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Surya underscores "fashion"-able $199-and-under priced offerings for market

At the New York Market - Trying to balance the increasing cost of doing business with demands from retailers for sharply-priced products, Surya Inc. came to market with several new collections that are broad in construction and design but narrow in price focus -- $199 and below.

"Our costs are up about 15%, and while our margins are great, they are not so great that we can absorb the 15% cost increases," said Satya Tiwari, president. "So we are preparing for the future."

Tiwari said "what is already in our warehouse," or existing product, "is not being increased in price. We can't raise those prices, and we don't want to because we want to work with our retail partners, not get them out of business. That doesn't help anyone."

Instead, the company is "trading up with our new products, pricing them right to offer the right value while helping us with our increasing costs."

Developing such products has been a challenge lately for Surya, and others in the industry, as "now there is more demand for raw materials but fewer and fewer producers than ever before," Tiwari cited, "so this is just going to get harder."

One way of achieving acceptable prices to appease the current retail appetite is despecing "where necessary and possible", Tiwari noted, "so that if the retailer doesn't want a rug for $199, we change the product somewhat while not making the product feel different but still offering value while keeping the same look."

That said, Surya's new $199-and-under rugs include machine wovens made in Egypt and several multi-colored shag styles as well as new weave constructions and new outdoor varieties.

"We tried to bring fashion," Tiwari said. "We don't want to offer the same boring stuff you see out there in the lower price points. We bring fashion to this price point [bracket]."

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