By Andrea Lillo
Headed into the last quarter of a tough year, manufacturers feel that business has begun to pick up—slowly, perhaps, but still a positive sign that things may have turned a corner.
The economy is better than it was six months ago and High Point “will be a solid market,” said Steve Mazarakis, head of the rug division at Linon Home Décor Products. “We all had concerns about [Las Vegas Market,] but we saw who we needed to see there. High Point will be a writing market—I sense and see customers looking for new ideas and they are showing that by buying.”
Aaron Gray, national accounts manager, Oriental Weavers, also felt that business overall was picking up. “Buyers are tired of sitting back and want to buy again, to make things happen,” he said.
Oriental Weavers will be back at the High Point Market this time after a year hiatus. “We have several customers that make their selections at High Point, and for some of them this is the only show they attend,” Gray said. So the company felt like it needed a presence there, and will now be exhibiting in a 1,200-square-foot space in Showplace. The company will highlight such collections as Loft, which is inspired by classic shags and available in 22 colors, and Genesis, which has hand-carved details.
“I’ve already been pleasantly surprised” with the number of appointments scheduled for the market, Gray said.
Loloi will debut several new collections at High Point, including an indoor/outdoor collection that will showcase new weaving techniques.
“People know this won’t be the greatest fourth quarter,” said Amir Loloi, president, Loloi Rugs, but business seems to be improving. Customers are “looking for turnaround, and that means newness and freshness,” he said. “They’re taking the chance to add newness and freshness.”
Linon Home Décor Products recently published its first area rug catalog, which will be distributed by its independent sales force as well as mailed to its customer base and new prospects, Mazarakis said. The company will also be celebrating its 40th anniversary at the market, as well as promoting opening order discounts with free freight.
In addition, Linon will add to its Southern Living magazine licensed line, as well as feature rugs that look like high-end Tibetan products but are a blend of viscose and polyester.