14049 Mon, 03/17/2008 - 11:28am
By Jennifer Quail
NEW YORK–Vendors are noting growth in additional motifs for kitchen rugs, and consumers are also taking advantage of the ease-of-care qualities of indoor/outdoor products for the heavily trafficked space.
“The base hasn’t really changed,” said Paula Paquette, vice president of soft home for Nourison. “But the incremental customer has.”
Paquette said Nourison has seen an increase in floral patterns, noting the trend for wall decor translating to accent and kitchen rugs seems to be on the rise.
“The category itself is very impulsive,” Paquette said. “You really have to treat it more like ready-to-wear. It used to take a year-plus for home to follow ready-to-wear, but now the effect is almost immediate.”
The idea carries through to the retail selling floor, where merchants are looking for that cross-category sale, executives said. If a soft floral kitchen/accent rug can be cross-merchandised with kitchen towels, table linens and other accessories in coordinating colors or motifs, the retailer is that much happier, as the average ticket is likely to rise. It was noted the same method for acceptance has long been in practice in the bath category, with sets of bath accessories and shower curtains being paired with coordinating rugs and towels.
Another hot area for this category has become the merchandising of indoor/outdoor rugs and all their wear-and-tear, easy-clean qualities for what is often considered the busiest room in the house. Homespice Decor is among the companies marketing its indoor/outdoor rugs for use in the kitchen, focusing on the necessities the rugs supply by way of stain protection and water resistance. The rugs for the company’s Out-Durable Braided Rugs line are available in oval, rectangle, round and custom shapes, making them adaptable to most spaces. Much like the indoor/outdoor products from other companies, the rugs can be taken outside and cleaned with a garden hose.
Despite change-ups in the overall results for the category, companies still point to novelty patterns as the standard in accent rugs used in the kitchen. In particular, rooster and fruit motifs seem to always drive the business. Case in point, Company C offers an assortment of approximately 35 rugs in patterns suitable for this space, yet, according to Kristi Lefebvre, marketing manager for the company, two of the best-selling patterns are a rooster design and Mac & Granny, a colorful rug covered with a variety of apples. The common belief is the kitchen is the room where homeowners can be more playful and colorful in their design schemes. Also, the lower cost for such pieces contributes to consumers changing out this rug significantly more often than other rugs in the home, so they tend to pick up on themes more impulsively without worrying about long-term commitments.