NEW YORK — Aperture Contract expects to lead the hospitality market in the installation of motorized roller blinds in North America according to Mike Mondello, President and Phil Landau, COO.
Aperture is the one-year old roller shade division of Samelson & Company, a decorative fabrics converter. So far, it is one of the few decorative fabric converters or jobbers which has embraced the trend in a major way. “Most companies are just dabbling in roller shades,” Mondello says.
“Our strength is in the types of fabrics we put on the roller shade; it’s not typical of what others use in the corporate arena. “We don’t offer corporate looking roller shades for the hotel application. Our roller shade fabrics must meet our aesthetic for decorative fabrics. We’re talking about textured sheers, solar and blackout shades with the growing trend in digital prints,” Mondello explains.
Aperture started in business with 40-50 sku’s but expects to greatly expand its offering this year and next. “We expect the use of roller shades in hotels to double next year over 2018,” Mondello says.
The pair attended the R+T Exhibition in Stuttgart for the first time this year and found it took them two days to cover three of the nine halls. R+T is considered the world´s leading trade fair for roller shutters, doors/gates and sun protection.
“We were interested in the roller shade fabric and hardware exhibits, Landau explains. The other halls were devoted to other types of screens and enclosures, he says. They said the R+T was a good show and well worth their time. It is held every three years in February. The next R+T Exhibition will be in 2021.
“We quickly realized that motorization is the next wave in the roller shade market from what we saw at R+T,” Landau says. “Part of this trend has to do with ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) and “the requirement to equip handicapped rooms with motorized shade solutions within the hotel. For every 100 rooms, there are 4-6 handicapped rooms in a hotel property.”
Aside from that, many upper end properties are demanding the installation of motorized roller shade solutions, especially in Las Vegas. This is not a trend in budget properties, however.
“We have been specified by three major hotel brands so we expect to have a full complement of motorization solution depending on the size of the window and the weight of the fabric used,” Mondello says.
There are many variables as to what type of motor is recommended for a window installation. He feels that Aperture will not have the cheapest mechanism because “we want to have the best at Aperture.”
Aperture fabrication is made in the USA as opposed to offshore, he points out.