Autumn is just around the corner, and with the change in seasons comes various new products and programs in the carpet landscape. The following are what some of the major players are introducing this fall.
Beaulieu of America
The company is focusing on its display placement and training for SoftSense and Stainmaster with Magic Fresh, according to Patricia Flavin, senior vice president of marketing. The company is also developing an entirely new website, primarily to support its Bliss brand and dealers with a mid- to late-fall target to go live.
“Currently, we’re focused on our marketing efforts and supporting our dealers while developing new collections for an early 2011 rollout,” she said. “For example, we just launched our American Express Gift Card incentive program that continues through the end of 2010. This incentive program is tied to our Bliss brand with its proprietary odor-reducing treatment, Magic Fresh.”
Flavin added that Beaulieu is still seeing trends toward comfort and softness with regard to carpet, like its SoftSense collection. “We think she’s rediscovering carpet and all of the things carpet can do that other floor coverings can’t match, such as softness, warmth, quiet and comfort.”
Several key styles will be introduced for the fall selling season, noted Tony Prespitino, executive vice president of sales and marketing.
- Fairlane is a casual frieze made with Stainmaster soft nylon in 12 solid neutral colorations. “Fairlane enables retailers to promote an economical Stainmaster soft product over unbranded soft nylons,” he said.
- Galavant offers a “sophisticated visual created with refined flecks: a brown fleck for lighter colors and a black fleck for darker colors,” Prespitino said. “Flecks blend with solid-colored neutral bases.” Galavant is manufactured with Stainmaster Tactesse fiber.
- Pleasant Field is a Stainmaster Luxerell frieze in 12 berber colorations that is “soft to the hand and backed with the performance brand promise of Stainmaster.
“Dealers are looking for what consumers are looking for, which are true values,” Prespitino said. “Retailers want to know they are getting the best value for the money they are spending. For many customers, the term ‘true value’ does not necessarily mean ‘low price.’ Those customers want a product that will meet their performance expectations.”
The company is heading into fall with new merchandising, new broadloom products, a SmartStrand environmental story and an exciting color story, said Connie Berry, director of marketing. Eight new SmartStrand products are the focus. They include:
Bella Villetta, a solid velvet saxony that combines aesthetics with performance; Roman Splendor, a cut and uncut construction that offers a suggestion of pattern; Tuscan Nights, a textured carpet that combines luxury, easy care, stain-resistance and eco-consciousness, and Venetian Romance, offering a “sumptuous” feel, durability, comfort and stain resistance. All four are available in 44 colors.
There is also Benevento, a soft, textured loop that brings instant style, durability, easy care and stain resistance to casual and contemporary settings; Milano Modern, a level cut loop featuring a contemporary grid pattern; Naples Charm, a level cut loop with stylized squares, and Speranza, a frieze that gives consumers “hope for living green with style. This lush carpet is the epitome of soft comfort and easy maintenance.” All four styles offer 20 colors.
According to Vicki Gilstrap, Karastan’s vice president of color and design, one of the more noticeable consumer trends is the growing popularity of brighter, optimistic color in home fashion applications. “After several years of conservative selections, consumers are now embracing color once again, often as a way to provide an uplifting and positive environment in their homes. Numerous spicy tones such as cinnamon, orange, gold and yellow reflect an influence of global themes that are becoming much more accepted domestically.”
Gilstrap said there is also a resurging interest in pattern. “From luxurious scrollwork designs to contemporary grid patterns, the consumer expects her floor covering selection to help make her own personal fashion statement.”
The mill’s newest ClearTouch introduction, Fifth Symphony from Queen, offers three qualities in a relaxed frieze construction, noted Emily Morrow, director of color, style and design. “We enhanced the visual by including a subtle tonal and balanced tweed that is one of the most popular visuals in today’s market. We also included both SoftBac and R2X in conjunction with one of the most comprehensive warranties in the industry.”
Created by the influence of natural stone and granite, Move On Up by Shaw’s Tuftex division boasts “exciting contrasts and visual contradictions that complement each other, inter- twined throughout the placement of each individual space- dyed and barber pole yarn with 12 colors.”
Also from Tuftex, Ballerina is the newest heathered texture. “With lots of bulk, texture and softness, Ballerina is available in 36 colors seen in today’s home furnishings,” Morrow said. Both Tuftex introductions are constructed of Anso nylon.
“Going forward into 2011,” she concluded, “we will move from the conservative neutral colors and medium to small scale designs into totally vibrant, refreshing colors and bolder scaled patterns. We were in the dark chocolate mode for several years but then transitioned into the graying of all colors, starting with runway fashions in 2007.”