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Suppliers Unveil New Rug Collections in Atlanta

ATLANTA - The wintry weather that stormed into Atlanta earlier this month took some toll on the retailer traffic at the International Area Rug Market here, suppliers said.
     Many area rug companies with showrooms at the AmericasMart came to the market optimistic for business in 2011 - and with reason: Their appointment books were full, more so than they had been since the economy began sagging.
     Several retailers did make it, but others never did, leaving the highly anticipated traffic count somewhat lower by day three of the bi-annual event.

Shaw Living’sShaw Living’s Tommy Bahama designer license continues to grow with four new design additions debuting at this winter’s markets. Among them is Paradiso Paisley, a traditional concept with a bohemian air reinterpreted in a large-scale pattern.
Shaw Living

Shaw Living debuted its new HGTV-branded area rug program, which is divided into two sections. The first is an assortment of rugs made of PET fiber from recycled plastic beverage bottles, the first time Shaw employs this fiber for rugs. The collection spans 20 whimsical and brightly colored patterns, such as the starburst Mia, the striated Dakota, a shadow floral called Charlotte, and the elegant paisley dubbed India, among several others. A 5-by-8 is set to retail for $329.
     The other HGTV grouping is made of Shaw's own "EverTouch" nylon, making the rugs recyclable. Hitting a higher price bracket of $579 for a 5-by-8, the pieces come in more than a dozen upscale designs and more muted palettes, including the over-scaled Patina pattern, the patchwork skin Kalahari, the tribal Juneau and a transitional floral called Eastern Market.

Capel Rugs

Capel Rugs presented a custom rug option to a broader customer beyond the high-end market with its new "Creative Concepts by Capel" collection of natural fiber made-to-order styles.
     Allen Robertson, vp of sales, said the company has made it a simple three-step process. First, shoppers choose from six bases: cane wicker, white wicker, grassy mountain, raffia, bramble, and sisal. Then, they select a border fabric, either from Capel's library of 100 fabrics or one of their own. Finally, they pick a size and/or shape.
     The prices are $400 for a single fabric bordered rug and $500 for a rug featuring multiple fabrics on the border.
     Also new at Capel was the "Convertible" collection of reversible rugs. Comprising seven rugs, each features two designs - one on each side - that apply the same palette for more decorating options within the same color story. Made in India, Convertible rugs are priced at $700 for a 5-by-8, which Robertson noted is a 40% savings from buying two rugs.

Surya Inc.

In the spotlight at Surya Inc., which celebrated its 35th anniversary during market, is a newly enhanced marketing effort for retail customers. A new quick-ship program allows customers to order any of the company's 200 best-selling rugs and have them delivered to their doors within 72 hours or less. The program spans "our regular meat-and-potatoes designs, but it also includes a lot of newer trend styles and some of our branded offerings like Candice Olson," said Seth King, vp of sales and marketing. The idea is to offer instant gratification to shoppers.
     The company is also revamping its catalog, which features all 1,500-plus rugs in improved photography settings - "corner shots that show the true color and texture of our rugs, and not just a flat shot that sometimes doesn't really represent it."
     The catalog will launch April 1.

Karastan

Building on the reaction to the Karastan Studio collection of nylon rugs that launched January 2010, Karastan Rugs came to market with 10 additional transitional and contemporary designs.
     Made domestically like all of the company's other area rugs, Karastan Studio rugs offer a more modern design as well as an affordable price point - via its nylon construction - at $499 for a 5-by-8. Its woolen traditional counterpart, Karastan Original, typically retails for $999.
     Still focused on the high-end customer, Karastan also brought a new offering for its Original line to market. Under the new "Iconoclast" design grouping, three new patterns are contemporary and meant to reach a broader, younger luxury consumer.

Oriental Weavers
Oriental WeaversOriental Weavers USA, Inc.introduced its Odyssey collection at the recent Atlanta market.

Oriental Weavers is expanding its staple cross-woven construction offerings with the new Odyssey collection. Made using a "complicated manufacturing process" largely unique to the company, this collection's rugs depict an abrashed design effect and employ up to 36 colors. The machine-made Odyssey has been two years in the making. Its design portfolio spans traditional through contemporary and in between. A 5-by-8 is set to retail for $349.

Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg marked a milestone this market with the launch of a partnership with a third-party designer Kate McRostie. Williamsburg has traditionally worked with its licensees to create collections using design elements from the brand's archive. But with McRostie, Williamsburg is developing new patterns and designs inspired by its archives and legacy rather than exact representations.
     McRostie has created Embroidered Garden pattern for a collection with C & F Enterprises that spans several cross-coordinated categories - top of bed, decorative pillows, accent rugs, kitchen towels, monogrammed embroidered linen guest towels, wall art and tabletop.
     Embroidered Garden will be expanded into more product categories with other Williamsburg licensees for future markets.

Safavieh
SafaviehSafavieh’s new Ralph Lauren Rugs program is divvied into two groupings – the more upscale Ralph Lauren, and the more casual Lauren Ralph Lauren – the latter which includes transitional looks like this hemp-andjute Persian pattern titled Lancaster.

Safavieh feted the launch of its new Ralph Lauren program at Atlanta market. The program comprises two collections that offer a fresh, reinterpretation of the longstanding brand's signature layered looks that incorporate preppy traditional plaids and tailored menswear patterns with ticking stripes and organic elements. The idea was for Safavieh to work with the brand to create inspired looks rather than literal translations for a new approach to Ralph Lauren Home's area rugs.
     The first is Ralph Lauren, which spans 25 patterns in varied constructions - 18 hand-knotted, two handhooked, two leather patchwork, and three flat-weave - for a total of 65 skus. The more high-end of the licensed line's two groupings, the rugs are set to retail between $2,000 to $12,960 for a 5-by-8. Ralph Lauren rugs are made in India, Pakistan, Tibet, China and Belgium.
     The more casual counterpart, the Lauren Ralph Lauren collection makes up the second grouping in the line. Made in India, China and Belgium, the 40 skus here fall under 15 patterns and various construction, including five hand-knotted, two flat-weave, three sisal weave, two hand-tufted, one hand-loomed, and two power-loomed. Retail price points range from $960 to $2,880 for a 5-by-8.
     Both groups are made to work hand in hand with each other via related color stores and loosely tied design themes.
     Designs for the Ralph Lauren segment include: Eastwood, a 100% wool Heriz center medallion inspired by the antique rugs used to complement traditional Ralph Lauren lifestyle interiors; and Taos, a wool cut and loop that combines Sumak and Peshawar weaving to create a modern expression of an American Indian motif.
     In the Lauren Ralph Lauren group, new patterns include: Cliff Stripe, a cut and loop weave in hemp and jute in a casual stripe inspired by a classic mattress ticking stripe; and Lancaster, made of hemp and jute in an open and airy interpretation of a Persian rug in an eco-friendly rug for casual interiors.

Momeni

Momeni stepped up collections and its average retail price points for the first time in more than two years at the Atlanta market.
     Austin Craley, vp of sales, told HTT: "Pricing has been very important, which is why we've introduced new collections like Dream, Belmont and Royal, which all are set to retail for less than $300."
     But as raw material prices continue to climb paired with what seems to be an improving economic climate, Momeni also came to market with three new collections - Berkshire, Gramercy and Sensations - that are priced on a higher bracket of $449, $389 and $439, respectively.
     Berkshire is a plush India-made hooked grouping in lively color schemes.
     Gramercy represents "the hottest construction we've been showing [in Atlanta market]," Craley said. These are hand-loomed rugs that the company described as loom-knotted because of their special texture and style interpretation, and are made in India of 100% wool. Looks include striates, stripes, carved looks and others.
     Sensations, which Craley called "another hit this market," is a wool-and-viscose story that employs a machine-made base with hand-tufted accents.

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