Area Rug Report: Suppliers evolve to meet consumers' changing needs - Dec 2015
By Calista sprague
The area rug segment is growing, bolstered by the sustained growth of hard surface flooring, but it is also undergoing dramatic changes. Suppliers have been forced to evolve in order to stay current. Design trends have become increasingly important as consumers treat rugs as more of an accessory than a foundation piece. Handmade rugs, which used to be the standard, are now a small part of suppliers’ businesses and in some cases are non-existent. Wool is still an important fiber, but polypropylene dominates the machine-made rug market, and now polyester is gaining a foothold.
The area rug market has grown steadily in recent years, benefiting from residential trends toward hard surfaces in main living areas, which homeowners soften with area rugs. And the recent boom in LVT manufacturing and sales suggests that the trend toward hard surface will continue to grow, further strengthening the market for area rugs.
In the past year or so, opportunities have also begun opening up for area rug suppliers in the hospitality market, where hotels are beginning to move hard surface into guest rooms, creating a new demand for area rugs. Boutique hotels and some large chains, like Marriott, are using wood-look LVT and in some cases hardwood in their guestrooms for a more residential feel, and even some lower priced chains like Motel 6 have switched to LVT for its ease of maintenance and durability. Rug suppliers with hospitality divisions, such as Oriental Weavers and Nourison, are beginning to take advantage of this growing shift.
All this hard surface activity presents an add-on opportunity for flooring retailers that sell rugs. Suppliers say that rugs have been selling best in furniture and home décor stores, where they are displayed in groupings with furniture and accessories. Some flooring retailers have incorporated accessorized displays and have reaped the rewards, while many still struggle to tie the add-on rug sale to hard surface sales.
SIZES AND PRICE POINTS
Manufacturers report that average price points are rising gradually, which they attribute mainly to the strengthening economy. Several suppliers report that over the last 12 to 15 months, demand has risen for better goods, and almost all note a rise in their average price point.
Although most flooring sales track closely with new home sales, rugs are more tied to discretionary spending. “One of the things you can look at is gas prices,” explains Brandon Culpepper, vice president of specialty sales with Mohawk Home. “When gas prices go down, rug sales tend to go up. It’s something people can do to change the look of the house without breaking the bank.”
As the economy has strengthened and gas prices have fallen, homeowners have been spending more on home furnishings, including area rugs. They are also buying larger rugs. Open concept living in many homes has led to more expansive areas that require larger rugs. Whereas 5’x8’ was the standard size in years past, now 7’x9’ and 8’x10’ are more common, which also helps drive average sales up.
Rug size also varies by region. For example, in New England rooms tend to be smaller, so 3’x5’ and 5’x8’ sizes sell better, whereas in the South and West larger open floor plans are more common, pushing sizes up to 8’x10’ and 10’x12’.
Oversize rugs are also trending, leading to a big business for suppliers that fabricate rugs from broadloom. Even Shaw, which exited the rug business a couple of years ago, offers its Cut a Rug program, allowing consumers to cut and bind Shaw’s broadloom to fit their spaces. Dalyn runs one of the largest custom fabrication programs out of its Dalton plant, and Couristan has a large fabrication program as well, among others.
Although price points and sizes are on the rise, suppliers say that the number of units sold has not yet caught up to pre-recession levels.
Perhaps the biggest shift in the area rug business has come from consumer buying habits. “Rugs are an accessory today,” explains Jonathan Witt, vice president of marketing at Oriental Weavers. “They’re not the heirloom foundation of the room that you work around for the next 50 years and hand down to your children. It’s a $199-$299 rug with great hand and durability. Pick out the colors you want, and then in three years when it’s time to update the living room, it’s pretty easy to do with some new pillows and an area rug.”
This paradigm shift has pushed design to the top of the consumer’s wish list, and therefore to the top of suppliers’ priorities. Fiber and construction used to be much more important to consumers who shopped for rugs, since longevity was the main goal. Colors and designs were traditional and timeless, and rug suppliers invested very little in design trend analysis.
Today, consumers shop first and foremost for compelling designs in the latest colors, and since the rug doesn’t need to last for decades, they are less concerned with fiber and construction. If a rug design doesn’t work with the consumer’s vision of the room, it won’t matter that it’s hand knotted from 100% New Zealand wool. So suppliers now invest a great deal of money and time to stay ahead of the color and design trends and incorporate them into their offerings.
Grey came to the fore a year or two ago and remains the most popular color for area rugs, both in soft neutral looks and mixed with pops of bold accent color. In recent months, blues have emerged in everything from soft watery hues to bold teals and indigo. Black and white showed up in many rugs at High Point this year, too, and may trend in coming months.
Two opposing color palettes have taken hold in rugs, according to some manufacturers. One favors soft hues and greyed tones, and in the other palette, colors are deep, like inky blues, dark teals, chocolate browns and burgundy. Jaipur uses five color themes for its rug collections, and two of them exemplify this juxtaposition of color palettes. One is called Dawn, with soft sage, celadon, robin’s egg blue and a little brown, while another is called Midnight, with rich, velvety blues and indigo.
A couple of suppliers mentioned that this split in palettes may be a function of furniture trends. Consumers who purchase neutral seating groups will likely look for more intense color in area rugs, while consumers who cover sofas or chairs in prints or strong colors may prefer area rugs in more muted tones.
Designs continue to trend toward transitional and even contemporary to some degree, and faded or erased looks remain especially popular. An affinity for tribal patterns, sometimes referred to as global chic, is on the rise, especially Aztec designs. And organic patterns, abstracts and hand drawn elements are all popular as well.
Traditional looks have not disappeared completely, however, preferred more often in higher end rugs, and they sell best when combined with fresh color combinations.
With the prominence of design, fiber and construction have taken a back seat. Consumers often don’t look beyond the color and pattern to even ask about fiber content. Hand knotted wool was once the standard for area rugs, but today’s consumers are more concerned about easy care than longevity. While many still offer wool, the majority of suppliers produce machine made synthetic rugs from polypropylene and nylon.
The newest fiber to come on the scene is PET, a type of polyester that was once too soft and pliable for use in area rugs. New filament yarns stand up to wear better and offer a soft hand at a low price point, which is attractive to consumers. Mohawk recently began constructing rug collections from its proprietary EverStrand PET fiber, as well as from its SmartStrand triexta fiber, another fiber type used by the firm in residential broadloom. And other suppliers are also beginning to incorporate polyester into their offerings.
Sheen has become a big trend in area rugs, either all over for sparkle or used to highlight particular areas of a design. Silk is still sometimes used in handmade rugs, but viscose, a semi-synthetic rayon with high shine, has been used with more and more frequency in the rug industry. It is often blended with wool to add luster, but is also commonly blended with nylon and polypropylene, or even used on its own.
Suppliers warn that there are different qualities of viscose, however, and the lesser versions tend to bleed dye when wet and crush or shed over time. Nourison says its strongest selling collections include designs that play with sheen, but it uses a proprietary viscose called Luxelle that performs well in its middle to high price points.
DIGITAL RUG SALES
The Internet has made an indelible mark on the rug industry, giving consumers instant access to every type and style of area rug available. Suppliers still seem surprised when they talk about consumers’ comfort level with buying rugs online. Color can vary from screen to screen, and little can be gleaned about a rug’s hand from a photo, yet Internet rug sales soar. Consumers have become comfortable with the idea that if they don’t like the rug, they can return it easily and find something else.
John Maples, president of Maples Industries, says there is a demand not just for units but also for more items to put online. “The online retailer will add as many SKUs as you are willing to offer because the shipping is done by the vendor,” he explains. Virtual stores like Wayfair, Overstock and Rugs Direct have become major players in the rug industry, especially at the low to middle tiers.
Almost every supplier listed the Internet as a growth channel, if not the fastest growing. “Growth in the Internet distribution channel has been 20%-plus year over year for the last five years,” says Oriental Weavers’ Witt. “That channel is exploding.”
Upselling is a challenge online, however. Because designs are strong even at lower price points, on a website a $199 rug and a $599 might look very similar. And consumers fail to see the value in higher quality fibers or construction, opting for the less expensive option in most cases. For this reason, some manufacturers that compete mainly at the upper end don’t participate in online sales at all.
Momeni’s vice president of sales, Stephen Hoberman, points out that the Internet also plays a key role for dealers in deciding which vendors to do business with. He says the suppliers that manage their branding and show products well on the Internet fare better than those that don’t. “There’s a lot of transparency now. Because everybody can shop everything, you have to be very clear about why your product is different, better, more expensive or less expensive than anything else. And you have to partner with the right dealers who can differentiate your product to the consumer. Otherwise you’re just going to lose the sale to somebody cheaper and maybe lower in quality.”
Mohawk Industries produces and sells area rugs under the brand names Mohawk Home, Karastan and American Rug Craftsmen, participating almost exclusively in the residential market. The brands are based in Georgia, although many of Karastan’s rugs are produced in Eden, North Carolina.
About 30% of Mohawk’s rug business is in private label for Walmart, Target, Kohl’s, Lowe’s and Home Depot. It also sells rugs with the Mohawk Home brand to mass merchants, while the American Rug Craftsmen and Karastan brands are sold mainly through independent dealers. Mohawk Home comprises the vast majority of Mohawk’s rug business, and Karastan and American Rug Craftsmen make up about 10% to 12%.
The firm produces nylon, polypropylene and wool rugs, and last year started making area rugs from its proprietary SmartStrand PTT and EverStrand PET fibers with Forever Clean. Mohawk also makes outdoor rugs from polypropylene, and intends to expand in that growing segment with additional fiber types during 2016. Custom rugs are a newer initiative for Mohawk as well, offering room size rugs cut to order from its broadloom.
Although transitional looks have been trending, Karastan had one of its best showings at market this summer with an introduction called Spice Market, traditional designs in spice tones. The collection bucked all the color and design trends, yet it “blew the roof off” with sales at market.
With its three brands, Mohawk’s rugs cover price ranges from $99 up to $2,000 for a 6’x9’, and it has enjoyed “a real recovery” on the upper end with its Karastan brand, selling more high-end wool this year than in years past. Demand is also high at the middle $399-$499 tier.
Oriental Weavers (OW) is the world’s largest producer of rugs, based in Egypt with facilities in China and U.S. operations headquartered in Dalton, Georgia. The operation is fully vertically integrated starting with its own petrochemical company to produce polypropylene.
The company is in the process of growing its capacity in the U.S., which increased about 30% over the last year. It installed a new loom at its facility in Dalton last year and is currently installing a second one that will be operational this month. The new looms produce at a higher speed, but are also wider to accommodate 8’x10’ rugs, which OW says is now its most popular size. The manufacturer is also in the midst of building a 150,000-square-foot addition to its distribution center in Dalton, which should come into service just after the first of the year.
OW does not provide custom work on the residential side, but does have an extensive running line, just shy of 1,000 designs, each available in six to 12 sizes, so consumers and designers have access to thousands of SKUs. The company also manufactures a lot of proprietary private label product for large furniture chains and national retailers.
On the commercial side, the OW Hospitality division works on large projects for hotel chains and casinos, providing custom area rugs, including handmade rugs, as well as higher end woven Axminster broadloom. Approximately 20% to 30% of the overall rug business is handmade, and the remainder is machine made.
The majority of OW’s machine made rugs are manufactured with its own polypropylene, although it also makes nylon and polyester rugs. The polyester rugs are showing growth in stores since consumers respond to the soft hand at a value price. The handmade rugs are constructed mainly of natural fibers such as wool or jute.
OW goes to market through independent retailers, catalogs, the Internet and mass merchants. Retail price points range from $199 to $1,299 for a 5’x8’, with $299 the key price point, near pre-recession levels. The huge production facilities and vertical integration economies of scale allow OW to do “an enormous business” with some of the largest retailers in the country.
OW also has a major licensing program with Tommy Bahama, as well as an exclusive licensed partnership with Pantone to highlight the Color of the Year in its rugs.
Family owned Maples Industries has produced 100% American made machine tufted area rugs, accent rugs, bath rugs, kitchen rugs and utility rugs for 48 years. All the manufacturing is done in Scottsboro, Alabama, from the processing of yarn all the way through shipping.
This year, Maples doubled the size of its main Chromojet printer and added a second printer, dramatically increasing its capacity to keep up with demand. The company also recently added a special tufting machine called Permatuft that creates a lock stitch, resulting in the look of a flat woven rug. The Permatuft rugs are made in polypropylene and can be used as indoor-outdoor, which has not been a focus for Maples in the past.
Maples focuses solely on the residential market through the mass merchant channel, and the vast majority of its rugs are sold through private label for brands like Mainstays, Better Homes and Garden, Room Essentials and JCP Home.
Maples says that its biggest growth this year has been in room size rugs, 5’x7’ and 7’x10’, and the $79 price point has been key, although it has also seen increased activity at the bottom end in $29 to $39 rugs.
Based in Anderson, South Carolina, rug manufacturer Orian also has facilities in Belgium and Turkey, all three of which produce machine woven polypropylene area rugs.
This year the company added loom capacity at its Anderson site, and undertook a major warehouse expansion to handle its growth in e-commerce business. Since the Internet gives the supplier a direct connection to consumers, Orian uses Internet sales as a test market to help inform buying practices for other channels.
Orian does a significant business with mass merchants, including some private labeling, and has showrooms in New York and Atlanta, which cater more to mass retailers. In the past few years, Orian has also branched into the furniture market with showrooms in High Point and Las Vegas. Its rugs retail for $199 to $399 for a 5’x8’.
A family operated business in Troy, North Carolina, Capel Rugs is known for its braided rugs, which it has been making since 1917. The company recently made modifications to its equipment for its new Bayzeue collection, which incorporates three sizes of braids for a more textured, updated look to appeal to a younger audience. The collection was well received at Capel’s newly reconfigured showroom at the High Point Market. Capel also moved into a new showroom in Atlanta last year.
Traditional looks continue to be its bread and butter, but Capel is working to attract Millennials through more accessible, lower priced items with updated designs. In that vein, a new sub brand of the licensed Genevieve Gorder lines, called Poppy, launched in October. Constructed of polypropylene, the rugs can also be used outside. Although the collection is lower in price, it is high in design and style.
Capel produces rugs from a wide variety of fibers, including cotton, wool, polypropylene, polyester, nylon and viscose, and a 5’x8’ can retail from $179 for a machine made rug all the way up to $20,000 for a hand knotted rug.
The braided rugs can be made to custom sizes and shapes, and Capel says 65% of the imported lines, which are handmade in India and China, can be custom sized as well. Larger rugs are showing more activity, with 7’x9’ up to 10’x14’ outselling 5’x8’.
Capel Rugs sells through channels ranging from independent retailers and interior designers to mass merchants, department stores and catalogs, including Macy’s, JC Penney, Pottery Barn and LL Bean, but its products sell best in furniture stores that display rugs with accessorized furniture groupings.
Interface competes in the area rug market with its Flor brand carpet tiles, selling directly to the consumer through the Internet as well as 19 brick and mortar Flor stores across the U.S. and abroad. Flor is based in Chicago, but manufactures in LaGrange, Georgia at the Interface facility.
A wide array of carpet tile designs can be arranged in any combination to create area and room size rugs, giving professional designers and adventurous homeowners the ability to create custom looks. For more timid consumers, the website offers designer templates that can be followed exactly or tweaked to suit the homeowner’s palette.
Flor tiles are mainly made of recycled nylon, and the backings are identical to Interfaces’s commercial carpet tiles, so Flor rugs are high performance products with a strong sustainability story. Due to these attributes, the company also began selling the modular systems through the Interface sales force, giving the Flor brand more access to A&D firms and other specifiers. Today an estimated 25% of Flor tiles end up in rugs for non-residential applications.
Based on an average of tiles per order, 5’x7’ rugs are currently selling best, and Flor reports an increase of 15% in the average sale price for its 5’x7’ rug composition, now around $300. Flor has enjoyed record growth in every quarter this year, with an estimated 10% growth year over year.
The Dalton-based Dixie Group sells area rugs mainly through its mid-priced to high-end Fabrica and Masland brands, although it also sells bound rugs from its nylon and wool broadloom under the Dixie Home brand. The Dixie Group manufactures some of its rugs at its Georgia, Alabama and California facilities, while others are imported.
The group’s primary channels are higher end retail stores, interior design firms, design supply stores, rug retailers and furniture stores. It does not do any national advertising and does not maintain showrooms, relying on its sales reps to call on important customers in their individual areas.
An estimated 30% of the Dixie Group’s overall rug business is custom. It offers programs through both the Fabrica and Masland brands. Designers can start with a standard style created by the in-house design team or they can bring in a custom concept to be produced.
Fabrica supplies custom rugs in hand tufted programs made of 100% New Zealand Wool through a partnership with vendors in China. Masland offers machine tufted wool rugs in its Infinity program as well as a Hand Carved Rugs program, where designers and consumers can choose from a group of designs and a wide color palette to create a custom look online.
On the commercial side, the company goes to market with custom and standard rug programs through Masland Contract. The commercial market has been a heavy focus for the last two to three years. The Elevate collection consists of standard hand tufted rugs targeting the A&D community, and Rugs 4.0 parallels the residential Infinity custom rug program.
The Dixie Group does not participate in the commodity market, but it also doesn’t sell heirloom rugs at the very top of the market. Retail price points for 5’x8’ rugs start at around $500 and run up to $2,000 for a hand knotted rug.
Based in Spartanburg, South Carolina, Milliken manufactures its rugs in LaGrange, Georgia, mainly for the residential market, although it also does some rugs for the hospitality sector.
Its rugs are all 100% nylon, retailing from entry to mid-level price points. Several standard collections offer styles and colors from traditional to transitional in five standard sizes. And for hospitality projects, Milliken offers large custom sizes.
Milliken also creates several lines of licensed rugs for professional sports organizations, like NFL, NBA and NHL teams, as well as for college teams.
In response to consumers’ desire for customization, Milliken offers a program for shoppers to custom color any broadloom design and have it cut and bound into an area rug. Its recent Constantine broadloom collection is especially popular for creating custom rugs.
Milliken sells mainly to carpet specialty stores through its distributor and line buying group. It also goes to market through larger Internet retailers that sell rugs, including Lowe’s, Wayfair, and Rugs Direct, and does a small amount of business with big box retailers as well.
Nourison is a family owned business based in New Jersey. It makes 95% of its own product, most if it overseas, and sources the rest. This year Nourison acquired its first domestic facility, Hageman Carpet Industries in Ft. Oglethorpe, Georgia, which weaves broadloom.
About 80% of Nourison rugs are manufactured in China, and others come from India and Turkey. The firm does some private label with national retail chains, although most of its product is sold under the Nourison brand.
Nourison does business on both the residential and commercial sides. Its hospitality division offers custom broadloom and area rugs for commercial spaces in boutique and chain hotels, casinos and restaurants. It also crosses over to do some work in the corporate sector.
Nourison says it has been selling more area rugs to boutique hotels, which are going to hardwood instead of carpet, especially in larger metropolitan cities.
The majority of Nourison’s offerings are constructed from New Zealand wool and wool blends with silk or nylon. It also has a proprietary viscose it calls Luxelle, and it does some construction with polypropylene and polyester as well. Approximately 40% of its products are handmade and the other 60% are machine made.
For the last two seasons, the indoor-outdoor segment has been growing fast for Nourison. Retailers are seeing more demand from consumers and asking for more options.
Nourison has noticed price points rising slightly, and says its sweet spot is around $1,499. Its rugs retail from $199 up to $9,999 for a 5’x8’. Unlike many of the other suppliers, Nourison notes more activity around smaller sizes, which it attributes to consumers decorating apartments and smaller living spaces.
Nourison sells mainly to independent and national retailers and design firms, but is also reaching out to consumers in an effort to drive them to retailers to specifically ask for Nourison products. It is reaching consumers through online advertising, social media and also advertising in shelter publications. It says e-commerce is its fastest growing channel, with sites like Wayfair, Overstock and Amazon.
Jaipur is a family business headed by Asha Chaudhary, who set out to improve the lives of rug artisans in India. He has been featured in Forbes India, and his company is the largest producer and exporter of hand knotted rugs in India. The U.S. operations are based in Norcross, Georgia.
Jaipur produces hand knotted and machine made rugs, and its biggest category is hand tufted. For its wool rugs, the company controls the supply chain from the raw wool to dyeing, spinning and weaving. It also produces rugs made of polypropylene, polyester, viscose, jute and even hemp.
The manufacturer does some private label business with several top 100 retailers and top 100 furniture stores, although it does not participate in the mass merchant channel, focusing instead on the mid to upper price point range.
In October at High Point, Jaipur introduced a new licensed line by Kate Spade Home. The founder’s daughter also has a licensed line with Jaipur named for her, called Kavi, and Project Error, one of her hand knotted collections, won a prestigious German Design Award this year.
Hospitality is a small piece of Jaipur’s business, reached through independent reps who sell to A&D firms. It also does a robust custom business, usually in high-end to very high-end hand knotted rugs for luxury homes. Although the custom work represents less than 5% of the overall business, it is a significant service for the design community in a shrinking segment.
The Dalyn Rug Company, a family owned manufacturer based in Dalton, Georgia, has been in business for 37 years, selling hand tufted, machine woven, printed and custom area rugs through department stores, independent and chain furniture retailers, rug specialty stores, flooring retailers, catalogs and the Internet.
Touted as one of the largest custom rug manufacturers in the world, Dalyn sells the program to consumers through a merchandising board that hangs in stores on a traditional rug rack. At its facility in Dalton, the company fabricates 100% wool rugs on robotic tufting machines to custom specs, and it expanded production this year with additional machinery.
The custom rugs retail from $499 to $1,299 and can be designed from a palette of 450 colors and 150 designs. Sizes range from 2’x3’ to “as big as you like” in rectangles, ovals, squares, octagons and rounds. In addition to its custom program, Dalyn also offers stock area rugs produced in partnership with manufacturers in China, India and Egypt. The stock rugs retail from $99 to $399, with the $299 price point selling best.
Dalyn reports a good growth year so far, with activity highest from home furnishing retailers, both chain and independent.
Surya is a family owned rug and accessories company headquartered in India with U.S. operations based in Calhoun, Georgia. The company recently partnered with Shaw Industries, offering its rugs to Shaw aligned dealers, and in return Surya offers its customers Tuftex broadloom carpet.
Almost 80% of Surya’s U.S. product is imported from all over the world: India, China, Egypt, Turkey and Belgium. It also does some custom manufacturing through a cut and sew program, buying broadloom to cut into custom area rugs on demand at its Calhoun facility.
Surya sells rugs in wool, polypropylene, nylon, jute and viscose. Wool rugs are still its biggest sellers, but polypropylene is gaining ground. The rugs run the spectrum from $100 to $10,000 for a 5’x8’, and rugs in the $299 to $799 are selling best.
Surya’s target customers include furniture stores, flooring stores, interior designers and Internet sites. Its hospitality team also goes to HD Expo in Las Vegas and BDNY with its commercial products.
Surya moved into the accessories business in an effort to evolve with the home furnishings market, which has been moving toward stores that offer groupings of products rather than a single specialty item. About 80% of the business is in rugs, soon to be 75% as the accessory side of the business expands.
Momeni is a wholesaler and manufacturer based in Carlstadt, New Jersey with a warehouse in Atlanta, Georgia. The company imports rugs from India, China and Turkey, and also manufactures some products in Belgium and Egypt. Momeni is one of the few companies that still does business in one-of-a-kind hand knotted rugs, mainly imported from Pakistan and India, representing 10% to 15% of revenues.
The business is mainly residential, and because it competes at the high end, custom work is also important. In addition to its one-of-a-kind rugs, Momeni offers a custom rug program cut from broadloom, primarily sold through carpet and rug stores.
Wool remains Momeni’s most important fiber, although it also constructs with polypropylene, viscose and polyester.
The indoor-outdoor market is a big one for Momeni, one of its fastest growing segments for the past five or six years. The perception is that many of its indoor-outdoor rugs end up inside, chosen for their attractive design and ease of maintenance.
The bulk of Momeni’s business happens at the $299 to $599 range, although price points run from $199 to $2,999 retail for a 5’x8’. It reports that 8’x10’ is its best selling size and that larger sizes seem to be selling better.
Momeni does a strong business with furniture, flooring and rug retailers, as well as with design firms. It does some business online and in catalogs and department stores.
Couristan is a family owned rug and broadloom importer and manufacturer based in Fort Lee, New Jersey with a warehouse in Dalton, Georgia.
The firm supplies both handmade and power loomed rugs in the indoor and outdoor categories. The majority of its product is sourced, but the firm collaborates with mills to create original designs. Couristan uses a branded polypropylene called Courtron, and it also sells rugs made from New Zealand wool, viscose, cotton and chenille.
Custom rugs are fabricated in the Dalton facility. Field designs from three brands of imported broadloom—Premier, Creations and Purity—can be combined with an assortment of bindings and cut to order.
An extensive contract hospitality division makes up more than half of Couristan’s business, supplying custom machine made and hand tufted rugs as well as Axminster and print carpet. The company does business with luxury resorts, hotels and casinos. On the residential side, it sells through independent retail stores, a few big box chains, catalogs, Internet stores and design firms.
For the last few years, homeowners have been investing more in outdoor areas, decorating patios, porches and decks to look more like extensions of the indoor living space. As a result, indoor-outdoor rugs have become one of the fastest growing segments for some manufacturers. And many others are looking at expansion into the segment.
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