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  • Cecile Corral

Mohawk Home Explores Luxury

New York —Walking into the north wing of Mohawk Home's 14th floor showroom at 295 Fifth Avenue, it was quickly evident that the company has a deliberate message for new and existing customers regarding luxury bath rugs.

“We are emphasizing them,” said David Record, product manager, bath rugs. “We want to show customers that Mohawk Home is a source for better goods.” Employing six new luxury fibers that are imported mainly from India but also China, the company is hitting a higher realm of quality and price points, the latter of which can hit up to $29.99.

In the newly redesigned showroom, two display walls depict this new assortment of high-end products — bamboo, modal, linen, Supima cotton, Egyptian cotton and micro-denier acrylic.

These goods target specialty and department stores, many of which Mohawk already serves, but some of which are still untapped by the supplier.

“There is a market segment out there we felt we were underrepresented in and we wanted to show customers we are a destination for better product,” Record continued.

Mohawk Home is the country's top bath rug supplier, reporting $190 million in category sales in 2005, a figure flat from the year before. While its imported offerings comprise about 30% of the total line, domestic goods remain the company's core bath programs.

And Mohawk has evenly doubled its new offerings for this market in the category — showing 18 totally new constructions and six to eight new yarn constructions for both domestic and imported goods. As a result, there is now double the space in the showroom devoted to the bath rug category.

As Bart Hill, general manager of textiles — and most recently, bath rugs, as well — stated, “This is by far the most comprehensive bath rug line we've ever shown.”

Aside from the luxury push, Mohawk also reorganized the category's merchandising concept this market to fit more snugly with its six merchandise trends — Crafted Casual, Fusion, Loft, Tailored Classics, Global and Retreat — which have been used for several markets now throughout other categories, particularly textiles. “This is the approach that makes sense,” explained Jim Quist, vp sales. “It's all about color and product.”

By far, most of the bath line is solid colored. “We do any color,” Record said. “We match any color. We can, and we do.”

About 15% of Mohawk's bath rugs are multi-colored fashion styles, including stripes and other patterns.

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