Summer Rug Market Review - Aug/Sep 2012

By Brian Hamilton

 

Optimism seemed to be inching up despite plenty of uncertainty among both buyers and exhibitors at the Summer Rug Market at Atlanta’s AmericasMart. There were serious buyers, but fewer of them than would be expected in a normal economy, as has been typical at the market in recent years. And the number of browsers also appeared to be down as traffic in the hallways, especially on the normally busy Thursday, was light. However, some of the major showrooms appeared to be fairly active.

Exhibitors said they believe the impending elections are creating even more uncertainty than usual among consumers, who aren’t quite sure what to expect from the economy and are still willing to postpone what they see as a deferrable purchase. Not coincidentally, rug manufacturers, even some of the high-end players, were heavily focused on lower price point products for this show. The exhibitors we spoke to seemed guardedly optimistic that sales this year would at least be on par with 2011.

One very noticeable change at the market this year was the sheer number of new products that featured bright, vibrant colors, which implies that consumers are likely to be more upbeat as well. Blues were re-emerging, but it was also easy to find bright yellows, oranges, reds, greens, purples and just about everything in between. There also seemed to be more simple, open patterns, and exhibitors featured everything from florals to geometrics, trying to appeal to a wide variety of customers.

There also appeared to be very little emphasis on sustainable products at this year’s show. In the past we have seen showroom displays set up touting a manufacturer’s green story. This year that element was largely missing.

This was the first summer show under new vice president of leasing Kevin Malkiewicz. He took over from longtime manager Chas Sydney, who retired after last year’s summer market, ending a 31 year career. Exhibitors said it appeared to be a smooth transition.

Malkiewicz had worked with Sydney for over a decade and knows the buyers and exhibitors well. He says exhibitors who have been away from the markets are showing interest in returning, and some current exhibitors want to expand.

Shaw Living showed 25 additions to its Evertouch nylon Bob Timberlake collection, a higher price point, woven collection (suggested retail $739 for a 5’5”x7’9”). Timberlake’s designs are influenced by weaving and quilting patterns, as well as the Arts and Crafts movement. Some of the styles are named Field Feathers, Weaver’s Blanket, Pagosa Springs, Traders Blanket, and Queen Anne’s Lace.

Shaw also introduced eight new vivid shags as part of its woven Mirabella collection, which made its debut in January. These Evertouch nylon products have a suggested retail price of $199 for a 5’x7’6”. Colors range from beige to green to purple, with multiple hues blended into each rug.

Shaw also had an extensive display of its HGTV branded rugs, with 56 products (seven designs in eight colors) in its Grandeur collection and 45 in its Intrigue collection. These were designed to go with HGTV branded Bassett furniture.

Nourison had its eye-catching Vista collection on display ($299 for a 6’x9’). It’s a 100% polyester collection and it features bright colors and hand carving. Another value product at the opposite end of the color spectrum was its Graphic Illusions, a 50% polyester, 50% acrylic monochromatic line.

However, Nourison’s most unusual product offering was the Barclay Butera collection, named for the well known California designer. Nourison had an evening event at the market to roll out the new line, and Butera attended. The overdyed animal hide products ($1,999) were some of the brightest and most striking products at the show. Nourison also offers a non-floor companion product, a clever “foldable cube,” which can be used for everything from storage to a footstool to a seat. As implied, they fold up for easy storage. These retail for $399.

Nourison has recently begun to put more emphasis on rug sales in the furniture store channel and through designers.

Oriental Weavers was emphasizing its indoor/outdoor Bali collection. This category is its fastest growing, with six styles among its top 40 in sales. Bali, which features 14 polypropylene designs, comes in colors like gray, gold and slate blue and starts at $129 retail for a 5’x8’.

Another new introduction was the Tessa line, a machine-tufted printed nylon collection. It features a heavy construction with contemporary looks and bright colors like tangerine orange and starburst yellow.

Kasbah was another new nylon entry, featuring indigo blues and bright oranges in muted, abstract designs. This U.S. made rug comes in 16 new patterns and starts at $399 retail.

This market was the first for Brandon Culpepper in his new role as the head of specialty sales for Mohawk, which includes Karastan, Mohawk Select, and e-commerce. Culpepper, however, had plenty of experience in the rug business in his previous jobs at Orian, Kas and Dalyn.

Karastan was featuring two new patterns (not yet named) in its Bellingham Collection. The collection generally features muted vintage tones. One new pattern had the look of the digital representation of sound waves, while the other had the Southwestern look of an old Indian blanket. They’re both 100% New Zealand wool and retail for $699 for a 5’x8’ rug.


Copyright 2012 Floor Focus 



Other Archived Articles

New York Area Manufacturing Surges in July   Full Article
New York, NY, July 15, 2014 -- A New York-area manufacturing index rose to its highest level in more than four years this month.

Retail Sales Rise in June   Full Article
Washington, DC, July 15, 2014 -- Retail sales rose in June despite slower auto sales, according to the Commerce Department.

FIANA, CFI Planning Joint Event in September   Full Article
Vancouver, WA, July 15, 2014 -- The Floor Installation Association of North America and the Certified Floorcovering Installers are planning a joint convention in New Orleans Sept. 4-6.

Beaulieu International Group To Build Plant in Georgia   Full Article
Cartersville, GA, July 15, 2014 -- Beaulieu International Group said it will invest $200 million to build a campus-style manufacturing facility in Cartersville.

Volkswagen Chooses Chattanooga for New SUV   Full Article
Chattanooga, TN, July 14, 2014 -- Volkswagen said it will invest $600 million to build a new seven-passenger SUV at its factory in Chattanooga.

Median Age, Credit Scores For High-End Borrowers Fall   Full Article
New York, NY, July 14, 2014 -- The median age of borrowers seeking high balance mortgages has declined steadily over the last three years, according to private lender LoanDepot.

Meritage Homes To Acquire Atlanta Builder Legendary   Full Article
Scottsdale, AZ, July 14, 2014 -- Meritage Homes said it will acquire the Atlanta-based homebuilder Legendary Communities for approximately $130 million.

Previous Record Low Rates Hurting Home Sales   Full Article
New York, NY, July 11, 2014 -- Low interest rates are keeping some people from selling their homes, which is limiting supply and putting a damper on the housing recovery.

Metroflor's Aspecta Wins Award   Full Article
Norwalk, CT, July 11 -- Metroflor said that its new LVT contract brand, Aspecta, was acknowledged by the Product Innovations 2014 awards bestowed by Buildings magazine to a group of 30 finalists exclusive to NeoCon exhibitors.

Buchanan Hardwoods Gets NWFA Certification   Full Article
St. Louis, MO, July 11, 2014 -- The National Wood Flooring Association said that Buchanan Hardwoods, of Aliceville, Alabama, has earned the NWFA/NOFMA Mill Certification for its Elite Flooring.

Business Economists See Improving Economy   Full Article
Washington, DC, July 11, 2014 -- Business economists have lowered their expectations for second quarter growth but don't believe a recession will occur anytime soon.

Initial Jobless Claims Beat Expectations   Full Article
Washington, DC, July 10, 2014 -- Initial claims for unemployment benefits fell 3.5% to 304,000 for the week ending July 5, according to the Labor Department.

McGrane Named Executive VP at Max Windsor   Full Article
Adairsville, GA, July 10, 2014 -- Joshua McGrane ?has been named executive vice president? of ?Max Windsor USA.

Tile of Spain Seeking Design Contest Entries   Full Article
Madrid, Spain, July 10, 2014 -- The 13th Tile of Spain Awards of Architecture and Interior Design is seeking entries.

Lumber Liquidators Lowers Forecast, Stock Plunges   Full Article
New York, NY, July 10, 2014 -- Shares of Lumber Liquidators fell as much as 15% in after-hours trading on Wednesday after the company lowered guidance for the full year 2014.

Soniclean Partners With Shaw on Soft Carpet Vacuum   Full Article
New York, NY, July 10, 2014 -- Soniclean said it has partnered with Shaw Industries to address the growing demand for a vacuum cleaner capable of cleaning soft style carpeting.

Teragren Names Vice President of Sales   Full Article
Bainbridge Island, WA, July 10, 2014 -- Teragren has named Mark Jordan vice president of sales.

Dixie Group Added to Russell Stock Indexes   Full Article
Chattanooga, TN, July 10, 2014 -- The Dixie Group said it was added to the Russell 3000 Index and Russell 2000 Index when Russell Investments reconstituted its comprehensive set of U.S. and global equity indexes on June 27.

Congoleum Closing New Jersey Warehouse   Full Article
Hamilton Township, NJ, July 10, 2014 -- The Congoleum flooring warehouse here will cease operations later this year.

CRI Posts Model Specification for Commercial Carpet   Full Article
Dalton, GA, July 9, 2014 -- The Carpet and Rug Institute said its Model Specification for Commercial Carpet is now available online at Carpet-Rug.org.