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From the Editor

Jenny Heinzen York
Thoughts and musings on the business of home accents.
  • Furniture industry getting more inclusive?

    Don’t look now, but it looks like the good-old-boy furniture network may be coming around a bit. Last week at the Las Vegas Market, changes to the American Furniture Hall of Fame were announced. “The organization is now the American Home Furnishings Hall of Fame Foundation Inc. and will be more open to industry segments in addition to furniture, including accessories, bedding, rugs, lighting and international. The change also aims to appeal to younger members of the industry,” according to the article by Tom Russell, my colleague over at Furniture Today. It may seem a little semantic, but even ... Read More
  • The New Classics

    Coming off of High Point, everyone wants to know what was the best thing we saw at market. I will leave the specific products and trends to our Style Director Tracy Bulla to share with you in this pair of slideshows (What's Hot and Top Trends), but I found that overall there was a very noticeable movement toward “new classics” – a fresh look on product that, while not traditional, is also not trendy. It’s a look that reads carefully curated and collected. Which got me thinking about the Baby Boomers – maybe because my own parents (older Boomers) are ... Read More
  • Summer rolls on

    We are three down, one to go for the major summer markets. With Dallas, Atlanta and now Las Vegas under our belts, here are some thoughts. As I had suspected heading into the summer season, there seem to be many retailers who are taking the buying season off, stuck as they are with inventory bought just in time for the first-quarter slowdown at retail. Attendance at the various shows was termed off, spotty, and most commonly "weird." But overall, the mood has been pretty positive, especially as we've gotten later in the summer and farther away from the winter ... Read More
  • Monica Pedersen on American Dream Builders, launch with Softline

    At the New York Home Fashions Market, I had the opportunity to sit down with Monica Pedersen, one of the judges on the new NBC program American Dream Builders, not to mention former HGTV star and licensor of home furnishings products. She was visiting the Softline showroom in New York’s 130 Fifth Avenue Building where her new line of home textiles was making its New York debut, following a launch earlier this winter at the Las Vegas Market. It was the day after the show’s first airing on Sunday, March 23, and she had a lot to say ... Read More
  • Hitting the High End

    Perhaps the biggest overall impact of the Great Recession and the snail’s-pace recovery that has followed it is the importance of the affluent consumer to the overall economy, and to home furnishings sales in particular. "I think the most important shift in the economy at large is the growing importance of the affluent in driving the recovery," said Pam Danziger, president of Unity Marketing and author of Putting the Luxe Back in Luxury. "The middle-class and lower-income folks have greatly reduced spending power, due to tax changes, unemployment, etc. so the affluent heavy-lifters are behind all the news about ... Read More
  • How do we reinvent retail?

    Next week, on Thursday, Feb. 27, I will moderate a webinar, "Bricks and Clicks - Reinvented Retail in the Digital Era." This webinar is hosted by Pop-Up Artists, a marketing agency for turn-key, short-term selling space (aka pop-up shops, shops within shops and trade show booths). Starbucks Chairman Howard Schultz was recently quoted in the Wall Street Journal, "The move toward online shopping represents a seismic shift in customer behavior."  And from John Donahoe, CEO of eBay in a 2013 Financial Times article, "There will be more changes in how consumers shop and pay in the next three to five years ... Read More
  • See ya, 60-watt

    Those who know me well know that I have a fascination with light bulbs. It's a nerdy obsession, to be sure, but one that I have grown quite passionate about over the last several years as I've learned so much about the topic.So I'm going to be blunt and tell you what I think, though I realize that many of you who read this will disagree sharply with me.I am all for the bulb ban.OK, OK, I know I will hear from those of you who think government has no business telling you which ... Read More
  • The Good Old Days

    I am working on the 2014 Industry Outlook report for Home Accents Today's January issue and have spent much of this week conducting interviews and collecting comments from industry leaders about what they see as we move forward.One remark really stood out to me, from Sean McFadden of Interlude Home. "We have a tendency to focus on the big numbers... the economy when the housing market bubble was surging - we have a tendency to look at that as kind of the benchmark. And when we pine for the good old days, we have a tendency to look at ... Read More
  • What Year Is It?

    Gary Vaynerchuk, founder of Vayner Media, gave the opening keynote at the Internet Summit, taking place in Raleigh, N.C., today and Thursday, Nov. 14.Don't know who he is? Got 20 minutes? Check out this video of one of his speeches. He's fun, interactive, crazy smart (and a tad profane - sorry about that). He's also known for his leading-edge advice on taking advantage of the digital space.I am lucky enough to be one the approximately 2,000 attendees here who watched him speak.His leading message: "Market and execute your business in the year we ... Read More
  • Gen Next

    Early on in my career with the Home AccentsToday/Furniture Today family of brands, I was asked to join the board of directors of the Young Home Furnishings Professionals. Though I had been with the company for about four years at the time, my still-in-my-mid-20s demographic made me a great fit for that group.I had more of an "internal" role at that time, so this was a great opportunity to get out and really get to know the business from a more personal angle.Joining that board turned out to be one of the best moves I made in ... Read More
  • Looking to 2014

    Late summer/early fall is always a critical time for the Home Accents Today staff as we get our next year planning under way.We think 2014 is going to be a great year for the industry. The economy continuing to pick up the pace, and new forecasts out this week that project stronger growth in 2014 than we've had over the last many years. Economists report that housing, which made a dramatic swing for the better over the past 12 months will continue to be strong into next year.There are some shifts coming to the business, though ... Read More
  • To Each Her Own

    A few months ago, I wrote a blog post about my experiences in redecorating my master bedroom. I mentioned in that post that while I had access to far more choices than most consumers, there was one important piece of that room where I was not able to find "just the right thing." I won't get into what that piece of the puzzle was, but it was the one thing that I feel like I settled on for now, and will just keep looking for that perfect piece. I quickly received a response to that from someone in the ... Read More