• Cecile Corral

Orian Rugs Exporting Effort

The effort is paying off as Orian Rugs has begun branching out its retail reach beyond U.S. borders, tapping into new distribution channels in Canada, Mexico, South America and Europe.

The domestic manufacturer of area and accent rugs and synthetic yarns experienced a 20% increase in sales of those product lines last year, and expects to maintain growth this year, albeit at a more modest 15% as it weathers the tough economy.

"The economy could affect our projections for this year, but we are off to a very good start thus far," said Wim de Pape, coo.

While the U.S. remains the company's "primary sales market," de Pape said, Orian recently opened a showroom in Canada and is in the process of opening showrooms in other foreign countries to more closely service emerging customers.

It also participated at the recent Domotex show in Hanover, Germany, via its sister company, McThree Industries. At the international carpet and textiles trade show there, Orian introduced new products poised for a domestic debut this week during the New York Home Fashions Market.

To accommodate its recent growth in sales and product breadth, Orian has relocated its New York City showroom to a 4,000-square-foot space — about double its former space on Fifth Ave. — in suite 307 in the 7 West NY building (at 7 W. 34th Street).

"The new showroom is a direct result of the expansion of our product line and customer needs, so we can fulfill their desire to see more exciting product, more customer driven product, and more product that is relevant to their consumer," said Paul Sullivan, svp, sales and marketing.

Orian's growth comes in line with the company's three-year, $18 million investment plan to improve its backend and business practices, including environmental efforts. Included are the recent purchase of additional land adjacent to the existing Anderson plant, bringing the total site to almost 50 acres.

"We are planning to expand our business [here], but we want to keep our options open for other locations and be prepared for growth when the time is right," De Pape said.

Funds are also earmarked for Orian's "Goin' Green" sustainability initiative. "We are a zero landfill plant," De Pape said. "All plant-wide waste is 100% recycled. We are committed to doing our part to help reduce, reuse and recycle."

Others steps include: retrofitting light fixtures with energy-efficient fluorescents; replacing the plant gas boiler with a more energy-efficient electric model; and collecting and baling all process plastic and cardboard for recycling.

Cecile CorralCecile Corral | Senior Product Editor, Home & Textiles Today
ccorral@homeandtextilestoday.com

Cecile B. Corral has been a product editor with Home Textiles Today since late 2000. She covers the area and accent rug, kitchen textiles, table linens, beach towels, decorative bath and decorative pillow categories, as well as some retail subjects.

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