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Stanton, Trans-Ocean team up in marketing alliance

CALHOUN, GA -Area rug manufacturer Trans-Ocean Import Co. and carpet and rug maker Stanton Rug Co. , a division of the Stanford Carpet Corp., joined in a marketing alliance just in time for the Atlanta Rug Show taking place Jan. 19 to 21.

"We discussed it and decided we could really help each other out," said Jonathan Cohen, Stanton vp, marketing. "But we decided that if we would do this, we'd better wrap up the deal in time for the Atlanta Rug Show and Surfaces."

The World Floor Covering Association's Surfaces event is scheduled immediately after the Atlanta show, from Jan. 31 to Feb. 2 in Las Vegas.

The alliance initially allows for Stanton to carry and co-market 140 of "[Trans-Ocean's] best" skus, said Trans-Ocean president Charles Peck. Those skus include machine-made, hand-tufted, hand-knotted, hand-hooked, Spanish berber and flat weaves. In turn, Trans-Ocean will co-market Stanton's fabricated rugs, including runners.

At both rug shows, each company will showcase a sampling of the other's wares.

"It evolved as a natural synergy," Peck said. "They always wanted to get into rugs but weren't in the business. And for us, we wanted to penetrate the specialty carpet retailer but didn't have the people to serve us."

Trans-Ocean and Stanton have shared resources in Europe for some time. However, the alliance was prompted about four to six months ago when Trans-Ocean's main designer, Liora Manne, was commissioned to draft designs for Stanton's wall-to-wall carpets.

"Through that relationship, we became closer to Trans-Ocean," said Cohen.

Peck added, "When Liora met with Sy [Cohen, president of Stanton Carpet] at our showroom, I met them, and we all got to know each other a little better."

Trans-Ocean, based in White Plains, NY, sells to department stores, national furniture chains, catalogs and some carpet specialty stores. Stanton, based here, sells to decorative supply shops, independent carpet and rug dealers and others. Both companies target similar price points and share a similar customer base, Peck said.

The alliance helps both sides expand their retail reaches, marketing efforts and resources.

"For example, we have six sales people nationally and Stanton has 30," Peck said.

For the near future, Trans-Ocean and Stanton will work to generate rugs and broadlooms that complement each other. They also plan to develop additional specialty product that is more moderate-to-upper scale in the next six to 12 months.

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