.

How do deer in wild get CWD?

We suspect a deer can get infectious prions from another deer or the soil. But a deer might also develop them spontaneously. Cattle and humans develop prion disease spontaneously; the frequency for humans is about 1 in a million. If that was true for deer, with several million in the upper Midwest, a few could get the disease without contacting an infected animal.

Feeding and baiting deer could cause prions to be transmitted via saliva left in, say, a corn pile. Another route for CWD transmission is via soil that is contaminated by deer urine and feces. Both routes have been established experimentally in captives, but in the case of saliva, the report added that researchers had to use "likely unrealistic doses to be acquired in a natural setting."

In another study on captive deer, bedding was inoculated with CWD prions, and the two exposed deer developed CWD within 19 months. However, the deer used the same bedding for 570 consecutive days, and the bedding was refreshed daily with prions. This establishes the potential for environmental contamination but does not clarify what is going on in the wild. A genetic study showed that related deer were more likely to get CWD, suggesting that deer infect each other via direct contact rather than through the soil. And while some whitetails are genetically less likely to get CWD, there appears to be no resistant type.

Captive herds and CWD

Counterintuitively, perhaps, if a captive herd develops CWD, it might indicate that CWD is in the local wild herd. If, say, wild deer contact captive deer at a fence, CWD might be transferred to the captive herd, where it will be noticed. Deer are abnormally concentrated and live longer in game farms, both factors that lead to discovery of infected animals -- wild deer might be harvested before showing outward symptoms.

Future concerns

In parts of the CWD core area in southern Wisconsin, infection rates of 20 percent have been reported. We do not yet know the population-level consequences of CWD. A worst-case scenario would be a drastic reduction in deer numbers, when the rate of spread would decline. Perhaps then a more resistant deer will emerge.

Beautiful bedding that won't break the bank

Slightly more than 10 years ago, Orapan Tangviriya and her best friend created a new fashion trend in Chatuchak Weekend Market with cotton T-shirts screened with funky designs under the name Fabric. They were an instant hit with youngsters as well as celebrities like popular bohemian singer Palmy.
Asia was still suffering from the aftermath of the economic crisis back then but the pals, both graduates in the field of motion pictures and videos from Rangsit University, persisted with their small business, using their creative skills to the fullest. Their tees were universal with designs featuring everything from cartoon characters to nature and coming in a kaleidoscope of colours.
Initially, they used quality soft cotton from the local market as their main material and soon expanded the product line to include household items. Under the brand name Fabric Living, they launched a selection of bed linens in a variety of colours.
"Our products are creative and colourful. We stress comfort, which is why we only use good quality 100 per cent cotton," Orapan says.
Recently they opened a new shop at Crystal Design Centre. It stocks a range of colourful pillowcases, bedsheets, bolster cases, quilts and foot mats.
Smooth and comfortable, their sheets have no join and some designs feature stripes and polka dots. You can add warmth to a bedroom with a reversible two-toned patchwork quilt or jazz up a plain guest room with a range of bedding in lime green, shocking pink, bright blue, purple, yellow and orange as well as more basic grey, brown, black and white.
Alongside is a corner for the fashionista. Here you'll find cotton dresses, blouses, shirts, T-shirts, leggings and skirts in pastel shades that are simple in design, but outstanding in quality.
"We have colours and fabric to choose for customers who want to design their own bedding," Orapan adds.
The store also plans to launch a new collection of handbags and stools.

2011年4月21日 星期四

Growers taken aback as RHS cuts back bedding to one-third of Tatton schemes

HW has learnt that the RHS has asked entrants to July's Tatton Park national flower bed competition to reduce bedding planting to become just a third of schemes.

The society will give £2,000 to each of the 14 councils that have entered to plant two-thirds permanent planting on their displays.

Shows development director Bob Sweet said: "A number of local authorities said they can't afford to plant bedding any more so want more permanent plants in their flower beds.

However, bedding grower representatives who did not know about the move said they were "confused" and "intrigued" by the decision.

Since the show began in 1999 exhibits have had up to 20 per cent "dot" planting of perennials. The competition, which will run this year on 20-24 July, usually features around 20 local authorities and has always been Britain's biggest stage for bedding. Seventeen councils entered in 2010.

Sweet said: "We are giving local authorities a small grant and asking them to plant beds with a mixture of permanent and bedding plants, which reflects the economic circumstances in which they're working."

An RHS representative added: "This reflects how councils are moving away from bedding towards permanent planting. In this (economic) climate it's hard for them to justify keeping the glasshouse going over winter." He said the criteria was now to plant one-third bedding and two-thirds perennials.

Bedding plant and seed supplier Ball Colegrave pulled out of sponsoring the event last year.

Reaction from the bedding plant industry

Sarah Fairhurst, chairman, British Protected Ornamentals Association

"If it is called the National Bedding Plant Competition I'm a little confused about the RHS putting permanent planting in it. It doesn't seem to tie in."

Ian Riggs, marketing committee head, British Protected Ornamentals Association

"Why doesn't the RHS give a grant for bedding? Why does the RHS want to promote perennials instead of bedding? I'm intrigued why the RHS is supporting one grower industry and not another."

2011年4月20日 星期三

A choice of bedding

Options include straw, wood shavings, paper products, rice hulls, and peat moss

Stalls traditionally have been bedded with materials that provide some cushion and absorbency. Good bedding provides a layer of insulation between the horse and a cold floor, cushions a hard surface, prevents bruising of leg joints, and helps to keep the horse clean.

Horses need a clean place to stand and to lie down. If they are constantly exposed to urine and manure, they will be more at risk for thrush or may develop urine scald or other skin problems.

Even in barns where cushiony and easy-to-clean stall mats are used, most horsemen add some bedding material on top of the mats to create a cleaner and more comfortable environment. Bedding absorbs urine and if the soiled wet bedding is removed on a regular basis, it keeps the stall drier and the horse healthier.

Ammonia from urine is damaging to the respiratory system; irritates the air passages; and makes it easier for pathogens to become established. Ammonia also damages a horse's feet by attacking the hoof horn. Ammonia-soaked wet manure packed in the hoofs can contribute to thrush.

The temperature of a cold floor without bedding can chill a horse by drawing away its body heat. Bedding creates air pockets that act as barriers between the floor and the horse. Piling straw bedding thicker on the sides of a stall protects a horse from drafts in cold weather and serves as padding to help it get back to its feet if it happens to roll against the wall.

Bedding can be created from a variety of materials. Factors to consider when selecting bedding will be cost, availability, freedom from dust and foreign material, and palatability. Bedding should be something the horse will not eat. Choose material that will be compatible with the stall flooring, and something that can be readily disposed of.

2011年4月19日 星期二

Bedding Conference: Women consumers key

Women consumers will be in the spotlight once again at Furniture/Today's upcoming Bedding Conference.

The event, set for May 4-6 at the Fairmont Turnberry Isle Resort in Aventura, Fla., is already at record attendance levels. If you haven't signed up yet, you should do so quickly.

One of our featured speakers is Delia Passi, CEO of Medelia Inc. and founder of WomenCertified. Her new book is "Winning the Toughest Customer: The Essential Guide to Selling to Women."

Passi will be sharing strategies for increasing close rates with women and couples and will highlight the essential communication skills and techniques that are proven to be most effective with women consumers.

Her talk is sponsored by Hickory Springs, the headline sponsor, which wants to continue to provocative female-focused conversations that we sparked last year with our "It's All About Her" theme and speakers.

Guys, we've got an important message for you: Your success in the bedding industry will be determined, to a large degree, by how well you connect with female consumers.

Delia Passi will help show you the way.

I'll see you in Florida.

2011年4月18日 星期一

Leggett & Platt's Comfort Core products allow thinner mattresses

Thicker is not better when it comes to mattresses, says bedding components supplier Leggett & Platt. And it has created a new brand umbrella for its encased coil products, which can help bedding producers make thinner mattresses and reduce costly returns, the company says.

Leggett & Platt's Bedding Group said it will brand its category of fabric-encased coils as Comfort Core. The new brand will focus on what the company says is its attention to consumers' request for comfort. And it will leverage L&P's patented technology with its diverse portfolio of bedding products.

While most innerspring products primarily focus on providing support, Leggett & Platt says it its Comfort Core products are both comfortable and supportive, eliminating the need for layers of fabric and foam.

"When you are able to reduce the excessive height of a mattress and eliminate the foam and fiber that typically cause body impressions, you end up with a better product for the consumer," said Mark Quinn, segment vice president of marketing at Leggett & Platt. "When it comes to mattresses, we teach consumers that thicker is better. It's time we addressed this myth. Comfort Core will exceed consumer expectations for comfort, and prove that you can build value in a smaller profile mattress."

"When we talk to retailers about issues that they face, returns are always at the top of the list," Quinn added. "If we start telling a better story and eliminate the misguided beliefs that cause this problem, we can exceed customer expectations with the end product. We think Comfort Core products will help bedding manufacturers do that."

The Comfort Core product line will include the L&P coil types Body Print, Body Print
Advanced, Bolsa, Hi-Low, Joey and Softech.

In a new ad campaign for the Comfort Core brand, L&P says that "anyone can throw a coil in a pocket - but nobody can do it like we can."

2011年4月17日 星期日

Mattress Store Uses Social Media and Contests to Connect with Customers

In an industry that has largely been driven by face-to-face contact, in-store visits, and traditional media, one Midwest mattress store is trying their hand at social media. Bedding Mart is using social media to connect with customers and prospects, to spread the importance of a good night’s sleep, and to have fun.

Bedding Mart with 10 locations spread across Arkansas (Conway, Little Rock, Jonesboro, Maumelle, Fort Smith, Rogers, Springdale), Missouri (Springfield), and Texas (Texarkana) is primarily using Facebook to stay in touch with fans and to run contests.

While Bedding Mart still relies on traditional media, they see some of the potential benefit that social media brings to the table. Bedding Mart now has close to 300 fans and counting, and they are using a pretty aggressive strategy to grow the fan base – they’re giving away $500 cash every month to fans.

“According to the Better Sleep Council, being well rested has many impacts on your overall health,” says Brad Jordan, General Manager of Bedding Mart.“We are committed to bringing the best products to our customers so they can wake up feeling refreshed. We feel like this leads to an overall healthier lifestyle.We see social media as a way to help promote this message.”

Bedding Mart is the largest mattress dealer in Arkansas and has a strong presence in its Springfield, Missouri, and Texarkana, Texas. Bedding Mart carries a full line of the leading mattress brands including Tempurpedic, Simmons Beautyrest, Serta, Englander, Comfort Select, Laura Ashley home and more.

2011年4月14日 星期四

Dems want to end tax breaks to ease budget cuts

Washington Democrats have proposed several bills to end tax exemptions and dedicate the resulting revenue to social services, which have been hard-hit by budget cuts.

On Thursday, a group of Senate Democrats presented about a dozen proposals to end tax breaks, ranging from exemptions for corporate banks to breaks for livestock owners who purchase bedding for chicken coops.

But after Initiative 1053 passed last fall, lawmakers must come up with a two-thirds supermajority vote in both houses to create new taxes or make any changes to current tax preferences. The Democrats noted this has made it nearly impossible to close tax loopholes and raise revenue to save much-needed programs.

"We believe that these restraints have produced a budget that, while necessary, is not sufficient to meet the needs of Washington's families, economy or communities," said Sen. Phil Rockefeller, D-Bainbridge Island. "These reductions do not reflect our long-term values and needs as a state."

The all-cuts budget plans from both houses show the product of that requirement: The House's proposal cuts $4.4 billion and the Senate's $4.8 billion in state support for mainly social services and education.

The bills come a week after thousands of protesters from labor groups across the state rallied at the Capitol calling for legislators to close corporate tax breaks instead of cutting services.

Democrats hold a 26-23 majority in the Senate and a 56-44 majority in the House - not enough for a two-thirds vote.

Some senators have neatly sidestepped the issue by introducing their tax break bills as referendums, which require only a simple majority in the Legislature and are then put out to the people for a vote.

Several of the proposed bills have language specifically tying them to the passage of a referendum introduced by Senate budget chief Sen. Ed Murray, D-Seattle, which calls for voters to decide whether the "repeal, reduction or modification" of a tax exemption counts as raising taxes and is therefore subject to I-1053's two-thirds requirement.

If voters pass Murray's referendum this fall, the other bills could then go into effect if they make it out of the Legislature this session.

Supporters said they don't think voters last November thought I-1053 would apply to closing tax loopholes, and they want to test that theory.

Rockefeller's bill would generate the most revenue at an estimated $338 million for the next biennium and has three parts. First, it would give a 25 percent "haircut" to any preferential B&O tax rates given to businesses and individuals across the state. Their tax rate advantage would not disappear; it would just be reduced.

"In a state of six million people, it should be pretty clear we're not talking about an ordinary tax across the board," Rockefeller explained. "We're talking about a very special, limited, targeted tax preference."

His bill would also close a loophole that exempts interstate lending institutions from paying taxes on interest revenue earned off of loans backed by first-time home mortgages. That break is unique to Washington.

It also proposes to repeal the exemption on investment income for non-financial firms that earn more than $250,000 a year in interest on their investments.

Some of the proposals were small: A bill from Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, D-Seattle, would close a tax break on one-time membership fees collected by clubs and organizations for a savings of $4.5 million per biennium.

Another by Sen. Tracey Eide, D-Federal Way, would close the exemption on heating and bedding for chicken coops and the exemption on artificial insemination of livestock, to generate $2.5 million in the next two years.

"We don't provide for our children, but we do for our chickens," Eide said. "It's time we regroup."

The bills differed in where they would direct the money gained from closing tax breaks. Rockefeller chose to dedicate it to the general fund for the state, but other senators had more specific destinations, such as a program in the Department of Human and Social Services that's been cut under the current budget proposal and which provides hearing aids and eyeglasses for adults receiving Medicaid.

A few bills have been introduced in the House, as well, to close the sales tax exemption for out-of-state shoppers to bring in $83.7 million in the next biennium.

While the proposals were only recently put forward, Republicans so far have not been on board with any of them and were quick to point out that the same Democrats who want to end tax loopholes have actually introduced new ones this session.

Earlier this session, Kohl-Welles introduced a bill to grant an excise tax exemption to zoos, and another that would give a B&O tax credit to movie makers to enhance Washington's motion picture competitiveness.

The senators have only 10 days left of regular session to bring these bills before a hearing or onto the floor, but Rockefeller pointed out that normal cutoff deadlines do not apply if the Legislature goes into special session after April 24.

These bills would not alter the cuts already laid out in the current budget proposal; Rockefeller said they are a way of going forward and changing "conventional wisdom" about how a balanced budget can be brought about.

2011年4月13日 星期三

Atlas’s Rand Resists Bedding Down With Hollywood: Caroline Baum

How is it a novel so many readers describe as “life-changing” took 54 years and a gaggle of producers, writers and directors to bring to the screen?

One answer is Ayn Rand herself, author of “Atlas Shrugged,” which was published in 1957. Earlier attempts to make a movie based on the book were foiled by Rand’s insistence on creative control.

The second reason is the nature of the 1,168-page book. It’s about ideas. Rand’s characters are caricatures that reflect her ideas and ideals. Businessmen are good, government bureaucrats are bad. There is no middle ground.

A third reason, one implied by those involved, is the nature of the material.

“She’s a very controversial author,” said John Aglialoro, one of the film’s producers, who acquired the rights to “Atlas” in August 1992 from Rand’s estate. “She threw selfishness as a virtue in the face of society.”

That virtue is better described as rational self-interest. For Rand, capitalism was the only moral system, with each individual acting in his own self-interest. Productive achievement was the noblest activity and happiness, the ultimate goal.

You can see how Rand’s philosophy, so outlined, might ruffle the feathers of Hollywood’s do-gooders. Add that to the movie’s history of false starts, including six screenplays commissioned by Aglialoro alone, and it’s not hard to understand the industry’s resistance.
Rush to Production

“It was clear we were not going to get support from the Hollywood machinery, including talent agencies,” said producer Harmon Kaslow, who hooked up with Aglialoro in April 2010, three months before the rights were set to lapse.

Starting with a clean slate, the duo managed to assemble a team, come up with a fresh screenplay, cast the 41 speaking roles and begin “full principle photography” by June 15, 2010, according to Aglialoro.

“Atlas Shrugged, Part 1” opens tomorrow in 298 theaters across the U.S. A press release classifies the movie as “drama/mystery.” Veteran Hollywood producer Al Ruddy, who was the first to acquire the rights to “Atlas Shrugged” in 1974, was taken by the love story before he parted ways with Rand because of her insistence on final script approval.
Without a Trace

“Atlas” doesn’t fit into either genre. For those unfamiliar with Rand’s novel, “Atlas Shrugged” tells the story of the gradual disappearance of the nation’s entrepreneurs as government bureaucrats impose increasingly burdensome rules and regulations to stifle their success and confiscate their wealth.

One by one, these captains of copper, steel, and oil industries quit, leaving the businesses they built, refusing to work for the benefit of anyone except themselves.

“Atlas Shrugged, Part I,” takes place in 2016 and ends before we even meet John Galt, who is the first to quit and inspire others to join him in his effort to stop the world. (Readers should look for the mysterious man in the raincoat.)

“Atlas” is unlikely to win the Palme d’Or at the Cannes film festival this year. I say this as both an admirer of Rand’s ideas and a devotee of the book.
Casting Errors

No one can accuse the producers of type-casting. The actors are too young. James Taggart, played by Matthew Mardsen, looks 22, unlike the middle-aged, pathetic character one envisions in the book.

“Everything was built around Dagny,” Kaslow told me.

Dagny Taggart, the story’s protagonist who effectively runs Taggart Transcontinental Railroad, is young. Therefore everyone else is young.

It was hard to look at Francisco d’Anconia, heir to the d’Anconia Copper empire. Couldn’t the producers find someone more dapper who could speak with a Spanish accent?

The pressure to start shooting before the rights lapsed forced the producers to focus on the ideology at the expense of potential cinematic qualities.

“We put words from the book into the characters’ mouths,” Kaslow said.

I suppose if it had been possible to do otherwise, someone would have done it by now.
A is A

Fans of the book, 7 million and counting, may not notice or care. They’ll get chills, as I did, when Dagny’s new railroad line, the John Galt Line, makes its first run on tracks made of Reardon metal, a new alloy created by fellow industrialist Hank Reardon that threatens to put steel producers out of business.

The government tries to scare the public by fabricating stories about the dangers of the new metal. Defiant, Dagny and Hank man the train’s locomotive as it speeds across the Colorado landscape, over the new Reardon bridge made from, of course, Reardon metal.

Above all, the movie is faithful to Rand’s philosophy, which is known as objectivism: the idea that reality is objective. Or, as encapsulated by Galt in a 60-page monologue near the end of the book, “A is A.”

No wonder the faithful are heaping lavish praise on the movie. For them, adherence to Rand’s ideas is enough. A is A. “Atlas Shrugged” is “Atlas Shrugged.”

2011年4月12日 星期二

MacLaine confesses affairs

Movie icon Shirley MacLaine discovered she was a fan of monogamy after bedding three men in one day.
The Oscar winner has opened up about her scandalous love life and open 30-year marriage to businessman Steve Parker in new book I’m Over All That, and accepts her three men in one day tale may shock many fans.
She says, “I wasn’t into ’sexcapades’, although I tried it once I had three people in one day. It was on a political campaign, where everybody was doing the same thing (and) I just didn’t wanna be left out.
“It was not my style at all I’m a serial monogamist.”
But that isn’t to say MacLaine is a faithful girlfriend - or wife.
Despite her 30-year marriage, the Oscar winner tells TV chat show host Oprah Winfrey she’s not fond of the institution and enjoyed a very special agreement with Parker.
She explains, “I had affairs and so did he, but we were very good friends. I loved the freedom and so did he.
“I’ve had an awful lot of lovers... and a lot of awful lovers.”
In her chat with Winfrey, which aired in America on Monday, MacLaine confessed to romances with Robert Mitchum and French movie great Yves Montand.

Mattress Firm launches effort to back pancreatic cancer research

Bedding retailer Mattress Firm has named the Translational Genomics Research Institute, a key player in the fight against pancreatic cancer, as its charitable partner of choice.
Mattress Firm will support the work of globalCure, a TGen-led alliance of scientists, physicians, and pancreatic cancer advocates.
Steve Stagner, Mattress Firm's president and CEO, said the retailer's support of research at the Phoenix-based TGen will provide employees the opportunity to change lives and raise awareness of pancreatic cancer with every customer interaction.
To launch its program with globalCure, Mattress Firm is partnering with Simmons in a promotion to donate $50 to globalCure for every Simmons Beautyrest dual floor sample sold nationwide at nearly 700 Mattress Firm stores from April 6 through April 17. The goal is to raise more than $100,000.
Jai Pausch, a national advisory committee member of globalCure, praised Stagner and the Houston-based mattress retailer. Pausch became a national advocate for pancreatic cancer following the death of her husband, Randy, a Carnegie Mellon professor and author of the bestselling book, "The Last Lecture."
Stagner said he hopes that Mattress Firm's support will multiply through globalCure and do for pancreatic cancer research and discovery what the Susan G. Komen foundation has done for the fight against breast cancer.
"We have the opportunity to educate our customers about our efforts beyond the sales floor," he said. "We have the opportunity to get involved and engaged with our communities, and impact the lives of over 43,000 Americans that are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer each year."
Pancreatic cancer is the nation's fourth leading cause of cancer death, and is the only one of the 10 most deadly cancers with a survival rate in the single digits. Nearly 75% of the estimated 43,000 Americans diagnosed annually die within the first year. Only 6% survive longer than five years. In addition, less than 2% of the National Cancer Institute's federal research funding is dedicated to pancreatic cancer research, officials said.
According to Dr. Daniel D. Von Hoff, TGen's physician-in-chief and one of the world's leading authorities on pancreatic cancer, early detection of pancreatic cancer is nonexistent, the survival rate remains low, and federal funding is limited.
"Discoveries directly follow funding and pancreatic cancer receives little in comparison to the percentage of lives it takes," said Von Hoff, who leads the team of 46 physicians from around the world who form the backbone of globalCure. "Having the commitment of Mattress Firm will elevate globalCure's efforts, and the monies raised will allow us to aggressively pursue the underlying genetic causes of the disease and drive an unprecedented number of new therapeutic approaches to patient care."
Donations to globalCure enable the international team of physicians to move quickly on promising new clinical therapies. Specifically, the funds enable globalCure scientists and clinicians to identify diagnostic biomarkers as drug targets; identify and improve new agents that affect the activity of those targets; and evaluate new agents and take the most promising ones to clinical trials for patients in advanced stages of pancreatic cancer.

2011年4月10日 星期日

Crime brings alleged neighbors together

We had 14 police cars in the neighborhood last week. The last time we had this much excitement was when the city came through and repaired the sidewalks.

Police cars with flashing lights were parked in the street, across the easements and on yards. It was big. Not as big as the Fourth oF July parade, but bigger than the spring bedding plant sale and possibly on a par with the annual garage sale.

An officer said three teens considered violent and suspected in home burglaries east of here, had been stopped at a park for questioning. They sped off, leading officers on a wild chase that ended in our neighborhood. Allegedly.

It's all alleged these days. We don't suspect anybody of anything until we hear their alibis, how they weren't really where a dozen witnesses say they were and have had time to talk with their attorneys. Nonetheless, these alleged teens had wrapped an alleged stolen car around an alleged tree and one of them now had an alleged broken arm.

2011年4月7日 星期四

Insiders Are Booking Profits In This Battling Bedding and Bath Retailer

Senior executives at Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. (NASDAQ:BBBY) have sold millions of dollars worth of stock recently.  However, these executives retain large stakes in the company and the company has performed well as of late, so it's not clear that these sales should be interpreted as a bearish signal.

Shares of the company have increased 11% year-to-date versus the PowerShares QQQ Trust, Series 1 (NASDAQ:QQQ) increase of 5%.  Virtually all of the company's increase can be attributed to today's trading, in which the company topped analysts' Q4 estimates and issued Q1 2011 guidance in excess of analyst expectations.  The company reported fourth quarter earnings of $285.5 million or $1.12 per share, up from $226 million in the year-ago period.  Revenues increased roughly 12% to $2.5 billion.  Analysts had been expecting earnings of $0.97 per share.  Over the past 52-weeks shares of the company have increased 23% compared to the PowerShares QQQ Trust, Series 1 (NASDAQ:QQQ) 15% increase.

The company's profit margins appear typical of a retailer: net profit margin for 2010 was 7.66%, operating margin was 12.53%, and EBITD margin was 14.88%.  Its return on average assets was 12.74% and its return on average equity was 18.04%.  Those margins compare favorably with Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT), whose margins were 3.78%, 6.05%, and 7.87% respectively.

2011年4月6日 星期三

Best Bedding for Teens

Choosing the best type of bedding for teens is a bit more delicate than choosing bedding for younger children because teens have their own tastes and their own styles. They no longer want the bedding that mom chooses for them. They want the bedding that helps define them as their own person. When they have friends over, they want their friends to be impressed with their room.

There are four basic components to consider when helping your teen find the best bedding for their room. These components include:

1. Defining a look for the bed and the room - You can help your teen determine whether they want their whole room to have a matching effect, or if they want their bedding to be a separate accent to their room or dorm. They may want bedding that stands out from the rest of their room. With teen boys, they are not too interested on making sure everything coordinates in their room.

2. Bedding Comfort - You will find there are some teens that are not worried about the look of their bedding but are more concerned about the comfort. You will find there are many premium teen bedding sets on the market today. You can find different types of "bed in a bag" sets for teens. These sets will include the fitted sheet, top sheet, two pillow cases, and a comforter. There are different levels of sheet counts, which will determine the comfort level of the bedding. The higher the sheet count, the better the teen bedding that you will receive.

3. Hot Teen Bedding Styles - When you are searching for the finest teen bedding sets, you will see that there are many that will have designs on them that teens will relate to. These are the stylish bedding sets that will catch the eye of your teen. They may cost you a bit more money, but will make your teen happy.

4. Themes - With all the new movies out today, the themes of the movies have found themselves on the front of many teen bedding set comforters. Even teens want to have the best designer teen bedding sets to impress their friends.

2011年4月5日 星期二

At High Point: Bedding poised for growth

Bedding producers here say the mattress industry has recovered from a downturn earlier this year and is poised for growth in the months to come.

And those producers are hoping this growing bedding market will help spark solid gains on retail sales floors. Recent retail reports are positive, they say.

Reports of activity in mattress showrooms thus far have ranged from light to excellent, with a number of producers asserting that traffic has improved in recent days after a slow start.

The latest figures from the International Sleep Products Assn. show the bedding industry mired in an unexpected downturn, with unit sales slumping 3% in February and registering a 0.1% decline for the first two months. The dollar value of bedding shipments, on the other hand, grew 4.9% in February and is up 4.1% for the year.
Those ISPA figures reported the first monthly decline in units in four months, fueling fears that bedding's rebound could be short lived.

But bedding producers showing here note that the industry is up against strong comparatives from the first quarter last year. And they say that business in March was good.

"When you factor in March, the industry will be up," said Jim Nation, president of Five Star. "We were up strongly in March."

"I bet that March was positive for the industry," said Gary Fazio, CEO of Simmons. "It was a good month for many retailers."

Noting that the average unit price is up 4.2% through February, according to the ISPA sample of leading producers, Fazio said retailers are selling a better mix of beds and better beds, good signs for growth this year.

Serta President Bob Sherman said he believes the industry shook off its slow start in March. He said retailers may not have ordered enough for President's Day sales in February and "a lot of business went into March."

"I think the industry had a good first quarter," Sherman said. "I'm guessing that sales were up 6% to 7% in the first quarter, with units up 1% to 2%."

"March has been good," said Dan Hige, president of International Bedding. "It was a better month than I had expected. The feeling at retail was more upbeat than downbeat."

Added Jamie Diamonstein, president of Paramount Sleep: "We are not seeing downturns in our business. Consumers are definitely buying again."

Therapedic President Gerry Borreggine put the industry's ups and downs in context.
"We haven't experienced a legitimate recovery," he said. "A one-month unit decline in February doesn't indicate we are in a recession. Business has been sporadic and inconsistent in the recovery. It's a compromised recovery."

Bedding execs see a number of positives this year, including the return of consumers interested in higher end goods. Those consumers are buying better beds, helping boost sales tickets, the execs said.

2011年4月1日 星期五

Mattress renewal taking shape but price hikes are a concern

Indicators are positive as the High Point Market opens for its spring edition. I've been hearing good reports about retail sales, which is always a helpful sign. For their part, bedding producers come to the Furniture Capital of the World loaded with new lines. And the bedding lineup here is expanding.

Perhaps, as the flowers burst into bloom in this season of rebirth, the mattress category will usher in its own season of renewal, a time of robust sales bursting forth across the country.

Or maybe not.

But before we get to causes for concern this year, we begin with the positive side of the ledger. Business was surprisingly robust at the bedding-rich Las Vegas Market earlier this year, a demonstration of positive retail moves and attitudes. That could also mean a nice lift for this High Point Market.

As we noted earlier, major bedding producers have a plethora of new lines: Sealy is showing its new flagship Posturepedic line, Simmons has new flagship Beautyrest lines, and Serta offers its new flagship Perfect Sleeper line and its iComfort gel memory foam line. Given the importance of the flagship lines and their broad distribution, retailers are sure to be drawn to them.

The International Home Furnishings Center continues to focus on the bedding segment and welcomes a Top 10 producer back to High Point this market: Comfort Solutions. The No. 6 producer has a big showroom in the IHFC, where it will show its "no sag" Extended Life line, an upgraded Sleep ID line, a revamped Laura Ashley line and a new two-sided bedding line.

Also new to the IHFC is the Specialty Sleep Assn., which showcases emerging new sleep technologies, and Vivon, which has a new partnership with Brookstone for a massage mattress.

Returning IHFC exhibitor Paramount introduces its "Sleep for Success!" line, keyed to its partnership with James Maas, the sleep expert who co-authored the book, "Sleep for Success!" Paramount also unveils a line developed in partnership with A. H. Beard, the Australian bedding power.

Those are just some of the product highlights. Space limits me from listing more.
The negative? Price increases. Bedding producers tell me raw materials prices are rising. That is a particularly unwelcome development at this point in the year. Retailers are never happy to hear about price increases and might resist them. That, in turn, would mean shorter margins for producers or a move to less expensive (translation: lower quality) materials. It might mean both.

How will all this play out in High Point? That's one of the story lines I will be following.

See you at market. Hope yours is a good one.