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Atlanta International Area Rug Market: Event to feature new layout, latest innovations

By Jenna Lippin 

Volume 27/number 15; December 3/10, 2012

The winter session of the Atlanta International Area Rug Market, which will be held Jan. 10 to 13, has the industry excited about new displays, hot products and educational seminars.

The biggest change attendees will witness is the incorporation of rugs with other home furnishings. The winter market will address “the changing needs of customers with a massive rebranding of Floor 4 in Building 1 to showcase the integration of area rugs and home furnishings and home accents,” according to AtlantasMart spokesperson Lisa Bokovoy.

“Four Hands, the industry leader in lifestyle home furnishings, is paving the way by relocating from the Home Furniture Center to its new, expanded 12,000-square-foot showroom on Floor 4.”

Because Floor 4 and featured rugs will be highlighted at the winter market, a number of rug-specific events will be held. For example, to draw attendees to Floor 4, there will be a special vacation giveaway on Jan. 10 to Miraval Spa in Arizona. From Jan. 10 to 12, the Oriental Rug Importers Association (ORIA)/ Charitable Fund will hold a rug auction. And on Jan. 11, Kenneth Brown of HGTV’s “reDesign” will present a seminar demonstrating how to use rugs to help embellish design projects.

Also, The Oriental Rug Retailers of America (ORRA) will present several targeted industry seminars, including “The Unique and Antique Rug Forum” and “Walk the Market with Phil.” A full schedule of special daily events at the 013 Markets is available at americasmart.com/rug/jan-rug-info/jan-rug-events.

While the revamped Floor 4 will be a market highlight, other floors will also feature redesign and the combination of rugs and home furnishings. Safavieh is expanding its showroom by 3,000 square feet on Floor 5 to showcase the company’s home furnishings line alongside its rug products. In addition, Home Accents Alliance will debut its 3,000-square-foot showroom on Floor 5 to exhibit its furniture.

“With just these three exhibitors [Four Hands, Safavieh and Home Accents Alliance], AmericasMart offers buyers more than 20,000 square feet of home accents and furnishings to complement the rugs available on floors 3 through 6 of Building 1, creating an entirely new experience for buyers and designers,” Bokovoy said.

The Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market will feature an array of exciting changes and events. In addition, a number of exhibiting companies and brands will launch new products and promote special offerings. By showing the latest selections, “exhibitors offer a more diverse selection of products and make it easier than ever for a broader range of buyers to shop for rugs as well as other home merchandise,” she noted.

A number of industry leaders are looking forward to using the Atlanta Market as a means of showcasing their latest designs. Kim Barta, brand manager for Shaw Living, is excited about the new introductions that will be unveiled at the winter market. “We’re looking at a launch of about 190 designs. We will also feature a collection update of Mirabella to which we have added 24 new designs. But the main item to be highlighted is the new colorway offering in the Melrose line.”

Larry Mahurter, Couristan’s advertising and marketing director, agrees the 2013 market will be an ideal location to showcase the latest offerings. Moonwalk, Pokhara and Fresco are three new area rugs that will be shown. He is also excited a bout a new licensing agreement with Emma Gardner Designs. Couristan will be manufacturing, promoting, marketing and distributing a series of area rugs and wall-to-wall carpeting under the color and design guidance of Emma Gardner, principal and CEO of Emma Gardner Design and Emma at Home brands.

Like Mahurter and Barta, Thomas Itty, marketing director, Nourison, believes the winter market is one of the best places to introduce new designs. “One of the products we’re highlighting is Silk Shadows,” Itty said. “The line is at a price point we’re trying to reach for [the market]. We’re looking forward to meeting buyers.”

In addition to showcasing its latest rug offerings, Nourison will give away three iPad Minis. During the first three days of the market, buyers who purchase more than $1,000 of product will be entered in the drawing for the new Apple product. Similarly, Jaipur Rugs will give away an iPod Shuffle, Kindle Fire or iPad with qualifying orders.

Although the latest products and a new layout will be emphasized at the 2013 winter market, one of the traditional highlights is always the America’s Magnificent Carpets Awards (AMCA). AMCA honors the best in area rug design and creativity.

The AMCA ceremony will take place Friday, Jan. 11 at 6 p.m. in the Oceans Ballroom of the Georgia Aquarium. The Museum of Introductions Gallery is open Jan. 10 to 13 to showcase all AMCA entries with a special Breakfast of Champions on Jan. 12 to celebrate the 2013 AMCA winners.

For more information about the 2013 winter market, visit americasmart.com/market-info/market-dates.