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Shaw Living takes aim at becoming 'single-source'

Two acquisitions and several strategic partnerships later, Shaw Rugs embarked this market with a new name more befitting its recently restructured course as a multiple category supplier.

Shaw Living, vp Jeff Meadows explained to Home Textiles Today, represents the company's effort to "become a single-source vendor" to its retail partners.

"It's very important to buyers to know they can come to one place to get all they need," Meadows said during a preview of new product lines at the company's Georgia Tufters's division showroom at 295 Fifth Avenue. "Buyers don't have time to shop from six different vendors for six separate categories."

Shaw Living's current product mix includes area rugs from the original Shaw Rugs line, chenille-tufted top-of-bed products and bath and scatter rugs through its acquisition of Calhoun, GA-based Georgia Tufters in April, and decorative pillows and throws through its partnership with Norcross, GA-based Trade Am. And soon, through parent company Shaw Industries' purchase of some of the assets of The Dixie Group, it will add doormats to its offerings.

The expanded lines have boosted retail placements beyond the core of independent floor covering stores for its area rug business. Earlier in the year, an alliance with Trade Am for coordinated decorative pillow, throw and rug lines won a placement at a major mass merchant.

And this summer, Shaw Living won an auction for bath rugs at another major mass retail chain, as well as added shelf space for scatter-size rugs at a major home center that already carries some of its area rug programs, Meadows said.

Expansions at its facilities support such growth. The company recently installed new tufting and automated finishing machines, both for scatter rugs, at the Georgia Tufters site.

"Being in these new retail channels, we know we'll generate several impressions each week," Meadows explained. "Many customers shop the mass merchants about once a week, but they don't go as often to floor covering stores. But now they'll see our label on scatters or bath rugs or throws regularly, so when they redo their homes and go to those floor covering stores, they'll recognize our name and make that connection."

Collections debuting with a new logo include 100 percent nylon space-dyed and printed space-dyed scatter rugs.

Now that the logo has been redesigned, Meadows said new labels and packaging will soon follow. While some overlap of the old and new label on store shelves will occur, he expects the rollout to be complete within the next six months.

Meadows said Shaw Living will continue to look out for viable acquisition opportunities to enter into new product categories and gain placement at existing and new retail channels.

"Our five pillars are innovation, design, color, quality and service," Meadows said. "Some suppliers might do one or two of these, but we do them all."

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