Home furnishing or soft furnishing is the latest trend in the business of fashion today. The desire to redecorate everything around us has lead people to become fashion centric with reference to the interiors of their work place or their home or perhaps it is the compensation for our hectic life that we generally seek relaxation through the colours and designs in our furnishings. Generally, we try to please our visual and tactile senses by the soft and beautiful fabrics around us.
In the last 3-4 years, people have begun changing their home furniture like they change their wardrobe according to the changing fashions. Lifestyle furnishing has become a mix of aesthetics, comfort, colours and designs. For instance, brown sofas have become outdated and people now prefer lively colours like blue and red. Though brand awareness in this segment is low but at present the scenario is changing, a few years ago consumers never stressed on purchasing branded home furnishing products, but now they are aware about new products and brands.
The list of furnishings includes bed linen like bed sheets, pillow slips (pillow shams), bed skirts, duvet covers, quilts and cushions; for giving the complete look to the bedroom matching curtains, tie-backs and also mats can be included in this list. This bedroom could be with an attached bathroom making the list even bigger. Towels and floor mats, shower curtains, same soap cases, toothbrush holders, soap dispensers, mugs and rugs can offer the attractiveness of a bathroom. Water in this room, evokes memories of sea and ocean, shells and fish, and hence these are major patterns in the design making of bathroom accessories. Bed-and-bath themes are also combined together by designers.
The bedroom that we are talking about could be that of an adult, or a child, or two adults, or two children and hence the look of every bedroom in a house is unique. The appearance of any room has to be in relevance to the psychological and physical requirements of its occupants.
Bed sheets aren’t just utilitarian things; they make style statements while reflecting your personality and moods. As people are becoming more aware about fibres, fabrics, feel, colour and size of bed sheets, pillow slips, quilts, etc, it gives added responsibilities to the designers and manufacturers to ensure quality supply of the same.
Cotton is the most favored fabric for bed sheets, particularly those with a greater thread count. Exporters have an increasing demand for cotton bed sheets, though some also demand silk made-ups. Generally, many export houses are given the designs to work on, or they make their own varieties from which the buyers put up orders. They emphasizes on colour and design. For new born babies soft basic colours are used, where as for grown up children complimentary colour schemes with cartoon like motifs are mostly used. There are a variety of prints to select from. The prints for curtains vary from animals, to soft toys, cartoons and candies; the same is applicable for rugs, bed sheets, duvet covers and cushions.
Teenagers have different preferences like pink which is mostly preferred by girls, whereas blue is a preferred colour for boys. Adults chose from a wide range of colours and motifs including traditional Indian motifs to modern compositions. In fact, the selection of colour and design depends on the fashion trend of today.
One step out of the bedroom and you reach the most happening room of the house – the living room. A combination of huge variety of colours and its relevant coordinates are particularly made to cater to people’s physical and psychological desires. Sheer curtains to bring in sunlight, heavy lined curtains to prevent it, embroidered curtains and valences with lace trimmings flaunting luxury and a taste for design, make the room look more appealing and beautiful. Curtains can surely make the room look more attractive. Generally fabrics for sewing curtains are 54 inches wide or extra wide at 110 inches or 118 inches. Extra¬ wide fabrics are normally made for unlined sheer curtains, and are intended to be railroaded or run sideways with the selvage at the top and bottom of the curtains, permitting the curtains to be made without seams.
Curtains with well-designed features like noise and light reduction are being particularly produced for exports. The dyes used for these need to be sunlight resistant as curtains receive direct sunlight and might start looking dull and faded very soon. They are made in combination with the cushions and other furniture in the room.
The options are many; curtains are available in every size, colour, fabric and designs like stripes, checks, floral, woven, printed, etc. One can chose the fabric from the cottons to linens, velvets, tapestries etc. There are many alternatives in decorative accessories: rods with decorative finials, ornamental brackets, and pleats at the top, holdbacks and tiebacks. The alternatives selected depend on whether one needs to camouflage the windows or show them off, as they are architecturally special, whether one needs privacy or needs to visually enlarge a small room will ascertain the type of curtain one opts for.
In case you want extra light without spoiling your privacy, you can get transom window curtains. This two-part curtain possesses a sheer fabric at the top and privacy panels below. Tab-top curtains have fabric loops on the top to which a rod is fixed. Tie-top curtains possess fabric on the top of the panel that is fixed to the rod. And, grommet-top panels have metal eyelets on the top which is fixed with curtain rings. Tap-top curtains are a latest trend that is common in modern homes.
Many traditional Indian weaves and embroideries are being done all over India on the home furnishings products. Traditional Indian embroideries like ‘kasida’ from Kashmir, ‘kantha’ from Bengal and ‘chikankari’ from Uttar Pradesh are in demand for bed covers and curtains. The tie-and-dye methods of Rajasthan and Gujarat are also widely used for making colourful bed sheets and quilt covers. Many of these are available in cheaper rates in print.
Many home furnishing companies are making these products with handlooms. Normally, high quality silk and cotton are used for these products. While traditionally curtains were either produced with heavy jacquards or luxurious prints, at present a wide range of fabrics covering embroidered fabrics are being used. The attractive display of colours can also be seen in plain sofas with striped and spotted cushions or plush heavy pile carpets with designs varying from geometricals to florals and abstracts.
Occasionally it is appealing themes instead of sorting by room that the designers go for with areas designed by mood like femme fatale, eclectic, delicate, timeless and wild. In fact it includes the accessories like rugs, throws, frames, cushions, etc. Unique linen for the kitchen and other soft furnishings for lawn chairs have also gained remarkable popularity. Tapestries, chenille, cotton and linen prints, stripes and checks, toile, crewel work, plains of all types covering linens, silks, suede, voiles and muslins, and towels, be it for bath or the kitchen, all are included in this segment. The showrooms for soft furnishings provide the customers with a collection of designs to select from.
The Indian home furnishings market is around Rs 15,000 crore, of which the organised market is about Rs 1,000 crore. Earlier, Bombay Dyeing was the only leader in this segment. The major carpet manufacturing areas (including all types of floor coverings and durries) are Agra-Bhadoi belt in Uttar Pradesh, Kashmir, Bikaner-Udaipur belt in Rajasthan, West Bengal, Haryana, Punjab and Andhra Pradesh. In India, there are 1215 carpet production units recorded and of that 190 are in the organized sector and the rest are in small scale industry sector.
The Mirzapur-Bhadohi belt in Uttar Pradesh stands as the major contributor for the carpet weaving industry in the India with nearly 90 per cent of the total production of carpets in India.
Panipat has witnessed high growth in handlooms during the last two decades with the number of looms holding 50,000 are well known for producing acrylic blankets, bed sheets, bed covers, tapestry, upholstery, table mats and table covers. There are above 310 shoddy spinning units in Panipat having a production of 4 lakh kg per day and a turnover of more than Rs 600 crore. Panipat also possess a woolen carpet industry, which is now almost thirty years old, with around 150 units. There are about 60 carpet woolen spinning units in Panipat with an annual turnover of Rs 175 crore making a variety of handloom products such as durries, mats, table covers, bed sheets, curtains and carpets exported to various countries, including Canada, Japan, Germany and Australia.
Benefiting from this booming market and the increasing new and young homemakers, department stores make their home furnishings space by creating well organized living spaces that sell the products very effectively. Many popular companies working with soft furnishings products in India are Welspun, Gujarat (which started first ‘Spaces Home & Beyond’ store in Mumbai); Handfab, Panipat; Highness Exports; In Vogue Buying, New Delhi; Indian Exporters, Kolkata; Shabari International, Kerala; Cannanore; Amber Textile; and Reliance Industries, and there are brands like the decades-old Bombay Dyeing and just stated like Spaces, Portico, Season’s, Yamini etc.
Raymond provides the widest range of colours to satisfy the various colour requirements of interiors in Home furnishings. Home Solutions Retail (India), a 100% holding of retail leader Pantaloon Retail, intends to close its third year of function with about of Rs 1,000 crore. Home Solutions is establishing chain of home stores, committed to all things that would be required for setting up, decorating and furnishing a home. In the first step, the company will be establishing six Home Towns, the company’s umbrella store, in Noida, Hyderabad, Gurgaon, Pune, Thane and Bangalore, which will start by June 2007. Each store, covering an expense about Rs 14 crore, will be allotted about 120,000 square feet.
To achieve its brand recognized in the big commoditised home furnishings market, Welspun is investing in retail stores and increasing its capacity to serve the domestic market. Besides its own brand the company recently received the marketing rights of Tommy Hilfiger home furnishing products.
Welspun is also coming up with the concepts to educate and guide customers about issues like hygiene, because most of us are comfortable with replacing our bed sheets once in two weeks. Likewise many families utilize only one towel between themselves. None of us have ever understood that if the same towel is utilized the entire family, each member of the family may get infected. All these maters will be undertaken through various media for which the company has allocated about Rs 10 crore. At present it is searching for an agency to handle its communication activities.
As per the company’s retail strategy, which is setting the core of its brand-building practice, in the next three years they are coming with 125 stores across the country with an investment of Rs 50 crore. Amongst the 125, 100 would be standalone Spaces stores. Extended with an area of nearly 2,000 sq ft, the Spaces showrooms would provide furnishings for each room of the house. Besides furnishing items, the showrooms will also provide home décor products such as candles, curios and so on.
Recently, Portico, a premium Home Decor & furnishings brand introduced its premium and ‘Sparkly’ range.
Besides this, various small players in the market cater to every taste and pocket of the population. For those who do not need to spend in professionally decorating their rooms, many options are available by India’s department chain stores like Ebony, Shoppers’ Stop, Lifestyle, Pantaloons, Westside and even Big Bazaar.
Because of huge demands, many fashion designers have also forayed in this segment. At present the home furnishings segment is considered a flourishing sector in the textile industry. Domestic and export markets are both booming for home furnishings.
According to experts, to make brand awareness home furnishing companies have to put more emphasis on the overall shopping experience. Retail ambience, coordinated product ranges; in-store display; point-of-purchase promotional literature on the product features as well as the company’s lineage and superior in-store service are some of the primary actions that home furnishing companies must take. In fact this has to be made in connection with innovative product and brand advertising and new promotional efforts.
While some experts believe that as the sector is largely commoditised, the main target would be to set the category to constantly develop, which can only be done through customer education.
However, some feel that it is a slight too early to introduce new collections each season. While it could support in making fashion consciousness in India about home furnishings, as well as the designs, colours and prints are contemporary, and the packaging and labeling are as per the good quality standards, home furnishing companies need not be bothered about making more complication in their business by creating repeated changes in their product offering at this stage. In fact, in the next few years, with more competition and more demand, it would be essential to introduce at least two major collections per year.
We require building up more colour and design sensitive people to work in this segment. For those who intend to begin a home furnishing venture, whether for exports or for the domestic market, it is appropriate to begin with just one or two products and then add on to it slowly. Cushion covers and curtains are the more demandable products. If proper plans are made using appropriate color combinations as expected in the colour forecast, and ever new designs are made, then definitely one will get success in this segment. The key point to note here is that trends change fast, so the process of designing and creation should keep on preventing stagnation and making guaranteed success.
In the last few years, people have started spending on furniture and furnishings like they perform with their clothing. For them lifestyle furnishing is turning out as a mix of aesthetics, comfort, colours and designs. Brown sofas are outdated; people need lively colours like blue and red. A few years ago consumers never demanded highly branded home furnishing products, but now they are very well aware about new products and brands in the market, though brand awareness in this segment is still low. Many companies are adding two to three products in their product lines every year and many are comings with innovative concepts in this segment. But, for this segment’s growth still it requires a proper planning or strategy, more efforts and educate to customer as well.
Where to Find Those Efficient and Hardworking Affiliates?
Everyone wants a hardworking affiliate, employee, associate, partner, or even spouse, and why not? It’s the next best thing to doing the work yourself. However with the massive outbreak of work and income opportunities available online, how can you beat everyone else and find that one (or more) ideal person who will make your online business explode with success? Here are some of the most ingenious and uncommon ways to snag the idea affiliates for your affiliate program
Direct Sales Agents
Direct sales people are really one of the most enterprising, hard-working individuals in business. They mostly work on commissions or rebates and are willing to literally go door-to-door offering their products to anyone and everyone they bump into. Imagine how much easier their job would be if they could be an affiliate and simply work via the Internet and a mobile device or desktop.
Also, most direct sales people tend to carry more than one brand in their product arsenal so signing up as an affiliate would be almost the same type of work but using a different approach.
Colleges and Universities
Many college kids would be interested in a part-time income opportunity if it would mean funds to help pay for their education, loan, or partying. All you have to do is make sure to offer them products they can endorse as a student.
Did you know that the U.S. Census Bureau’s latest annual report show that 75% of U.S. businesses used freelancers in 2011? Freelancers earned a whopping US$990 billion in 2011 which is a 4.1% increase from the previous year. The only industries where the number of freelancers decreased were in insurance, finance, and construction. Most probably your affiliate program isn’t a part of these 3 industries.
Furthermore, online business and finance experts are predicting the growth to increase incrementally every year even with an economy that is improving. People just want income security and more control over their earnings. With the spate of lay-offs, it’s understandable why many would prefer to work as an affiliate than as an employee.
Scout For Them At Affiliate Conventions
There are annual affiliate conventions held in different cities around the country. You should try to catch one when it is held somewhere near your location. The average turn-out for these types of conventions has increased regularly over the years. Last year, many of them were sold out weeks before the event.
The US Census Bureau has said that as of 2012, 15% of Americans are poor, 43% of young adults depend on their parents to some extent for money. Even more surprising is that the median income of young adults in 1982 was $31,583 and last year it was $30,604 for the same age group! Income is dropping and people are looking for ways to earn additional income outside of their 9 to 5 jobs. That’s where you can come in playing the hero and helping others realize their dream income.
Finally, go online and talk about your product. Make the affiliate marketers come to you and have the luxury of picking the best candidates. You will need some help in marketing your affiliate program so target a marketer who’s experienced in affiliate program and SEO.
Recession Is Here… Six Costly Mistakes Home Sellers Make During Recessions And How To Avoid Them
The U.S. is officially in a recession. What is a recession? A recession is a business cycle contraction or general economic decline due to significant drop in spending and other commercial activities. Most pundits and politicians will blame Covid-19 crisis for the recession, but even pre-Covid-19 the proverbial writing was on the wall.
The U.S. had over 120 months of economic growth, which was the longest expansion in the modern history. Other indicators, such as negative yield spread on treasuries (long term bonds having lower interest rates than short term T-notes), were pointing to an imminent change of the economic cycle and an impending recession. The only real question was: when and how bad?
Then Covid-19 came… If the cycle was going to change anyway, Covid-19 acted as a huge and unexpected accelerant to make the recession much more immediate and severe.
Inevitably during recessions all classes of real estate, including residential homes and condominiums, will be negatively impacted as lower consumer spending and higher unemployment rates affect real estate prices and marketing times.
Here are the six costly mistakes home and other real property sellers make during recessions and how to avoid them:
Mistake #1: This will pass and real estate market will be hot again soon
First thing to remember is that real estate cycles are much longer than general economic cycles. Even if the general economy recovers, which eventually it always does, a typical real estate cycle takes as long as 10 to 15 years. The cycle has four key stages: Top, Decline, Bottom and Rise.
Let us consider the last real estate cycle, which lasted approximately 14 years:
- 2006 – Prices hit the Top
- 2006 to 2012 – Prices Decline
- 2012 – Prices hit the Bottom (Trough)
- 2012 to 2019 – Prices Rise*
- 2020 – Prices hit the Top
- 2020 to? – Prices Decline
*NOTE: In 2016 the national residential real estate price index reached its pre-recession 2006 peak levels. It took 10 years for the real estate market to recover.
The way to avoid this mistake is to recognize that real estate cycles take years to run and plan accordingly. Additionally, nobody knows for sure when the prices will hit the top or bottom until after the fact.
Mistake #2: Low interest rates will make the economy and real estate market rebound
Between 2006 and 2011 the interest rates (Fed Funds) were continuously cut by the Federal Reserve Board and went from low 5% to almost 0%. However, that did not stop the real estate recession and depreciation of property values.
Undoubtedly, low interest rates made the economic decline and real estate recession less severe and saved some properties from foreclosures, but it still took six painful years for the real estate market to hit the bottom and then four more years for the prices to go back to their pre-recession levels.
Some markets had never fully recovered. For example, residential home prices in some parts of California, Arizona and Nevada are still below their 2006 highs.
To avoid this mistake, one needs to realize that although low interest rates help stimulate the economy and the real estate market, they do not cure them.
Mistake #3: I don’t need to sell now, so I don’t care
If you do not need to sell until the cycle plays out, which typically is over ten years, then you will not be as affected, especially if you have a strong equity position, limited mortgage debt, and solid liquid assets.
However, it is good to keep in mind that “life happens” and either professional or personal circumstances can change and we may need to sell property before the downturn runs its course.
Furthermore, if a property has a mortgages and its value declines to the point being “upside down,” meaning the mortgage loan balance exceeds the value of the property, then the options of selling, refinancing or even obtaining an equity line of credit, will be significantly limited.
This does not mean that everybody should be rushing into selling their real estate if there is no need to do so, just keep in mind that circumstances may and often do change and property options will be affected, so plan in advance. As one wise proverb says: “Dig your well before your thirst.”
Mistake #4: I’m selling, but I won’t sell below my “bottom line” price
This is a common and potentially very costly mistake. Generally speaking, every seller wants to sell for the highest price and every buyer wants to pay the lowest price. That’s nothing new. When selling real estate, most sellers want to achieve a certain price point and/or have a “bottom line.”
However, it is important to understand that the market does not care what the Seller, or his/her Agent, think the property value should be at. The market value is a price a willing and able buyer will pay, when a property is offered on an open market for a reasonable amount of time.
Overpricing property based on Seller’s subjective value or what is sometimes called an “aspirational price,” especially in a declining market, is a sure first step to losing money. When a property lingers on the market for an extended period of time, carrying costs will continue to accumulate and property value will depreciate in line with the market conditions.
Additionally, properties with prolonged marketing times tend to get “stale” and attract fewer buyers. The solution is to honestly assess your selling objectives, including the desired time-frame, evaluate your property’s attributes and physical condition, analyze comparable sales and market conditions, and then decide on market-based pricing and marketing strategies.
Mistake #5: I will list my property for sale only with Agent who promises the highest price
Real estate is a competitive business and real estate agents compete to list properties for sale which generate their sales commission incomes. It is not unusual that Seller will interview several agents before signing an exclusive listing agreement and go with the agent who agrees to list the property at the highest price, often regardless if such price is market-based.
Similarly to Mistake #4, this mistake can be very damaging to Sellers, as overpriced properties stay on the market for extended periods of time costing Sellers carrying expenses such as mortgage payments, property taxes, insurance, utilities and maintenance.
Furthermore, there is the “opportunity cost” since the equity is “frozen,” and it cannot be deployed elsewhere till the property is sold. However, the most expensive cost is the loss of property value while the real estate market deteriorates.
During the last recession, we have seen multiple cases where overpriced properties stayed on the market for years and ended up selling for 25% to 40% below their initial fair market values.
The solution is to make sure that your pricing strategy is based on the market, not empty promises or wishful thinking.
Mistake #6: I will list my property only with Agent who charges the lowest commission
Real estate commission rates are negotiable and not set by law. A commission usually represents the highest transactional expense in selling real properties and is typically split between Brokers and Agents who work on the transaction
Some real estate agents offer discounted commissions, in order to induce Sellers to list their properties with them. But does paying a discounted commission ensure savings for the Seller? Not necessarily.
For example, if the final sales price is 5% to 10% below property’s highest market value, which is not that unusual, due to inadequate marketing, bad pricing strategy, and/or poor negotiation skills, it will easily wipe out any commission savings and actually cost the Seller tens of thousands of dollars in lost revenues.
The solution is to engage an agent who is a “Trusted Advisor,” not just a “Salesperson.” A Trusted Advisor will take his/her time and effort to do the following: 1) Perform Needs Analysis: listen and understand your property needs and concerns; 2) Prepare Property Analysis: thoroughly evaluate your property and market conditions; 3) Execute Sales and Marketing Plan: prepare and implement custom sales and marketing plan for your property; and 4) Obtain Optimal Results: be your trusted advocate throughout the process and achieve the best possible outcome.
Finding such a real estate professional may not be always easy, but it certainly is worth the effort and will pay off at the end.
In conclusion, this article has outlined six costly mistakes real estate Sellers make during recessions and how to avoid them. The first mistake is not understanding that real estate cycles are long and take years. The second mistake is a misconception that low interest rates alone will create a recovery. Another mistake is not realizing that circumstances may change and not planning in advance. Mistakes number four, five and six pertain to understanding the market value, proper pricing and selecting the right real estate professional.
By understanding and avoiding these mistakes, real estate Sellers have significantly better chances of minimizing the negative impact of a recession while selling their properties.
Useful Tips To Build The Best Gaming Computer
Every gamer will want their computer to be the best gaming computer among their peers. Sometimes, with a little knowledge and tips and tricks, it is possible to build the best gaming computer and show it off to your peers. This article will show you how:
1) You can’t get the best gaming computer from computer retailers
If you want to get the best gaming computer, you have to build your own. Different gamers have different requirement for their gaming machine. Unless you are willing to pay a high price, you will not be able to buy a commercial computer that fulfills all your gaming needs. The only option you have is to build your own gaming computer.
2) You don’t have to be rich to build the best gaming computer
It is not necessary to burn a hole in your pocket to build the best gaming computer. With some due diligence, do some market research and compare prices around the marketplace. Merchant such as TigerDirect and NewEgg give regular discount to their products and you could save a lot of money if you catch them during their promotional period.
3) Most expensive parts do not have to be the best part
Sometime, the latest model or the most expensive model does not have to be the best part for your computer. It requires various components to work together to form the best computer system. When choosing a computer part, what matters is how well it can integrate with the rest of the components. Compatibility is more important than individual performance. What use is there if you spend lot of money on the latest quad-core processor and find that your motherboard doesn’t support it?
4) You don’t need to change the whole PC to own the best gaming computer
It is a misconception that you have to change the whole gaming machine to build the best gaming computer. If you already have a good barebone system, what you need to do is to upgrade the necessary parts and your gaming computer can roar back to life instantly.
5) Brand is important
Unless you want to see your computer system malfunction every few days, it is important that you purchase the parts from branded manufacturers with strict quality control. Motherboard brand such as Gigabyte, ABIT, ASUS are some quality brands that you can consider
If you follow diligently to the tips stated above. You will be on your way to build the best gaming computer. While price can be an issue, it is better not to scrimp on important computer parts such as motherboard, CPU, RAM and graphics card as it will cost you more to upgrade in the future.
Where to Find Those Efficient and Hardworking Affiliates?
Recession Is Here… Six Costly Mistakes Home Sellers Make During Recessions And How To Avoid Them
Useful Tips To Build The Best Gaming Computer
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