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Rug Price Hikes Loom

The weak dollar and higher material costs are pushing rug vendors to consider price hikes. Most will hold off until January.In January 2007 many instituted price hikes of about 5%.

Bruce Hric, president of Capel, said, "We have to be realistic about making a profit. We don't want to sacrifice our viability." Rugs are still a bargain, vendors say, noting the "sweet spot" a decade ago was $700 to $1,000 for a 6 x 9, while today, the same rugs retail for $399 to $700.

"Rug prices are ridiculously low," said Steve Mazarakis, president of Hellenic Rug Imports. "The value and beauty that consumers get for their money is almost unbelievable."

John Feizy, president of Feizy Rugs, cited the appreciation of currency in emerging countries and India and China. "Meanwhile, the market for all home furnishings is soft in the U.S., so it is difficult to raise prices."

Cyrus Yaraghi, a principal of Safavieh, said prices of Chinese rugs have been declining for 15 years, and now are "artificially low. So even if prices go up 5%, imported rugs represent a tremendous value."

"For now, we are living with the situation," said Don Newton, svp of Kas Oriental Rugs. "We also want to support our retail customers. We don't want to cause hardship. But on the other hand, we also want to have some profits."

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