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Cecile Corral

Nourison Extends Kitchen Rugs

Despite the rocky economy, rug manufacturer Nourison has found not just one, but two sweet spots among retail customers for its domestic accent rug division.

In the honey pot is a blend of smaller-scale varieties that carry sharp price points in the $9 to $20 range, as well a bloom of large-scale florals — representing a new design direction for Nourison's domestics category — that not only transcend beyond the kitchen into other rooms of the home but also beckon better, higher price points and open up demand for larger size options.

Paula Paquette, vp domestics, said the company's accent rug hand-hooked styles have been the construction of choice in these two new trends. But in the case of the smaller scale accent rugs selling more aggressively at or below $20, carved and printed latex-backed pieces are also in demand.

"A 2-by-3 for $20 or less is a very affordable way to change the look of a room, so we're having a lot of success with that," Paquette said.

The "out-the-door" prices at which retailers are having success moving these goods range from $9 to $14 for the carved and printed styles and almost $20 for the hand-hooked varieties, she said.

"Coming right out of [New York] market, we feel very positive because retailers came to spend money, they had an open-to-buy and they placed orders for both of these [construction] categories in smaller sizes," she went on. "We saw them reallocating their dollars to these consumable-type goods because they saw the price-value relationship and the styling."

Retailers also discovered a penchant for Nourison's new approach to design for accent rug offerings, she noted. For the first time at Nourison's New York showroom at 295 Fifth Ave. there was a collection of large-scale florals interpreted in autumnal hues — browns, blues and reds — that stretched the category's footprint past the kitchen nook and into areas like the foyer and bedroom. Concentrated in the hand-hooked construction, this new range of floral patterns is made with contemporary styling.

"Traditionally we were a kitchen-type resource," Paquette said. "But we think our customer clearly likes the quality of the hooked rug, so we didn't want to restrict ourselves to kitchen motifs. We decided to build up our florals, and we've had a great reaction. We've even had people ask us for larger sizes: 3-by-5, 4-by-6 and even 5-by-8. These rugs give retailers an opportunity to add this kind of construction to their area rug business."

Price points are equally uplifting. Paquette said a 3-by-5 floral rug at $39.99 takes the average ticket up by double vs. other styles. Similarly, a 4-by-6 is priced at $89.99.

"We're giving them a design that warrants a larger size rug," Paquette summed up.

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