An Inside Look

Thomas Lester

How do you organize your rug assortment?

December 12, 2016

Pop quiz: What do your customers ask for when looking for a rug?

Is it a particular color? How about a certain style? Is price a consideration? Does brand play a factor?

Chances are it’s the first three questions listed here in any order. The brand question is most likely a distant fourth place. (Or even behind other questions that aren’t published in this space.)

I’m asking these questions to set up another one: How do you organize your rug assortment in store?

Do you set the rugs up by color, by style, by construction, by brand or by some other classification system? Knowing how your consumer shops might inform the best way to arrange your rugs.

Take the example of Top 100 retailer Furnitureland South for instance. The Jamestown, N.C.-based purveyor of home furnishings recently rethought almost everything about how it presents its assortment of floor coverings.

For starters, it broke up its assortment of rugs into three distinct rooms for the three major rug constructions: machine made, hand tufted and hand knotted. This is important because typically a machine-made rug costs much less than a hand-knotted rug, and a consumer who knows her spending limit and shops in that spot is much more likely to buy than one who is subjected to a confusing hodgepodge of styles and prices that are grouped together simply because the rugs come from the same resource.

Once Furnitureland South regrouped rugs by construction, they’re broken down further into racks by style. Inside each specific rug room there’s a traditional area, a transitional area and a contemporary area. The premise is simple: A consumer who wants to buy a machine-made contemporary rug can go here in the machine-made rug room, while a shopper who wants a transitional rug and can spend a little more might be more at home inside the hand-knotted rug room.

Today’s consumer is more educated than ever thanks to a wealth of information available online, so she’s coming in with a budget and a style in mind. With that said, it makes sense to direct her to the exact spot where she’s likely to spend her money.

An efficient, simplified shopping experience is one that a consumer will remember and share, which also adds value in today’s social media-driven, interconnected world.

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