• Thomas Lester

Rug manufacturers have chance to cap solid year for 2013

Tajik collectionThe Tajik collection from Momeni is inspired by motifs of traditional Kazak patterns. This rug is made in India of 100% wool that has been han d-hooked and tip-sheared and then washed to create a worn, rugged feeling.
HIGH POINT - As 2013 nears its end, rug manufacturers are hoping for one last major impression here to set the tone for 2014.
     By most assessments, this year has been marked by steady growth, improved buyer attitudes and increased focus on style and substance instead of starting and ending on price.
     "In general, our sales reps are really excited about the coming year and all of the new products. Our pillow collections have expanded by the hundreds and our rug collections have gotten more defined and specific to our customers' needs," said Asha Chaudhary, Jaipur president.
     "All in all, the entire company is full of promise for what we are heading into for 2014. We have already grown over 60% this year and looks like we are heading into this show and next year with the same growth projections."
     Vendors believe with the positive growth they've experienced thus far in 2013, the High Point Market should be filled with buyers eager to capitalize on trends in their stores.
     "I truly believe High Point will be active with buyers ready to make a push for 2014," said Andrew Shabtai, vice president of The Rug Market America. "With this being the biggest trade show in the U.S. and primarily the last one of the year, I anticipate the buildings to be flooded with all sorts of buyers."
     A number of vendors say business has steadily picked back up. Wendy Reiss, Kas Oriental Rugs vice president of key accounts, said that with that in mind, the company put in the time leading up to market to maximize this week's potential.
     "I think all markets these days really depend on whether or not you do your homework in advance and schedule appointments," Reiss said. "We are anticipating some good meetings that will hopefully bring us into 2014 on a positive note. We are really looking forward to a good market with some great trends and a lot of enthusiasm in the marketplace."
Hand-wovenHand-woven in India of 100% polypropylene, Loloi’s Terra collection is available in sage, steel and graphite tones. Terra brings the durability, versatility and texture of a flatweave to outdoor spaces.

     Cyrus Loloi, a principal of Loloi Rugs, said the company is introducing a number of new products here, including pillows and an increased push in the indoor/outdoor category.
     "We know many of our customers are already looking to purchase indoor/outdoor rugs for the next outdoor selling season and we've positioned ourselves well with seven new indoor/outdoor collections," Loloi said. "We think they're really going to love our new Garden Shag, the first-ever indoor/outdoor shag, as well as the new Terra collection, an indoor/outdoor flat weave with unprecedented texture for an outdoor product."
     Momeni has a pair of introductions officials feel will do well this week. The seaside inspired Malibu collection and the Kazak-inspired Tajik collection are debuting.
     "Momeni's design team has listened to buyers' needs in combination with a lot of trend research. We have been asked for a more affordable flat weave, which is where the Malibu collection was developed from," said Ashley Alford, design manager for Momeni. "Also, we had requests for transitional rugs so that is what Momeni's design team had in mind when creating the rustic Tajik collection - taking traditional hand-knotted patterns and playing with scale and color of the motifs gives this collection a more casual feeling."
     Manufacturers say buyers can't get enough color or good design, and upper end product is picking up momentum.
     "Buyers are definitely looking for fresh new looks in transitional and soft contemporary designs and our Moroccan looks Kasbah and Tangiers are good examples," said Allen Robertson, Capel Rugs vice president of sales. "Also bold designs like our Paisley collection are what we hear that dealers are requesting."
     While some companies are focused on rugs and soft goods such as pillows, others are expanding into other avenues.
     Surya is introducing mirrors and lamps to go along with its array of home décor offerings. Seth King, vice president of sales, said the company is doing so in order to be a more complete source for buyers.
     "We are focused on providing our customers with a fully coordinating product portfolio that corresponds with a variety of lifestyles and home decor preferences and, with these latest category introductions - as well as the launch of accent furniture and indoor-outdoor rugs and accessories earlier this year - we are well on our way to accomplishing that goal," King said.

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