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Carpet-Art-Deco adds Burlington room rug biz

MONTREAL — Carpet-Art-Deco, based here, has acquired the Burlington House Floor Accents woven roomsize rug business two years after Burlington House entered the category. The takeover was effective as of May 1.

"The biz is continuing," said Carpet-Art-Deco's Paul Kershaw, executive vp, sales and marketing, who joined the company from Burlington upon completion of the deal. "Burlington and Carpet-Art-Deco worked together to bring it to the point it is now, but the difference is that now Burlington is dropping out. We plan to keep on moving without skipping a beat."

Added Ralph Grogan, president, Burlington House: "It was a very amiable separation, and it was best for us to separate from that side of the business."

Grogan explained that while Burlington House's roomsize rug business was profitable, it occupied only "a small percentage" — 10 percent — of the company's total business. Furthermore, since Burlington House imported 90 percent of its roomsize rugs from Carpet-Art-Deco and 10 percent from Belgium-based rug manufacturer Balta, "it was an easy exit for us," Grogan said. "And it worked out very nicely for Carpet-Art-Deco because they were already producing most of our roomsize rugs for us."

As reported earlier in HTT's February 12 issue, for several months Burlington House had been in negotiations with Carpet-Art-Deco to relocate Burlington House's roomsize rug business to Canada. Until now both companies worked in conjunction — Burlington House providing sales, marketing and distribution services and Carpet-Art-Deco handling all the manufacturing and product development. But as of this month, Burlington House will cease participation in the woven rug business.

Carpet-Art-Deco broke ground on construction for a new 265,000-square-foot facility here earlier this year. Completion for phase one of the project — offices for the information technology, customer service and order entry departments — is scheduled for September. Phase two of the project — additional raw material and finished goods warehousing departments — is expected to be completed by September 2002.

All product development, manufacturing, distribution, accounting and information systems for Carpet-Art-Deco are based here. Its U.S.-based corporate offices are in Greensboro, NC.

Burlington House is now adopting "a renewed focus" with its existing businesses, which include bedding, bath, window and its Bacova division of rugs — printed mats and printed accent scatter rugs.

"Bacova has been a very profitable division for us, so it's the only rug business we decided to keep," Grogan said. Burlington House also recently exited the tufted accent rug business when it sold its Monticello, AR, facility in November to an independent rug manufacturer.

"What we are going to focus on now is coordinating our categories more and folding Bacova in with our other categories within the Burlington House Consumer product group," Grogan said.

With its new acquisition, Carpet-Art-Deco's business "won't fundamentally change," Kershaw said. "We are dealing with the same customers and target market as we were before — specialty chains, independent rug and floor covering stores, home centers and furniture stores. Everything is the same. It's just that at Burlington we were essentially importers and at Carpet-Art-Deco we are manufacturers, which allows us to be more aggressive and competitive in the market. Burlington provided the ability to establish this business. I appreciate their involvement in helping bring it to this point."

Carpet-Art-Deco will continue producing both traditional and contemporary looks. Construction will remain the same, including wool, synthetic machine wovens and polypropylene rugs, all built on 12-, 10- and five-frame equipment. The four basic sizes are the 8-foot runner, 4' x 6', 6' x 9' and 9' x 12', as well as special orders.

Carpet-Art-Deco currently has eight collections of rugs, one of which is its juvenile line called "roomakers."

For the Atlanta International Area Rug market in July, Carpet-Art-Deco will exhibit at Burlington House's former showroom at suite 3-A-11.

"Just as we've always done, we're doing a lot of repositioning for the July market in Atlanta," Kershaw said.

Carpet-Art-Deco will introduce two new collections: Gala, a 100 percent polypropylene 10-frame rug with traditional design for $199 for a 6' x 9'; and Legacy, a polypropylene 12-frame rug featuring higher fashion for $249 for a 6' x 9'.

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