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Rug Market Vendors Ready But Restrained

ATLANTA - Expectations among suppliers for retailer traffic at the International Area Rug Market this week can be summed up in two words: Measured optimism.
     The economy has shown some signs of improvement in the first half of the year so far, they agreed. But that, too, has been measured.
As a result, Allen Robertson, vp of sales for Capel Inc., said he is anticipating an increase in traffic, but probably no more than 5%.
"My expectation is that with the improvement in housing and home furnishings sales we expect to write more business at summer market in Atlanta then we have the last few years," he added. "The fluctuations in the stock market have me tempering the increases I anticipated for the fall, but [we] will be disappointed if the increase is no

Shaw Living is expandingShaw Living is expanding its World Market collection with five new groupings consisting of 36 hand-tufted 100% wool rugs.
t at least 10%."
     Couristan is on the same page, and is bringing product and price points to suit the outlook.
     "We are anticipating gains in traffic compared to the most recent July markets," explained Larry Mahurter, vp of marketing/advertising. "Business continues to improve, and as a company we have worked extremely hard in developing products not only in terms of design and color, but in aggressive price points that we feel will prove beneficial for our customers."
     Noursion's appointment list for market is up "a little," said principal Alex Peykar.
     "The inventory in the retail stores are the lowest they have been in years, and we hope and expect to see reactions from retailers setting the foundation for a good and successful buying season that should start from August onward," he added, noting that his company has experienced an improvement in the first two quarters of 2013.
     Surya president Satya Tiwari has a rosier outlook, seeing clients who are "very excited to build the assortment for fall retail. We have one of our best introductions for this market with a great appointment list."
     Shaw Living's brand manager, Kim Barta, too, is "excited and optimistic. Thus far, business in 2013 has shown an up tick, which we expect to continue for the balance of the year."
     Added Reza Momeni, principal of Momeni Inc.: "This year Atlanta July market should be good show and the momentum will continue from the winter market followed by a strong April High Point show," he said. "The economy is on the right track and consumer confidence is high, interest rates still low and homes are selling, all a good recipe for the home furnishing industry.

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