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Cecile Corral

Mohawk turns in a triple play with accents

Claiming a spike in consumer interest, Mohawk Home has tripled the number of skus it's making for its accent rug business.

During this month's winter market in New York, the company made a sizeable presentation of its newly expanded accent rug division, composed of a variety of constructions, including olefin, nylon and cotton blends. A highlight during the market week was the introduction of an olefin tapestry rug with a felt back.

"It's a business we're really concentrating on," Pat Douglass, gm, tufted and printed area rugs, said. "The 30" x 50" and the 21" x 34" sizes are an enormous business for us, so over the past 12 months we've made an effort to really grow this area."

Other available sizes included 24" x 40", 36" x 60" and finally a 4' x 6'.

Added Merle Johnson, vp, marketing: "Helping motivate sales is the fact that these rugs have multiple functions for anywhere in the home. For example, many customers take our printed Cheri Blum rugs and put them in their bathrooms to coordinate with Croscill's accessories."

Similarly, the "bread and butter" of Mohawk Home's accent rug business is its solid-color, tufted, nylon, piece-dyed variety, Douglass added.

All of the accent rugs are machine washable, with the exception of its woven styles because they have jute backs.

About 75 percent of the skus are freestanding goods and do not coordinate with other Mohawk Home product lines; the remaining 25 percent match with area rugs, decorative pillows, throws and other products.

Moreover, most of the line is made domestically; just 10 percent is imported.

The overseas products include carved printed, flatweave and basic chenille styles from China and India.

"Our strategy with imports is to find looks that we don't manufacture, but that are attractive and represent value to our customers," Douglass said.

Douglass said that placements have increased "dramatically" with Mohawk Home's existing accent rug retail customers, with sales in the division growing by 28 percent over the past year.

For a 21" x 34" size, price points range from $9.99 for some flat-woven styles through $24.99 for chenille or carved and printed rugs.

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