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Small world for Nourison

Nourison

Saddle Brook, NJ

President: Paul Peykar

Dir. of creative mktg.: Ed Vairo

Principal business: area rugs

Since it launched as a wholesale manufacturer of rugs 18 years ago, Nourison's bread-and-butter business has stemmed from importing upscale hand-made area rugs from China, India and Belgium.

Originally, the Peykar family — Nourison's owners and founders — were retailers of area rugs. But almost two decades ago they switched to the manufacturing side, explained Ed Vairo, director of creative marketing.

In China, where it does the bulk of its importing, Nourison owns some facilities as joint ventures with the Chinese government. Elsewhere, Nourison works closely with agents and directly with manufacturers. In India, where Nourison buys only hand-made rugs including flat wovens, tufted and knotted varieties, the company buys directly from several manufacturers. And in Belgium, from where Nourison does the least of its importing business, it buys machine-made rugs directly from a manufacturer.

"The critical point to note is that we have developed relationships for our overseas partners over time and laid a foundation for differentiated businesses, allowing us to tailor our product to meet the special demands in the United States," Vairo said. "It's about going over there and using your experience of the American market and their expertise of the manufacturing to come up with something that specifically targets our customers."

Less than 10 percent of Nourison's product line is produced domestically. That line, which was launched barely three years ago, comprises only machine-made rugs that are made through partnerships with manufacturers in Georgia and North Carolina.

"Importing provides us the competitive advantage to produce hand-made goods at reasonable competitive prices," Vairo explained. "The other advantage is the opportunity to create differentiated, unique product.

"The world is becoming a smaller place," he said.

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