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Mills find a niche with custom rug programs

March 19/26, 2018: Volume 33, Issue 20

By Ken Ryan

 

As hard surface products continue to take market share residentially, carpet mills are facing some choices: hope the pendulum swings back to broadloom, or get in on the action. Many of them chose the latter, offering custom area rug programs as an add-on sale to hardwood and other types of hard surfaces. In fact, for some mills, business has been flourishing in this era of hard surface growth.

“I tell people we are no longer in the carpet business,” said Don Karlin, director of broadloom sales for Nourison, which is strictly a soft surface supplier. “I tell people we are in the hard surface business and rugs are the complementary piece. The world is all about fabricated rugs.”

Following is a sampling of some custom rug programs and offerings available today.

Anderson Tuftex

A/T, a Shaw Industries brand, will continue to utilize the custom area rug program Tuftex has had for the past several years. “We can cut any of our A/T carpets into a custom area rug up to 24 x 36 feet,” said Katie Ford, director of brand strategy. She said shapes for area rugs include rectangles, squares, rounds and ovals, as well as floor and stair runners. “We also offer a full assortment of edge treatments such as binding, serging, fabric and leather.”

Couristan

Couristan has built on the success of a custom area rug program it started in 2014. Its program allows dealers to fabricate a Couristan product into a custom area rug that addresses their customers’ decorating needs. Today, Couristan’s broadloom business is heavily fabricated, with more than 50% of its business in fabricated rugs. “The hard surface [category] has actually helped our business,” said Len Andolino, executive vice president–residential division, Couristan. “We are pushing the envelope with fabricated rugs.”

Lexmark

Lexmark Residential recently launched its Unite Custom Rug Program that lets retailers select their choice from any of Lexmark Living’s three broadloom pattern collections. “What is great about this program is it is built on the same construction as our hospitality line, which is our bread and butter,” said John Madden, general manager, Western region.

Masland

Masland’s program, Custom Area Carpets and Rugs, expands design options for the floor and offers custom capabilities. Options range from wall-to-wall to inset area carpets and rugs to loose-laid rugs on top of flooring surfaces. This Dixie Group brand has a custom program that can make any size or shape rug from its broadloom offerings. The program has been well-received, according to Jared Coffin, vice president–rugs and wool products, who noted, “Rugs gives us an insight into trends; therefore, it’s an important part of our business.”

Mohawk/Karastan

Karastan, Mohawk’s high-end rug supplier, lets users create their own looks with its Inspired Luxury program. Customers are able to choose looks from a select group of styles, 100 color options and custom rug bindings. In addition, at Surfaces 2018, Mohawk Home showed Vintage Tapis, a hand-knotted collection available in four sizes including 10 x 14. The line is designed with soft, natural cotton rather than jute. According to Mohawk executives, the most sought-after line at the show was Spike Market with Everstrand fiber. This premium polyester is produced with up to 100% post-consumer content from plastic bottles. The rugs are stain resistant.

Nance Industries

For Nance Industries, rugs have always been its bread and butter. “That is really our niche, and you are seeing a lot better growth in rugs,” said Mike Nance, principal. The company showed new custom-made rugs at the show. In fact, Nance employs two custom-rug artists who can create almost any design pattern or theme a customer can imagine at any size they choose.

Nourison

Fifty to Infinity is a custom-rug program by Nourison that utilizes the very best in woven broadloom rugs. Each rug is made to order from premium woven broadloom carpeting and serged on the edges for a quality, finished look. Production time takes seven to 10 business days. Available sizes range from

5 x 7 to 10 x 10 and everything in between.

Phenix Flooring

Phenix is no stranger to trying new things—or markets, for that matter. At Surfaces, it announced its entry into the area rug business under the Cleaner Home Rugs banner.

Mark Clayton, president and CEO, said the move into rugs is a nod to the explosive growth of hard surfaces. “With so many beautiful patterns in our line, this is just a natural addition to what we are doing for hard surfaces.”

Prestige Mills

Add Prestige to the list of carpet mills looking to leverage the growth of hard surfaces. According to Peter Feldman, president, a high percentage of the company’s broadloom business ends up as rugs, in some cases cut by their dealers after shipping. “While cutting broadloom carpet into rugs is good for the rug business, you are only using part of the room with rugs, so more carpet is required if you are going to go that way,” Feldman said. “It is a challenge, but we are up for it.”

Prestige Mills also sells rugs under the Stark Studio Rugs label. Stark, the wholesale rug division of Stark Carpet, is a to-the-trade carpet, fabric, rugs and wallcovering specialist with a significant presence in the custom-rug space.

Stanton Carpet

Stanton is well known for the style and design of its broadloom selections. But the fact is many of the company’s inspirations come from high-end area rugs, according to Jonathan Cohen, CEO. Stanton has been selling custom rugs for years. The company even has a “Create A Rug” page on its website that allows customers to choose carpet style and color, select the finish (i.e., hand serging, binding options) and then use the custom rug visualizer to choose their rug.

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3M, Jon-Don tandem targets pro cleaners

October 9/16, 2017: Volume 32, Issue 9

By Lindsay Baillie

 

Screen Shot 2017-10-17 at 9.33.14 AM3M, the leader in stain protection for many consumer goods, including flooring, has partnered with Jon-Don, an exclusive distributor of Scotchgard Protector and other 3M products, to reach professional cleaners across the U.S.

3M continues to help fight off carpet stains and messes with its Scotchgard Protector—a product applied by a professional cleaner after a carpet has been scrubbed. Jon-Don boasts a powerful network consisting of 12 retail and shipping centers across the continental U.S. and aims to make it easier for carpet cleaning professionals to purchase 3M products.

“Through our partnership, Jon-Don and 3M work closely together to provide a consistent message about the benefits of 3M Scotchgard, helping carpet cleaners maximize their success,” said Bill Yeadon, training facilitator, Jon-Don.

In addition to promoting Scotchgard Protector on its website, Jon-Don hosts Strategies for Success (SFS) seminars for professional cleaners a few times a year. During the company’s SFS Business Transformation program, Jon-Don spends over three hours discussing 3M Scotchgard Protector, its benefits, how to apply it and how to implement a 12-month “spot and spill” warranty.

“We know that customers who attend SFS have a much greater chance of success,” Yeadon added. “To date, more than 4,000 professional carpet cleaners have graduated from the program.”

Along with the seminars, Jon-Don—with the help of 3M—provides professional cleaners with a host of materials, including: a handout for customers that shows the benefits of Scotchgard Protector, a blotter card to demonstrate the product’s benefits, a care guide for carpet and upholstery, PDF files of professionally written letters and postcards as well as training DVDs.

Jon-Don has also created a new demonstration video, which will be available on its website and social media platforms. The demo covers how professional cleaners can help their customers protect their carpets against spots and stains. “It reviews the tools available to help promote Scotchgard Protector as well as a demonstration of Scotchgard Protector protected carpet vs. non-protected carpet,” said Amber Soule, marketing analyst, 3M home care division.

Mutually beneficial
Scotchgard Protector provides benefits for both the consumer and cleaning professional. The product helps consumers maintain a cleaner, healthier environment while giving them more time to remove spots before they become stains.

For the professional cleaner, 3M’s Scotchgard Protector provides an upsell opportunity and potential for consumer loyalty. “A technician can earn over $39,000 a year in Scotchgard Protector sales alone, which can fuel business growth,” Yeadon explained. “In addition, the customer is more likely to be satisfied with her carpet and more likely to use the company again in the future.”

 

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Tufenkian appoints Andolino national sales manager

Len Andolino
Len Andolino

New York, N.Y.—Tufenkian Artisan Carpets has appointed Len Andolino as national sales manager for the company’s wholesale division, according to James Tufenkian, founder. As a flooring industry veteran, Andolino brings more than 30 years of flooring industry experience to Tufenkian, having previously held recent positions with Stanton, Couristan and Robertex/Carousel.

Andolino will report directly to James Tufenkian and will be responsible for all sales related matters for the wholesale division. He will also continue to head up his firm, Andolino Management Group (AMG), which provides consulting and management services to a select group of flooring companies.

“Tufenkian is a leading global brand with dealers throughout North America and the world,” said Andolino. “I am honored and humbled to be associated with James and the team he has assembled to continue strengthening our brand. I value the partnerships that Tufenkian has established with their network of dealers and look forward to adding more value and opportunities for everyone.”

For over three decades, Tufenkian has redefined the traditional handmade carpet industry by bringing a modern aesthetic together with an ancient craft. Tufenkian’s time-honored processes—including producing its yarn and rugs by hand—ensure that each finished product is a distinct work of unparalleled beauty and enduring quality.

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Alliance co-CEO Dunn hits road again on Drive Across America

Woodstock, Ga.—For the second consecutive summer, Ron and Sandy Dunn loaded their RV, dubbed “Big Red,” and continued their mission to visit every CarpetsPlus COLORTILE, Carpetland USA and Floorco member across the nation. This summer, they focused on members in the New England and Mid- Atlantic states. Their trip began June 29 and ended August 22, 2012. They visited every member store in VA, MD, PA, NJ, MA, CT, NH, NY, PA, OH, IN and WI – 11 states in all. Continue reading Alliance co-CEO Dunn hits road again on Drive Across America