HUNTER DOUGLAS TOPS WCMA PRODUCT AWARDS FOR 17th CONSECUTIVE YEAR

Window Fashions Leader Captures Product of the Year for Silhouetter with LiteRiser Lifting System

PEARL RIVER, N.Y. – Innovation, quality, functionality, beauty and style.  The newest products from window fashions leader Hunter Douglas have it all, according to the just-announced results of the annual Window Covering Manufacturers Association (WCMA) Product Awards.  For the 17th consecutive year, the company has won more awards than any other manufacturer – an outstanding 27 out of the 50 conferred this year.  In addition, Hunter Douglas captured the coveted Product of the Year for the 12th year as well as the prestigious Judges’ Award reserved for a submission selected by the panel that exhibits measurable benefit or standout aesthetic appeal to end-users.

            “We’re grateful for these prestigious awards from an independent panel of judges,” said Marv Hopkins, Hunter Douglas President and CEO.  “Our company is committed to providing today’s discerning consumers with innovative window fashions of superb quality and enduring style.”

            Product of the Year went to Silhouette® window shadings with the LiteRise® lifting system.  Soft, sheer Silhouette shadings, unrivalled in the industry for their beauty and performance, have another important feather in their cap.  Silhouette® with LiteRise® features an innovative cordless operation that not only makes raising, lowering and tilting the shading for variable light control easy, but eliminates the need for cords of any kind.  No cords makes it especially ideal for homes with young children and provides a clean, uncluttered look at the window.  A soft-touch handle allows for simple, convenient operation.  For taller windows, a pull tassel is easy to install and use. 

            This product was also awarded Most Innovative Overall Concept in the “Health and Environmental Safety” Green Category of the awards and Best New Technical Innovation in the Miscellaneous Products and Specialty Applications Category.

            Hunter Douglas Merchandising garnered the discretionary Judges’ Award for “Excellence in enhancement, innovation and social media marketing of overall merchandising to the end-user and to the industry.”  The company won 12 out of 13 awards in this category.

            Centerpiece of the industry-leading Hunter Douglas initiatives is the “Art of Window Dressing” iPad App, available in both consumers and dealer versions, which was named Best Marketing Technology.  Fun, efficient and easy to navigate, this App makes finding the perfect Hunter Douglas window fashion just a quick tap away.  It includes a virtual showroom of window dressings and allows users to select their favorites and preview how they will look on their window or their client’s by uploading photos or choosing one from the sample room photos.  A “Swatch Sorter” lets users select among light-filtering options, styles and colors.  Renderings can be saved with fabric type and color in a “Workbook” and shared by email, Facebook or with a dealer.  There is a built-in Dealer Locator as well.  The dealer version substitutes this with an easily searchable password-protected database that quickly provides detailed product information and pricing.

            In the Cellular Shades Category, Enhancements to Duette® and Applause® honeycomb shades walked away with Best Enhancement.  These include three new fabrics and one additional street-side color option for highly energy-efficient Duette® Architella® honeycomb shades as well as the Next Generation Common Headrail.  Offered on all premium operating systems for Duette and Applause honeycomb shades, this new headrail reduces mounting depth by 20 percent on all ¾-inch and 1¼-inch shades and features the EasyAdjust™ leveling system.

            Not surprisingly, in the Green Products – Energy Efficiency Category, Enhancements to Duette® Architella® honeycomb shade fabrics earned Best New Style Concept.  These include Architella Royale Textured™, a richly woven fabric which features new DuoTone technology.  DuoTone technology provides consumers the beauty of a woven shade with a white street-side color, giving them a consistent appearance from outside the home.  New opaque fabric options ideal for bedrooms and media rooms are also available on Architella Batiste Textured™ and Architella Batiste Bamboo.  A new natural street-side color option is also offered with the Architella Elan® fabric. 

            Duette® Architella® Batiste Bamboo fabric, made from sustainable and recycled materials with 45 percent of the fabric bamboo, in the new opaque opacity was awarded an Honorable Mention for Best Use of Sustainable Materials in the Green Products – Sustainability Category.  

            Pirouette® window shadings in the eco-conscious Cotton fabric made from up to 80 percent recycled yarns and highly textured with a soft and inviting feel was named Best of Use of Recycled Materials in the Category.  

            In Motorization, Enhancements to Duette® and Applause® PowerRise® 2.0 with Platinum™ Technology was conferred an Honorable Mention for Best New Technical Innovation.  Enhancements include the popular Top-Down/Bottom-Up and Duolite™ design options for maximum light control and privacy with the convenience of motorization.   

            Best Enhancement in the Roman, Roller and Pleated Shades Category went to the 2012 Vignette® Modern Roman Shades Collection.  Vignette® Modern Shades are designed with safety in mind and have no exposed rear cords for a clean, exterior appearance and enhanced child safety.  The only Roman shade that rolls, stacks and traverses, Vignette shades now come in 15 fabrics, six of them new, for a total of 102 skus with colors refreshed throughout.  There are also new operating systems and options.

            Farmboy Fine Arts Collection for Hunter Douglas Hospitality captured Best New Roller Shade Hospitality Industry.  Hunter Douglas Hospitality and Farmboy Fine Arts collaborated to create art for roller shades, a new design opportunity that transforms windows into a focal point of the space.  The five collections – each with eight re-colorable designs – offer intriguing, large-scale art for hotel lobbies/guest rooms/restaurants/clubs/healthcare spaces in openness factors from semi-opaque to opaque.

            Best Enhancement in the Shadings and Sheers Category was awarded to the 2012 Pirouette® window shadings Collection, which has doubled its offering with seven fabrics (five new) and 65 colors in semi-opaque or room-darkening.  New fabrics include Satin Metallic, shimmering metallic fabric exuding modern style; the eco-conscious Cotton; Angelica, luxurious tinted sheers on both the front and back; Shantung, with the look and feel of raw silk in rich, bold hues; and Bamboo Flax, which combines bamboo and flax yarns.

            In the Shutters Category, Best Enhancement went to Enhancements to Palm Beach™ polysatin shutters.  Palm Beach shutters with the advanced DuraLuxfinish combine the beautiful look of a finely painted shutter with the unmatched performance of polysatin and are available in four classic colors. New design options include the Classic Z-Frame to coordinate with popular trim and molding and a Decorative Sill Cover to cover window sills or create a custom-trimmed look at the window.  An exclusive Palm Beach Promise ensures that the product will perform for a lifetime and never wrap, crack, fade, chip, peel or discolor.

            Most Innovative Overall Concept in the Verticals and Panel Tracks Category was awarded to Provenance® Woven Wood Vertical Drapery.  Provenance Woven Woods has moved in new directions with the introduction of this Vertical Drapery.  The new drapery is mounted on the patented Skyline® headrail which has two tracks and provides ultimate functionality while maintaining a minimum profile.  Now Provenance can now be used to cover both vertical and horizontal openings – ideal for today’s casual lifestyles.

            Last but not least in the Product Awards, the 2012 EverWood® Collection of alternative wood blinds won Best New Style Concept in the Wood and Faux-Wood Blinds Category.  With distinct new choices and finishes, this collection is generating more excitement than ever.  The innovative natural effects themes – Grass Weave, Leather and Linen – mark the first time in the industry that the proprietary TruGrain® finish has expanded beyond wood looks, bringing other on-trend natural materials to the window.  The new Renditions™ wood-grain effects finishes showcase an industry-first process that elevates alternative wood blinds for the value-driven customer.  

HUNTER DOUGLAS SWEEPS MERCHANDISING CATEGORY WITH 12 OUT OF 13 AWARDS

            Not surprisingly, Hunter Douglas swept the Merchandising Category with 12 out of the 13 awards bestowed going to the company.   In addition, to “The Art of Window Dressing”

iPad App, Hunter Douglas has many other trend-setting initiatives that helped earn the window fashions leader the Judges’ Award for its efforts in this arena.  Highlights include:

            The new Hunter Douglas The Art of Window Dressing™ :30 TV Commercial was named Best Consumer Advertising Campaign.  Lighthearted, yet powerful this TV advertising introduces an aura of fantasy and fun to reinforce The Art of Window Dressing™ idea and draw a parallel between a woman’s love of fashion with the same passion she has for styling her home… and windows.  Showcasing a variety of styles underscores the breadth of choices while the narrative also speaks to benefits that enhance everyday living.  The commercial launched on national network and cable TV and generated a 20 percent-plus increase in website visits.
            Best Consumer Education went to the new Hunter Douglas Facebook Page: facebook.com/HunterDouglas.  Created as a forum for engaging with consumers, the page includes a custom tab promoting The Art of Window Dressing™ messaging and an exciting Window Makeover Contest.  News, photos and videos relating to products, programs and design trends are regularly posted on the wall to keep fans interested and eager to share posts with friends.

Hunter Douglas Inc., headquartered in Pearl River, N.Y, is the leading manufacturer and marketer of custom window fashions in North America and a major manufacturer of architectural products.  The company is a national sponsor of Habitat for Humanity, covering windows in every Habitat home built in the U.S. and Canada. 

            For more information, visit www.hunterdouglas.com or call 1-800-274-2985.

###