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  • Thomas Lester

Rug designs, displays among market winners

Las Vegas - Playing to a full house, a number of rug manufacturers were flush with winners here during the just-completed winter Las Vegas Market.
     Entering the market, many anxiously waited to see how the shift in days might affect attendance patterns. Those worries were allayed, however, as vendors reported solid attendance on market's opening day, which was a Sunday instead of the traditional Monday.
     "It's been a good show. We were concerned with how traffic would flow Sunday with the move but Sunday turned out to be a good day for us; a lot of people came in," said Jonathan Witt, vice president of Oriental Weavers. "That continued into Monday. There's always a good energy at this show. It's a lot of fun."
     Among OW's best sellers were rugs from its newly launched Tommy Bahama collection as well as new entries from its popular Pantone Universe series.
     Surya also introduced its share of new rugs, but President Satya Tiwari noted that the manufacturer's new displays were big hits. The Calhoun, Ga.-based company introduced a new pillow tower as well as a rug display system that is similar to how many retailers market different samples of upholstery.
     Tiwari said that when implemented properly, the rug display system can increase sales by up to 20% in a small space.
     "Our customers appreciate the coordination of all of our categories, but one of the things our clients love are the display ideas," Tiwari said. "One of the things we try to remind furniture stores is that rugs are nothing but fabric for the floor. They're already used to working with fabrics for upholstery, so rugs are no different. In a minimal space you can have a broad range of our line by color, by price, by construction. We want to merchandise it easily."
     Capel Rugs had success with its Panache and Upton collections, as well as Las Vegas' first look at its licensed rugs with Hable Construction.
     Vice President of Sales Allen Robertson said business trended in the right direction.
    "Attendance is strong, it's come in spurts and starts but it's been a lot of people. Sales dollars show we're running a nice increase - it's going to be over 10%, which is always the first goal we set for ourselves," Robertson said. "The outlook from the customers has been positive."
     Loloi launched pillows for the first time at High Point in October, so the soft goods were shown for the first time here. Cyrus Loloi, a principal of the Dallas-based manufacturer, said the pillows did well.
     With around 10 new collections, Feizy Rugs had something for all tastes buyers might be after, said Leah Feizy, executive vice president.

Surya introduced a rug sample display system similar to upholstery displays found in stores. The display shown holds 450 samples, representing more than 10,000 SKUs.
Surya
Gramercy CollectionSoothing neutrals and a plush pile soften the geometric patterns of the Gramercy Collection from Feizy Rugs. Hand-loomed of undyed art silk, each piece features variation of tones within each design. The hand carving imparts movement and textural interest.

     Kas introduced a number of new rug collections and its new pillows and poufs also hit it big here.
   "We had a nice reaction to the machine-woven products, especially in lighter colors and distressed looks," said Wendy Reiss, vice president of key accounts. "We're starting to see reaction to our traditional collections, which is nice to see. Obviously, geos are still a big trend, but we got some nice reaction and orders on traditional looks."
     Momeni's best new looks included Platinum, Dunes, Lace and Tangier. Design Manager Ashley Alford said Tangier resonated with the West Coast buyers here.
     "Tangier has been a big home run hit for us," Alford said. "We showed it first in High Point and we've been building the collection. It's a good construction."
     At Jaipur, introductions included licensed rugs and pillows from designer Luli Sanchez. Candace Clarke, marketing manager, said a number of pillow and rug collections sold well during market.
     "It's been absolutely amazing; it's probably been one of our best Las Vegas shows. The showroom has never looked better and we have had more traffic than I think we've ever had," Clarke said. "We're really excited about that much traffic and that many people coming in and responding well to the product."

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