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Retailers Look to Spruce Offerings in Atlanta

Cecile Corral, Staff Staff -- Home Textiles Today, July 11, 2005

Atlanta — Recent sluggish sales for the rug category may spur what some anticipate will be a higher-than-normal retailer turnout at the upcoming Atlanta International Area Rug show.

Suppliers said their appointment books were filling up faster this market compared to past July shows, with more specialty chains, in particular, booking face time, as retailers look to invigorate their assortments.

“The first six months of this year, rug sales were flat to a little up, so we're going to Atlanta to find new and exciting rugs to enhance our assortments and displays,” said Gary Cissell, director of flooring for Nebraska Furniture Mart. “And we also want to discuss with our suppliers possible new programs, promotions and ideas that will help us generate more traffic.”

Momeni is one of the companies looking to explore new businesses with its retail customers.

“Spring was an up-and-down season for most retailers, but the mood for fall is decent,” said Austin Craley, vice president, sales, Momeni. “At this show, we're going to be able to build on that. We'll have more time to work more closely with our customers and everyone gets more out of this visit. We come up with new ideas, and we may even get some surprise business.”

Patrick Moyer, president, Balta U.S., said his customers are looking for “new opportunities to finish up the second half of the year strong and add spice to their assortments. There's pent-up demand out there.”

He added that Balta U.S. has an “incredibly busy appointment schedule, more so than I had in January, in fact. And that is certainly encouraging.”

Shaw Living's list of appointments includes more mass-merchant retailers than normal for this market, said John McLeod, vice president of sales and marketing for mass merchants. “I was surprised at the number of mass retailers showing up, actually. But I think it's because our customers are looking for something new and different. Business has been tough. More retailers than usual are coming to this market to try and jumpstart their business again.”

Macy's Home and May Co.'s Hecht's stores are attending, both looking for new product.

“I'm going to Atlanta and I'm looking for the latest in transitional and contemporary looks,” said Keith Arlinghaus, senior rug buyer, Macy's Home. “Price points and construction are moot points. I'm just looking for new color and design.”

Brian Doherty, buyer of area rugs and floor coverings for Hecht's, said he is also attending and is “open to anything.”

In an earlier interview, The Great Indoors' Decorative Rug Buyer Alyson Angotti said she had plans of attending this month's show in Atlanta.

But not making a stop this time around is Gary Nickolie, rug buyer for Kohl's. While he makes a point of coming to the January event, he only occasionally stops by Atlanta in July — and this year will not be one of those times.

“Over the last couple of years, we've made changes to our assortment, and right now we have no need to go,” Nickolie explained. “I've got everything in place now through early '06. It is always helpful to see the design and color direction at these shows, but this time we'll wait until January.”

Those retailers that are attending want “the next hot thing,” McLeod said.

With recent new innovations in color, construction and design, suppliers have a lot to offer retailers looking for freshness, said Larry Mahurter, director of advertising and sales promotion, Couristan.

“It's a very exciting time for our industry, in terms of color and design,” Mahurter said. “There are new innovations, color forecasting and new constructions.”

Couristan recently updated its assortment to “adapt to the times,” adding new hand-tufted and hand-knotted styles and expanded power-loomed varieties in more promotional price points.

“Driving the market today are color and design,” he continued. “We are far more fashionable than ever before as an industry and, as a company, Couristan has become far more fashion-oriented than ever before.”

828 International Trading Co.

Greenville, S.C. (800) 733-0828

Its latest collection, titled International, infuses multicultural looks on wool rugs. This collection is power-loomed in traditional patterns, each rug featuring 10 colors.

The fields come in ivory, red or black and are accented in softer hues, like mocha, blue and sage. Sizes range from 2-by-3 scatters through 10-by-13 roomsize and runners. The suggested retail price point for a 5'3”-by-7'7” is $499.

Capel Inc.

Troy, N.C. (800) 334-3711

Capel Inc. is highlighting 27 new collections that feature casual, contemporary, traditional and outdoor looks.

Building on one of its fastest growing categories, the company is showing three new such collections — including South Beach, Sea Breeze and Al Fresco — as well as three new contemporary collections. Capel is also expanding its exclusive collection of rugs with license brand Colonial Williamsburg with new additions in flat-woven, hand-knotted, hand-tufted and loop-hooked constructions.

cmi

Pawtucket, R.I. (800) 343-9339

This manufacturer of braided and textured rugs is highlighting its Timeless Retreat collection under its partnership with the license brand Woolrich.

The collection of reversible rugs comes in an oval shape, alternating potpourri styles and five colorways — deepwater, loden, redwood, bark and carbon. These rugs are made of 56 percent wool, 35 percent polyester and 9 percent nylon and are constructed with flat and corded braids.

To coordinate with the rugs, cmi is also offering other products, including accent rugs, chair pads, trivets, rug slices, heart rugs, stair treads, utility baskets, hampers, waste baskets, nesting bowls, tote bags and floor pillows.

Concord Global Trading

New York (212) 686-6686

At its new permanent showroom at the AmericasMart, Concord is showing several new introductions, including its Ankara collection of 100 percent heavy heat-set polypropylene rugs that are made in Turkey. A 5-by-8 is set to retail for $159.

Couristan

Fort Lee, N.J. (800) 223-6186

Several new introductions are being shown. South Beach is a collection of 100 percent heat-set and loop-pile rugs featuring a geometric pattern formed on an overlaying lattice design that is made to contrast against a bright background palette. Estates is made of 100 percent “Courtron” polypropylene and features formal interpretations of 18th century English and French fabrics. The Pelican Bay collection is a tufted loop-pile grouping of wool and poly-acrylic blended rugs in tropical motif designs. Rugs from the Kenwick Gardens Fontenay collections, both made of 100 percent heat-set “Courtron” polypropylene, come in decorative floral interpretations of 18th and 19th century English and French tapestries.

Homefires

Atlanta (770) 452-1155

Homefires is showing new additions to its licensed program, JanelleStyle, for its Homefires By Design line. These new floral patterns are designed by artist and designer Janelle Lampp. A 5-by-8 is set to retail for $499. One pattern titled Red Kimono is hand-tufted of 100 percent wool and comes in three sizes: 3'5”-by-5'5”, 5-by-8 and 8-by-11.

Jaipur Rugs

Dalton, Ga. (888) 676-7330

Jaipur is adding several new designs to its Atlantis and Jaimak collections. The transitional Atlantis collection is being expanded with 12 new designs employing a soft palette. These rugs are hand-knotted of hand-spun wool. The Jaimak collection is also growing by 12 new designs, these rugs feature muted colors and are made in a flat-woven wool construction.

Kas Rugs

Somerset, N.J. (800) 967-4254

Kas continues to build on its popular Signature collection, which already includes 50 designs, with new patterns for this market. These rugs are made of 100 percent hand-tufted and hand-carved wool. Sizing ranges from scatter to roomsize, and there are also two round sizes. A 6-by-9 is set to retail for $499.

Also being expanded is one of the company's oldest collections, Colonial, which comprises petit-point hand-hooked rugs made of 100 percent wool. New life has been breathed into it with the addition of florals and other designs. Sizes range from scatter to roomsize, and a 7'6”-round is also available. A 6-by-9 is set to retail for $299.

Milliken Rugs

LaGrange, Ga. (800) 241-8666

Milliken is adding four new designs to its Pastiche rug collection, two new designs in its Innovations collection and three new designs in its Seasonal Inspirations collection.

New Pastiche rug designs are Horizon, Fairmont, Rialto and Valencia in the collection's tufted nylon construction featuring a StainMaster soft-fiber technology. A 6-by-9 is set to retail for $249. The two new Innovations rugs are Kirala and Rylie — both contemporary and geometric. A 6-by-9 is set to retail for $199.

Both Pastiche and Innovations collections come with The Milliken Solution merchandising system.

The new additions to the Seasonal Inspiration collection include Bountiful, Yuletide Garden and Santa and Friends. All are available in three sizes, with the exception of Bountiful which is also available as a 7'8” round. A 2'8”-by-3' is set to retail for $54.

Mohawk Home

Sugar Valley, Ga. (800) 843-7743

Under its Mohawk Select division, the company will be showing two new collections — Artistic Impressions and Decorator's Choice.

Artistic Impressions rugs are set to retail for $199 for a 5'3”-by-7'10” size, and Decorator's Choice rugs are set to retail for $299 for the same size.

Nourison

Saddle Brook, N.J.

(201) 368-6900

For the first time, Nourison is adding 8-foot rounds to its Nourmak collection of wool rugs that are made in a patented construction. There will be 15 existing designs now available in this new size.

Other new additions to the Nourison line include: a brown Oushak design to Nourison 2000; three new designs — a beige Mahal, a brick Kashan and a burgundy Oushak — to Heritage Hall; new 6-foot and 8-foot scalloped rounds and a 12-by-15 size also to Heritage Hall; and two new designs — a persimmon garden pattern and a gold scrolling vine — to the Julian collection.

Shaw Living

Dalton, Ga. (706) 965-0954

Building on its successful license program with Kathy Ireland, Shaw Living is adding 24 new patterns to the line's First Lady collection. Made of Shaw's branded carpet nylon fiber, EverTouch, the colorways for the new designs are rich, including reds, deep coral and warm green paired with a brown and turquoise blue. The suggested retail for a 5'5”-by-8' is $499. Also under the licensed program, Shaw is launching the new Gee's Bend collection based on the Quilts of Gee's Bend designs. The collection will comprise about 10 new designs made of 100 percent soft olefin. A 5'5”-by-7'8” is set to retail for $429.

To its mary-kate and ashley collection for young girls, Shaw is showing a new and updated palette that employs more sophisticated hues.

Trans-Ocean Inc.

White Plains, N.Y.

(914) 949-5656

From its Liora Manne collection, Trans-Ocean is showing several new introductions.

Karela is made of 100 percent wool pile and is hand-tufted in India. It comes in five designs and colorways and is set to retail for $599 for a 4'10”-by-7'10”. Two wool-pile collections that are also both hand-tufted in India are Transitions and Gallia. Transitions comes in two designs and colorways and is set to retail for $499 for a 4'10”-by-7'10”; Gallia comes in three designs and colorways and is set to retail for $399 for a 4'10”-by-7'10”.

Back Porch, in three designs and colorways, and Dorado, available in seven designs and colorways, are both made of 100 percent wool pile and are hand-tufted in China. Dorado is set to retail for $299 for a 4'10”-by-7'10”; Back Porch is set to retail for $299 for a 4'10”-by-7'10”.

United Weavers

Garfield, N.J. (800) 241-5754

At is new sixth-floor showroom at the AmericasMart, United Weavers is showing its new Pristine collection. It represents a new quality for the company in that these rugs are made using woven olefin and feature a cotton back, and they do not shed as do most viscose rugs. A 6-by-9 is set to retail for $199.

Also new is the Foundations collection of opening price point rugs. This collection comprises six-color heat-set rugs set to retail for less than $100.

Veratex

Panorama City, Calif.

(818) 994-6487

Veratex is showing its Chateau collection of 100 percent wool hand-tufted and hand-carved rugs made in China. It is available in several designs, including Aubusson in four colorways — linen, burgundy, ivory and black.

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