By Andrea Lillo
After experiencing more optimistic shows in the last two months, manufacturers feel hopeful that experience will be replicated at this month’s New York Home Fashions Market. Both consumers and buyers have started buying again, they said, though price is still a concern and will focus at the lower end.
Beyond price points, designs incorporate surface interest as well as color, among other trends.
“More people are buying, and retailers are bringing in more inventory,” said Aaron Gray, national accounts manager, Oriental Weavers. “It’s better than it was.”
Patrick Moyer, president, sales and marketing, Balta USA, agreed. “I think retailers are ready to start making plans for coming out of this recession, and are looking for creative and innovative new products.”
Oriental Weavers will debut area rugs at the $79 to $99 price point level for a 5-by-8, said Gray, and that will be both for its Sphinx and Oriental Weavers lines. “Retailers continue to look for more value-oriented product,” he said.
Last market, Oriental Weavers launched its ACCENTuate program of tufted/printed, woven, hooked and hand-carved washable scatter rugs, and the company will add to that this market as well, Gray said. “We’re building on printed goods,” he said.
While there are definitely customers that want value-oriented product, Feizy also sees that price point beginning to rise, said Jamie Jones, key accounts manager. “The discount segment is where we expect to see continued growth in sales and buying power, but we have also experienced a lot of interest in our private labeling programs at the higher end,” he said.
Feizy’s bath and accent business has been a solid growth category, with opportunity to be had in adding more colors and constructions. “Buyers are gravitating back toward color and pattern,” Jones added. “We saw a lot of solids and neutrals last year, but this year we are beginning to see neutrals, especially gray, mixed with stronger colors in bold patterns.”
Feizy will be bowing a new bath line of about 25 new constructions, added Steve Sorrow, vice president, design and product development. “We’ve seen so much success in our bath category and it continues to grow, so we expect the new line to really resonate with buyers.” It will also be showcasing four new color creels in its Saphir construction, which has a hand-knotted look in a machine-made rug.
Safavieh will show its first collection of accent and bath rugs, which were launched during Las Vegas Market, as well as an initial group of decorative down-filled pillows, in 30 styles.
Balta USA will focus on texture and intricate yarn systems, debuting four woven shag collections that feature 15 colors and 14 sizes. “We believe that surface appeal and texture will be very important in area rugs,” said Moyer. “Also, ‘complex’ shag rugs that combine different yarns, color shades, and luster levels will be important.”
In addition, Balta will focus on natural-looking product, such as synthetic flat woven rugs that mimic natural hand woven rugs. “We think there is a strong movement towards natural-looking products for inside the home,” Moyer said.
Due to “dynamic growth,” Natco Home Products has relocated to a new, 12,000-square-foot showroom, which is almost double its former space, the company said. Now unified in one space, the company offers buyers home furnishings across all product categories, such as window fashions, decorative pillows, tabletop, utility rugs and area rugs, and includes its Natco Home Products and Central Oriental brands. Located in suite #212 in 295 Fifth Avenue, the company will hold a grand opening event on Tuesday, March 9, from 5 to 8 p.m.