Rug Ready for 2011
By Andrea Lillo
While hoping for a better year, it will definitely be a busy one to start for the rug industry, as both the Atlanta International Area Rug Market and the Las Vegas Market fall a week apart this month.
Manufacturers will debut collections with new designers, techniques, price points and more--as well as put out some positive vibes.
"It has been a couple of years, but retailers have been asking for new looks and innovative products to really give their assortments a fresh start this year," said Wendy Reiss, key account manager of sales and marketing, Kas Rugs, and so felt that these would be good markets.
"There's optimism out there, but people are still cautious," said Aaron Gray, director of marketing, Oriental Weavers. Not surprisingly, price points are still key, and many are buying 5-by-8 rugs at the $299 and $399 levels, he said.
One of the big introductions at the show will be the Ralph Lauren line from Safavieh, which picked up the license recently. "The Ralph Lauren rugs are different from our other designers because they're more traditional, while our other designers are more contemporary," said Arash Yaraghi, principal. The new lines will have the classic and high-quality feel people expect, he added. To debut the line, Safavieh will have a reception on Thursday, Jan. 13, from 5:30 to 7 pm.
Other introductions from Safavieh include its new Ikat collection, which is handtufted of designer-quality Peshawar wool, and its second largest launch of its Martha Stewart line since the beginning, with 26 new designs.
Noursion also plans to introduce its single largest addition of Calvin Klein Home area rugs this month. They include the Canyon collection, which merges cut pile viscose with a flat suede leather area, and Shetland, which offers the look of a sisal rug in a wool construction. In addition, it will debut two lines for the Calvin Klein brand for the first time, which will have lower price points. Called Horizon and Sahara, the lines will retail between $149 to $1,099.
For Surya, the flatweave category is hot, said Al Mortensen, vice president, merchandising. "Designers love them because they are easy, inexpensive and have simple, timeless quality," he said. Surya will introduce flatweaves in its Candice Olson line for the first time in a collection called Market Place, and new designs will be added to its Fallon collection from Jill Rosenwald.
Capel will introduce a new category called Convertibles, a dual-sided tufted construction allowing for consumers to use both sides of the rug. Handtufted in India, the line will offer 14 patterns in transitional, traditional and modern styles.
For Kas, Reiss sees the direction toward relaxed, transitional designs and contemporary looks that are not as geometric. Kas also recently launched its new Facebook page with a contest for a free iPad--any buyer who "friends" it on the page between now and Jan. 17 will have a chance to win.
MAT will introduce its lower price point grouping in Las Vegas, called MAT Orange. A contemporary and transitional group, it will be offered in two sizes and available in its California warehouse at all times.