CyberShop – A ‘Virtual’ Retailer
Home , Home & Kitchen , Home Appliances , Sweet Living / September 25, 2015

CyberShop will introduce an interactive shopping service on Internet, American Online or CompuServe during 1995. Consumers will be able to shop for furniture within a virtual reality format, beginning with 50 stock keeping units (SKUs) that represent different furniture categories. Up to eight weeks later, as many as 1 million SKUs will be available. Consumers will be able to coordinate products very easily. CyberShop You’ve heard of virtual reality–maybe even tried out a game or two with the headset. Now, get ready for the virtual retailer: CyberShop, a new retail alternative coming in January to a computer screen near you. CyberShop is the brainchild of Jeffery Tauber, who describes the company as “the first home furnishings retailer devoted exclusively to interactive, on-line retailing.” What this means to consumers is that when they dial the Internet or on-line services like Prodigy, CompuServe or America On-line, they will have access to a vast array of home furnishings products, including furniture, home textiles, housewares, electronics and accessories. Tauber was previously president of Avanti Linens, a leading embellished towel producer, and also worked for Bloomingdale’s for five years as a buyer and divisional merchandise manager.

Housing on Former Sears’ Site Ready
Home , Home & Kitchen , Home Appliances , Sweet Living / September 20, 2015

Sears, Roebuck and Co, Shaw Co and the city of Chicago, IL, have joined together to build a 74-unit housing unit on the west-side land that used to accommodate the Sears’ headquarters. The housing is aimed at low and moderate-income families and includes for-sale and rental units. Other buildings on the land will be renovated to provide facilities for light industry, service organizations and businesses. The catalog building is being removed All units are scheduled to be occupied by first-quarter 1995. Additionally, more than a million square feet in existing buildings at the Sears site will be renovated and leased to businesses, service organizations and light industry. The catalog building is being removed, except for the original Sears Tower portion, to make way for additional residential development in Homan Square. Demolition of the catalog building began in May 1994 and is expected to be complete by early 1995. The 14-story tower will be restored and retained as a community focal point. “We have had many opportunities to develop our west-side property over the years, but we wanted to be sure that anything we did was right for the area, right for the residents, right for the city’s master plan and…

Furniture and Appliances Fading
Home , Home & Kitchen , Home Appliances , Sweet Living / September 19, 2015

As demand wanes, there will be a moderation in the strong employment rend that we have been experiencing. In 1994, close to three million jobs have been added. Next year, employment growth will taper off. As employment gains decelerate, income gains will also moderate. Real disposable income has been expanding at a 3 percent annual rate–helping to fuel some of the past strength in consumer spending. Over the next year, however, real incomes will expand at a more subdued rate, dampening the outlook for spending. In the business sector, firms’ optimistic assessment about the economy has led them to aggressively build inventories. This has made a positive contribution to GDP growth. Going forward, this source of strength will dissipate as production gets rolled back to adjust to slowing final demand. Two areas of potential strength for the economy next year will be business investment and trade Investment, especially in information technology, will continue to be a priority of companies as they seek to improve their productivity. This positive trend will help to contain inflationary pressures. Exports are expected to accelerate as foreign economies improve. With domestic demand slowing, import growth should abate. The trade balance, therefore, will improve and be…

The Housing Market Suffered
Home , Home & Kitchen , Home Appliances , Sweet Living / September 17, 2015

The Federal Reserve raised interest rates again on Nov 15, 1994, and, as a result, the housing market suffered. The government’s goal is to slow the rate of inflation, but higher interest rates will also affect consumer spending, which is expected to decrease, as a result. A slowdown is expected to arrive in 1995, and the furniture industry will lag behind the 10.3% growth recorded in 1993. The Fed has been working overtime to slow down the economy–with limited success. The sixth hike in interest rates this year came on Nov. 15. This time the move was larger than the others at 3/4 percentage point. The Federal funds rate, the rate that banks charge each other, was raised to 5.5 percent. It started the year at 3 percent. This rate influences other short-term rates and major banks raised their prime lending rate to 8.5 percent. After the first five interest rate increases, most areas of the economy were still moving ahead at a healthy clip. In the Fed’s judgment, more tightening was needed to produce the kind of cooling off it deems necessary to prevent an acceleration in inflation. The Elusive Slowdown In the first three quarters of the year,…

Small Retailers Say The Big Boys Get All The Breaks
Home , Home Appliances , Sweet Living / September 14, 2015

Some suppliers of home textile products admit that they often favor large retail chains with timely order deliveries, leaving small retailers to wait. Some suppliers insist that they treat all customers alike, but many say that it is more economically favorable to serve the larger stores first. For example, Spring Industries will only directly serve accounts of $75,000 and up. Other stores must order goods through distributors. Small retailers say the big boys get all the breaks, especially when it comes to delivery. What do their suppliers say? Many vendors insist they treat all, their customers alike, regardless of size. Others, however, admit they play favorites, citing economies of scale as their excuse. At Springs Industries, for instance, the smallest account the company will service directly is $75,000 a year. Stores that cannot meet the volume limit must order through distributors, said a company executive who requested anonymity. It is “very difficult” servicing the small guy, contended the executive, adding, “We don’t put those accounts in the hands of the salespeople. We have a telemarketing operation. It works”

New Treatment for Wool Rugs
Home , Home & Kitchen , Home Appliances , Sweet Living / September 8, 2015

Sentry Systems has introduced a new treatment for wool rugs that protects them from soils and stains while inhibiting the growth of germs and destroying bacteria. Rug Sentry technology is used as the rugs are washed, mothproofed, stainproofed and made resistant to static electricity and soil. The treatment is durable, but stains from drain cleaners, paint, insecticides and a few other solutions are not guaranteed to come out. New technology for the protection of wool rugs Sentry Systems, a newly formed chemical applications company specializing in natural fiber treatments, has reported the introduction of Rug Sentry, a new technology for the protection of wool rugs. According to Ronnie Cargle, Sentry Systems president and director of dyeing and finishing for Horizon Industries, Rug Sentry is part of a new class of stain and soil blockers. “This is a proprietary process, which uses an anti-microbial treatment which destroys existing bacteria and suppresses the spread of germs thereafter,” he said. During application, he explained, the solution is fully introduced to the rug, from the tips of the yarn to the cotton or silk foundation yarns. During the process, the rugs are washed, stainproofed, mothproofed and treated for soil and static resistance. The treatment…