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Expo Design Alters Rug Mix

Retailer Heeds Customers' Calls for Roll Runners and Larger Area Rugs

Responding to customers' calls for extra large area rugs and roll runners, upscale specialty retailer Expo Design Center is shifting its focus this year in soft flooring to mansion sizes and long runners for stairways.

Jeanne Love, soft flooring merchant, told HTT that because 60% of homes today have hard surface flooring versus soft flooring, coupled with the persisting trend of larger family rooms and bigger homes, Expo has experienced a spike in demand for roll runners for stairs as well area rugs that are 8'-by-10' and larger.

"Everyone covers the stairs, so [roll runners] has become a big business for us," she said. "My vendors are bringing me the looks that allow someone to show an expression without matching directly to other rugs in the house. We're trying to create synergy between the roll runners, the area rugs and the broadloom — but not matchy-matchy looks."

As for the "mansion size" area rugs, Love explained that 8-by-10 and larger area rugs are "taking over as the dominant sizes" where 5-by-8 and 6-by-9 rugs were once the focus.

She said for this year, 75% of Expo's offerings will be in these larger dimensions.

"Instead of buying two or three smaller rugs, customers now want a 10-by-12, for example," Love continued. "The rug is less apt to be an accent piece and now more a focal point to their 'great rooms'."

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