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Las Vegas cooks on second day

Las Vegas -- Activity in the halls and throughout many showrooms was strong on the second day of the summer Las Vegas Market at the World Market Center here. Many suppliers were pleased with both the level of appointments and walk-in traffic for what several called “High Point West.”

Also today, the World Market Center announced that yesterday’s opening day traffic was up 35% over January 2008 and 21% over July 2007.

Among the highlights from today’s show:

*  Mark Tollison, national sales manager at Jaipur Rugs, said the “excellent” response the company received for its new goods at the recent Atlanta International Area Rug Market was continuing here. Buyers visiting Jaipur included designers, big-box retailers, high end furniture stores and independent home furnishings retailers, Tollison said.

The new eco-friendly offering at Jaipur was one factor spurring orders; the program features jute goods in the $225 range for 5-by-8 with hemp shag rugs in the mid-price range and knotted hemp rugs at $599. Jaipur offers a craft-based area rug program; the company employs thousands of individual rug handcrafters across India.

*  Keith Sorgeloos, ceo of bedding and bath producer Home Source, reported brisk business in the showrooms of One Coast, the rep firm that Home Source has partnered with over the last year to penetrate high end accounts across the Western U.S.

Both of the leading Home Source product groups -- Micro Cotton and bamboo -- have gained the loyalty of existing specialty, department store and big-box retailers while attracting new accounts, said Sorgeloos. The company continues to refresh the lines with fashion and new fabrications including luxury bamboo-cotton blend sheet sets (retail target price $299, queen). Home Source is also flexing its fast-delivery muscle with the addition of a new warehousing facility in the Charlotte area.

Nourison had a strong opening day here, said Julie Rosenblum, brand manager. The company is showing new handmade products in Heritage Hall a hard twist New Zealand wool program with more than nine sizes; the 6-by-9 retails at $2,400. A key new look is the Mist coloration; Rosenblum emphasized that the materials are processed at a level exceeding the Carpet and Rug Institute's eco-friendly standards.

New to the Liz Claiborne line at Nourison are “open, clean” looks in a camel and black palette, she said, hand woven in New Zealand wool and Luxcelle, a Nourison-trademarked shimmer yarn. A 5-by-8 targets a retail of $749.

A key intro in the Nourison 2000 line is Taragon, in New Zealand wool with silk highlights. Taragon interprets traditional Persian rug design into a transitional mode with an overscaled border, florets that break into the guard borders, and very updated colors.

Firmly in the contemporary zone is Parallel, an all-Luxcelle rug group featuring geometrics and abstract botanicals, another hand-woven Nourison offering.

*  The editors of Southern Living magazine graced the showroom of Hellenic Rugs, part of a coordinated launch of a licensed merchandise program in outdoor furniture by Sol Casuals, upholstered goods by Bailey Street, and more than 60 colors and styles of area rugs by Hellenic.

*  At rug vendor Central Oriental/Natco, vp sales and marketing Jim Thompson was showing independent West Coast retailers a range of product introductions from the Patina, Gallery, Sebago, Dimensions, and Radiance lines -- most of which are made in the United States at the company's Sanford, Maine facility.

Patina offers an antique, abrash look in a space-dyed nylon fabrication, at $299 for 5-by-8, a style that northeast regional manager Mary Jane Connell said is already proving popular with retailers in her territory, such as the Cardi's furniture chain. Gallery, a heat-set nylon line, is offered in a four-piece set (8-by-10, 5-by-7, 2-by-8 and 22-by-34) at $199, featuring color block and similar styles.

Sebago is an import from Belgium, a 1.3 million point traditional line in neutrals, blacks and reds. Dimensions, another neutral palette, is a Central Oriental contemporary grouping, made with drop-stitching for a hand-carved look. Radiance is a line that was re-introduced in January here, with an expanded range of styles across traditional and transitional themes employing scrolls, botanicals and medallions. These 1 million point rugs aim at a $199 retail.

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