Editor's View

Controlling Your Own Destiny

“Changes in retail that happened in the past three or four years will pale in comparison to what will happen in the next three or four years,” says Jack Toolan, president, Riviera Home USA. “The question we all have is ‘What is going to happen?’ No one has the answer. The best you can do is to take control over your own destiny instead of leaving it to chance. You have to stand up and be counted. You can’t stay in the shadows.”
Toolan’s wisdom to take action against an unknown tide of change rather than be tossed and turned by doing nothing to wait and see what happens is behind his company’s recent decision to promote its products behind the Riviera Home USA brand (see “Industry Views” to the right) rather than remain behind the scenes.
During past New York Home Fashions Markets, there has been quite a bit of moaning and gnashing of teeth about the retail pie and the available pieces of it getting smaller and more difficult to come by. The only question had been—and still is—what are you going to do it about it?
Standing by and maintaining status quo can ultimately spell disaster and obsolescence. Taking action involves risks. But at least in the latter scenario there are options. Change for the better and to keep pace with the times can happen in many ways. Here are a few examples of how companies in our industry are contolling and shaping their own destinies:
• Branding or rebranding, as Riviera Home USA has done, is one route some suppliers and retailers are taking.
• Partnerships is another method for creating new products and opportunities for sales. As reported on page 18 in this issue, for example, Soft-Tex International has partnered with Radiant Thermodynamics to launch the REACTEX Technology Group to produce technology rich products offering day and night cooling in the bedding and non-bedding arenas.
• Acquisitons that expand category reach can allow companies to capture another piece of that retail pie if the fit is right. In January 2019, Alabama-based HomTex Inc. announced the acquisition of apparel brand, Southern Proper®. The strategic move is intended to create a lifestyle brand engine for producing unique consumer goods across the home and apparel markets domestically and abroad. The HomTex team will work with Southern Proper to enhance product quality, expand categories and grow beyond the current footprint. Founder and ceo, Emmie Howard, will continue leading efforts for Southern Proper.
Jerry Wootten, founder and ceo of HomTex, says, “We have been making products for 30 years that actually make people’s lives better. With our products, consumers sleep better, feel better and now we are pleased to announce they can dress better, too.” HomTex and Southern Proper will launch product expansions in 2019, including Southern Proper for the Home.
HomTex also has acquired packaging and sourcing company, Global Design & Supply Company, which provides packaging engineering, sourcing and design in the home textiles market.
So in the face of change in these fast-paced times, what actions will you and your company be taking to control your own destiny?