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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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Spring promos help dealers shake off winter blues

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

By Lindsay Baillie

 

Even though the winter weather is still putting up a fight in certain areas of the United States, flooring manufacturers and buying groups are getting into the spirit of the impending spring season with exciting seasonal sales and promotions.

Following are a few promotions and sales going on now.

Abbey Carpet & Floor/Floors to Go

Abbey Carpet & Floor and Floors to Go members are preparing for the national sale events taking place in May. When consumers are looking for the perfect place to purchase their new floor, Abbey makes sure its members have every opportunity to be top-of-mind with buyers. The campaign, developed with the support of Abbey’s supplier partners, offers consumers discount pricing in every product category.

Armstrong

Armstrong Flooring is hosting its “The Floor is Yours” spring promotion March 19 through May 14. During this period, consumers have the chance to save up to 10% on select hardwood, LVT and resilient sheet flooring collections as well as Alterna engineered tile, many of which feature the company’s Diamond 10 technology.

To qualify, the purchase must be made during the promotion period from a participating Elevate or Impact retailer. The maximum discount is $500 in the form of an Armstrong Visa card.

Carpet One

Carpet One’s second spring promotion highlights one of its most popular brands, Relax, it’s…Lees. The group will be relaunching the brand with 32 new products and special introductory pricing. The promotion will be supported by discounted pricing and consumer financing offers.

Carpet One will provide retailers with TV, radio, print and digital assets to support the promotion on a local level. The group will also support the promotion on the group’s website, Houzz, Facebook and a national paid search campaign. Carpet One’s promotional message will be “Lees—a carpet like no other,” offering the consumer a 25-year, no-exclusions stain warranty.

CarpetsPlus Color Tile

The CarpetsPlus Color Tile Spring into Savings sale comes into full bloom during April and May in member stores across the country. Select styles of their popular Destination brand carpets made with Anso nylon are being featured in this sale at participating dealer locations.

Members are also signing up for the second annual Shop for the Paws Animal Welfare and Rescue Awareness event, which will run after the group’s Spring into Savings sale. During this event, members donate money raised to their choice of local animal welfare charities. Many locations also collect dog and cat food, bedding, toys and additional monetary donations.

Couristan

Couristan’s annual Outdoor Living Merchandising promotion is taking place March 19 through June 30. The promotion offers deals on the company’s full assortment of indoor/outdoor area rugs as well as two dynamic merchandising display options.

Also, back by popular demand, Couristan is offering its Outdoor Living Merchandising display box free with an initial order of 20 area rugs from its Afuera, Cape, Dolce, Monaco, Monte Carlo and Recife collections (size requirements apply).

Invista

Invista is hosting its 2018 Stainmaster brand Celebrate Spring Sweepstakes, which is set to run April 1 through May 31. During the sweepstakes, five customers who purchase Stainmaster PetProtect luxury vinyl flooring will win up to $10,000 back on their purchase and installation (excluding sales tax and delivery charges). Consumers can enter online at stainmastersweepstakes.com. Note: One entry per individual per purchase allowed. Winners will be chosen July 31.

Karastan

Quality, beauty and craftsmanship have all been a part of the Karastan legacy, and this year the manufacturer proudly celebrates its 90th anniversary of offering high-styled, quality floor coverings. Karastan’s 90th Anniversary Sale kicked off March 1 and continues through March 31, offering extensive promotional campaigns for Karastan retailers. Consumers can take advantage of savings on Karastan styles ranging from beautiful wool to family-friendly SmartStrand Forever Clean styles.

Lastly, from April 26 to June 2, Karastan will celebrate National Karastan Month. This sale promotes a consumer rebate offer to entice luxury buyers to purchase floor covering.

Mannington

One Mannington retailers can take advantage of the company’s “Spring into Summer Sale,” which runs from May 15 to July 4. For specific details about the promotion, One Mannington retailers are encouraged to contact their local distributors.

Mirage 

Boa-Franc, maker of the Mirage brand of hardwood flooring, is offering a Play & Win with Mirage Spring 2018 rebate for customers across North America (valid in the U.S. and Canada, excluding Quebec) at all participating Mirage dealers from April 16 to June 9.

During this promotion, consumers will have the chance to save $0.50 to $1 per square foot  on Mirage flooring by playing an online game. This offer is valid on all Mirage products, regardless of species, color or width.

For more on the rules, visit miragefloors.com/rebate on or after April 9.

Mohawk

Mohawk’s Spring All Pet Sale, running from April 12 to May 24, aims to drive consumer awareness of the company’s Pet Protection warranty, covering all pets, all accidents, all the time. During the sale period, Mohawk will drive traffic to its participating retail partners by incentivizing in-market consumers with an in-store rebate and special financing offers. Mohawk also provides a variety of product discounts for its participating retail partners.

The promotions don’t end there. To seamlessly connect the online, in-store and product experience—and ultimately encourage retailer success—Mohawk has also featured this sale on Omnify.

Raskin

Raskin Industries plans to host two spring promotions for its dealers—one for Loft and the other for Ceramix. From March 15 through May 15, dealers have the opportunity to earn $5 on each carton of Loft purchased for residential use.

In addition, from April 1 through June 1, dealers can earn $5 on each carton of Ceramix purchased for residential use. Both rebates will be applied to an American Express card.

Shaw

From April 2 through May 12, Shaw will host its Spring for Green sale. Consumers will have the opportunity to earn up to $500 off on qualifying Shaw Floors products in the form of a manufacturer’s rebate. Note: The promotion is valid on a minimum of 500 square feet of qualifying products.

Shaw’s rebate aims to give participating retailers a competitive advantage in their respective markets as Shaw is covering 100% of the costs. Shaw Flooring Network retailers who registered on ShawNow by March 11 are eligible for the promotion.

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Five design trends inspire Couristan’s 2018 collections

Fort Lee, N.J.—Inspiration comes from every corner of the world, according to Marlys Giordano, creative director at Couristan. For 2018, it’s all about incorporating color, global-inspired prints and recycled materials to provide a sense of well-traveled, trend-aligned design for the home.

In the company’s first-ever trend report, Giordano identifies five key trends that have inspired many of Coursitan’s new area rug collections, introduced at AmericasMart in Atlanta in early January, and further showcased during the Las Vegas Market.

Following are the five trends:

Shock value. This trend combines vibrant hues, utilized in unexpected applications, giving classic pieces an updated feel. The rugs that answer this trend blend bold motifs with of-the-moment color stories, resulting in classically-modern styles.

Work ethnic. Tribal in feel, this trend draws its inspiration from patterns found in Africa, India, Vietnam and beyond. Utilizing a warm palette, the colors balance beautifully with the neutral foundations found throughout this trend.

The naturals. Cultivated from organic elements and natural fibers, the naturals trend is clean and light—visualize a sunlit living room in whitewashed detail.

Wandering eye. Wanderlust is an ideal word to describe this trend, which is inspired by exotic locations like Morocco, Mexico and India. Wandering eye is influenced by visits to the souk and local markets to uncover all of their hidden treasures—vibrant fabrics, pierced lanterns, painted wood, carved talisman. Combining these elements, the feel is strikingly colorful, with bold geometric shapes and even bolder color palettes. Metallic accents, painted wood and recycled fabrics make this trend feel exotic and eclectic.

Hygee fresh. Hygge (pronounced “Hoo-Ga”) is the Danish art of happy living. It embodies everything that makes a home warm, cozy and inviting to friends and family. This trend incorporates a soft color palette and textural elements that exude a sense of inclusiveness and nesting.

Two area rugs inspired by these trends recently received Magnificent Carpet Awards for Best Design in the Hand Knotted/Flat Weave category (Karuna design from the newly introduced Om collection), as well as the Outdoor category (Toluca in Iris from the Xanadu collection). In addition, variations of these trends will be utilized across a newly developed offshoot—Couristan Rug Studio—set to launch later this year.

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Couristan bolsters sales team

Troy Corey

Fort Lee, N.J.—As Couristan prepares for an explosive 2018 and the launch of several new collections at Surfaces 2018, the company has hired two leading residential floor coverings sales executives to service the Manhattan and Southern California markets.

Troy Corey will ensure dealers in New York City will have access to Couristan’s residential broadloom and area rug collections, while Nick Maugeri will be responsible for the Southern California region. Both executives bring more than 30 years of experience forging relationships with specialty and high-end retailers and will report to Len Andolino, executive vice president of Couristan’s residential division.

Nick Maugeri

“We are committed to developing the strongest salesforce to bring our collections to market,” Andolino said. “Both Troy and Nick have unbelievable track records in the high-end floor covering sector, and we look forward having them leverage their experience and deep relationships to expand Couristan’s reach within these two incredibly important markets.”

Prior to joining Couristan, Corey spearheaded sales at GCC International. His expertise spans on product development and manufacturing, and includes strong sales connections all over the United States. Prior to this, he served as national sales manager and buyer for his family business, Rosecore.

For nearly 20 of Maugeri’s 35-year career, he worked for his family business, Wool Merchants, which manufactured, imported and distributed high-end wool carpeting. During this time, Maugeri developed relationships with Southern California’s most prestigious retailers and distributors. In 2001, he left the family business to pursue a career as an independent agent of broadloom and area rugs.

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Couristan appoints national sales manager for residential division

Jeff_Headshot_FinalFort Lee, N.J.—Couristan has appointed Jeff Forwood to the position of national sales manager for its residential division. In addition, Forwood will be responsible for the further development and expansion of the company’s custom rug and residential Axminster Express programs.

“In order to aggressively grow our broadloom business within our three residential brands and our custom rug business as well as the specialty store rug segment, the company needed the right experience and personality to guide and spearhead our strategic sales initiatives,” said George G. Couri, chairman. “As a company, we feel Jeff’s experience within the industry makes him a great addition to join the other key industry leaders we most recently added to the Couristan team. With his expertise across both broadloom and rug categories he will be a great sales driver and lend tremendous support for the Couristan national sales force.”

Forwood most recently was a regional sales manager at Nourison heading up sales for the Northeast Region for broadloom and area rugs since 2009. He began his flooring career with Karastan in 2003 where he spent four years and also gained national exposure as vice president of sales and national accounts for Obeetee in 2007.

“When I heard of the aggressive changes and the team Couristan was assembling I was intrigued and very interested in hearing the growth strategy and plan for the future,” Forwood said. “After understanding the company’s direction and investment plan, it was a simple decision to join the team.”

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Couristan appoints Michael J. Riley as new president

Michael J. Riley
Michael J. Riley

Fort Lee, N.J.—Couristan’s George G. Couri, chairman, and Ronald J. Couri, CEO, have appointed Michael J. Riley as the company’s new president. Riley was most recently president of Oriental Weavers USA.

“In order to accelerate the transformation of Couristan to respond to the changes in the marketplace for the coming decades, Mike is the perfect fit to join my brother Ron and me in leading those efforts,” said George Couri. “With his expertise across Couristan’s residential and hospitality divisions, he will be an asset to the company.”

As president, Riley will be overseeing the residential and hospitality sales teams. Under Riley’s leadership, Steve Codella will be heading sales of the broadloom and roll runner divisions, and Mark Ferullo will be in charge of area rug sales. Niall Coree will continue to oversee the sales and operations of the contract/hospitality division, reporting to Riley as well. The new president will be based in the company’s Fort Lee, N.J. global headquarters.

Riley started with Oriental Weavers USA in 1995 and became president in 2003 in addition to being CEO of their hospitality division for the past 7 years. “I made the decision to join Couristan based on an alignment of visions with George and Ron as to the future of the industry as well as their decision and commitment to respond to the rapidly changing distribution landscape,” Riley said. “It is essential for companies to be nimble in this rapidly changing climate. Together with the talented Couristan team and the full support of the ownership, I am committed to achieving dramatic growth for Couristan in the US markets.”

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Spring ahead with seasonal promotions

March 30/April 6, 2015; Volume 28/Number 19

By Nadia Ramlakhan

karastanpromoAfter weeks of below-freezing temperatures, snowstorms and icy roads, the floor covering industry is ready to make a comeback. Just in case the warmer weather isn’t enough incentive to get shoppers in the buying mood, both manufacturers and retailers are welcoming the season with sales in an effort to attract customers.

Couristan

Couristan’s annual Outdoor Living Merchandising promotion runs through June 30, offering deals on a number of outdoor and indoor area rugs. In addition, the promotion features two merchandising display options designed to help drive summer sales.

The Without Walls unit showcases all 13 of Couristan’s weather-resistant area rug collections and holds 40 2 x 4 area rugs, giving retailers the ability to customize their assortments while allowing consumers to browse easily. An optional base with wheels is also available for easy movement between outdoor and indoor retail spaces.

The Outdoor Living merchandising display box comes free with an order of 20 rugs from the Afuera, Monaco, Dolce, Five Season, Recife, Tides, Cape or Urbane collections.

Flooring America

Flooring America is holding its Hard to Beat Flooring Sale, featuring select hard surface products at a 30% discount until April 26. Consumers who spend $1,500 on hard surface products will receive a free iRobot Braava and 18-month financing.

“This promotion has caused an incredible amount of excitement throughout our membership,” said Keith Spano, president. “Our partnership with iRobot differentiates us from other retailers and clearly lets the consumer know that Flooring America and Flooring Canada are the destinations where fashion and technology come together.”

The Your Style, Your Way savings event will run during May and June, and offers up to 50% off on select Tigressa Softstyle, Tigressa Cherish and the new Tigressa H20 product lines. Consumers can also save up to $500 on an accompanying hard surface purchase, plus 18-month financing.

Karastan

The promotional period for the annual National Karastan Month will run from April 23 through June 8. The company is providing its retailers with extensive resources to showcase the brand’s signature styling and help attract customers, including national and retail advertising such as ready-to-use images, newspaper ads, magazine ads, direct mail inserts, radio scripts and web-based promotions. Also available are point-of-sale kits, finance offers, social media content, lead generation support and a cushion offer. In addition, the sale features manufacturer rebates for the consumer and product discounts on the season’s most popular trends.

Mirage

Mirage Promo PHOTOBeginning March 30, the Mirage Spring 2015 Rebate Sale will take place at nearly 2,000 retail locations throughout the U.S. and Canada through May 23. Consumers will receive a $0.50-per-square-foot rebate on all standard Mirage hardwood floors, including Mirage Classic, Mirage Engineered and Mirage Lock products regardless of species, color or width.

“Spring is the perfect time to begin remodel projects and new construction, so this event comes at a perfect time,” said Luc Robitaille, vice president of marketing for Boa-Franc, manufacturer of the Mirage brand. “Thanks to the rebate offered on all of our flooring during this sales event, it is the time to save big while enjoying the quality Mirage floors are known for.”

Mohawk

Mohawk’s annual Love Your Floor spring sale will run from March 27 through May 11 and is available exclusively for Floorscapes and ColorCenter retailers. The promotion offers product discounts and cushion options, cash-back incentives, consumer financing and enhanced Mohawk Infinite Reward points for RSAs. The company is also extending a full mix of national and local advertising support and updated point-of-sale kits to promote in-store.

According to Mike Zoellner, vice president of marketing services for Mohawk, stores that participate in Mohawk promotions historically show an increase in sales. “Retailers who participated in the fall Mohawk Anniversary Sale reported eight times the sales increase of non-participating retailers.”

Stainmaster/Invista

Invista has launched its 2015 Sit, Stay & Save Event for retail specialty stores. Until July 31, retail flooring specialty stores across North America can host this exclusive promotion designed to increase foot traffic and push sales, as well as generate community involvement. The event gives retailers the opportunity to hold a Stainmaster carpet sale in conjunction with a pet adoption event at their stores.

Invista will send participating stores a comprehensive merchandising kit containing POP and advertising materials, and will help them partner with a local ASPCA-affiliated pet shelter to host an adoption event on the day of the sale. Retailers can register online at stainmasterlink.com.

Shaw

Through its Capture the Spirit program, Shaw is offering its dealers and RSAs several roll and pallet promotions as well as extra earning incentives. Shaw’s spring promotions are designed to drive the sales of its new introductions and programs such as Caress Patterns, Anso Color Wall and Life Happens with LifeGuard backing.

“We want our dealers to take the spring promo opportunity to engage with those new introductions to help drive their businesses as well,” said Heather Yamada, director of consumer marketing and merchandising. “It’s our chance to teach and show the innovative design and technology that make this year’s intros so valuable for business.”

Deals for consumers

carpetlandusapromoWhile reaping the benefits from manufacturer promotions, retailers are also touting deals for their customers. For some, this season’s sales are a way to increase foot traffic after being forced to close due to snow days. “We’re hoping that everything is going to pan out,” said Gary Brown, owner of Carpet One Floor & Home in Springdale, Ark., whose spring promotions will focus on Relax It’s Lees carpet and Made in America hardwood. “We had a very strong January. February started really well, then the snow slowed things down a little bit. But I’m expecting a very strong first quarter.”

Brad Coty of Carpet Brokers of Missoula in Missoula, Mont., said after a long winter, people want to buy once the sun starts shining. “We always hold sales in the spring because it’s also tax return season, so if customers are thinking about doing something major in their homes it’s usually when they get that big check.” Coty makes spring cleaning easier for customers by offering 15% off carpet cleaning in March.

Aside from discounts on products and merchandising tools, other retail locations are offering labor and financing deals. At Carpetland USA in Davenport, Iowa, free labor is offered on any carpet purchase, excluding remnants and commercial grade, along with one-year no interest financing up until March 28. Other offers include 30% to 60% off hard surface materials and 25 free square feet of tile, hardwood, laminate and LVT with a purchase of 100 square feet.

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Spring promos help retailers recover from winter

Volume 27/Number 23; March 17/24, 2014

By Jenna Lippin

Screen Shot 2014-03-25 at 10.43.31 AMSo far, 2014 has brought about a never-ending winter for most of the country, with short-lived, hopeful bursts of spring providing only glimmers of hope. Due to the challenging weather most states have endured over the last few months, now is as great a time as any to encourage consumers to get out of their homes and start to spend. To help move along these potential buyers, many flooring manufacturers are offering appealing incentives to dealers for the coming (hopefully warmer) months. Continue reading Spring promos help retailers recover from winter

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Carpet: Colors, textures lead the way for broadloom segment

Volume 27/Number 21; March 3/10, 2014

By Louis Iannaco

(Second of two parts)

Screen Shot 2014-03-10 at 11.11.57 AMAt Surfaces, carpet executives and retailers were positive about not only the growth potential of the segment in 2014, but also the increased number of colors, textures and designs entering the marketplace. This year, bolder hues and more intricate patterns created a buzz as a plethora of new products lined the exhibit halls for dealers seeking to restock their inventories. And exhibitors were more than happy to oblige them with the latest state-of-the-art offerings as most expressed a strong 2013 would lead to an even better 2014.

Best Buy

President Larry Heckman noted some of the mill’s hottest products at Surfaces included polyester Saxony offerings French Quarter, Mardi Gras and Bourbon Street, constructed of 100% solution-dyed PET ultra-soft fiber. The trio also features multi-tone looks and the company’s Natural Shield stain protection.

“When it comes to color, profile and performance in a polyester, we’ve got all three,” he said. “We’re providing tight, dense construction, which makes for a high performance product. It’s a multi-color offering but muted due to its density. That makes it unique.”

Attendees were looking for something different, Heckman said. “‘What have you got for me that will make me some money?’ That’s what I’ve heard a lot at this show. We always try to provide a great product and value at multiple price points so the dealer is given the opportunity to make a good margin.”

Couristan

According to Steve Cordella, vice president of sales, and Lynn Dunn, territory manager, the mill’s highlights were its 2014 Indoor/Outdoor broadloom line as well as Buckeye, Mulberry and Linden, a trio of undyed, 100% wool offerings that are part of Couristan’s Purity program. Re-inforcing carpet’s color theme at the show, Dunn noted, “This is a color business. If the color isn’t right, it doesn’t matter what the price is.”

According to Cordella, dealers felt so strongly about Mulberry that some actually bought stock in it. “It’s something they believe they can make money with; that’s why they invested in the product by buying the stock.”

As for the mood of the attendees, he said, “Last year we saw a definite improvement in the attitudes in how they felt about things; this year, even more so. They’re definitely buying, not just looking.”

Godfrey Hirst

The company scored big at Surfaces with 18 new PET products, according to marketing manager Laurie Bray. “They’re not your typical PETs. When you check other booths, you can see the difference. We have many different textures and colors, so the dealer has something new to choose from to show the end user.”Screen Shot 2014-03-10 at 11.12.16 AM

Another home run for Godfrey Hirst was its new printed wool products. The mill showed four of these selections at the show “just to see what the reaction would be,” Bray said. Two of the four, Linen and Tweed, had received such a warm reception that the pair will anchor the printed wool program for the mill going forward. “We’re known for our neutral colors, so we wanted to make a statement that things are going to be different than in the past. And the retailers have been ecstatic about them.”

J. Mish

Don Karlin, vice president of sales and marketing, noted the positive response to the mill’s new Ecco Tex blended wool collection. According to Karlin, the combination of undyed British wool and recycled PET creates “green” carpet with real value.

Because the wool is undyed and natural, it is biodegradable and sustainable. “The PET component is from recycled pop bottles, so you’ve got a repurposed story,” he explained. “Due to the recycled component, the overall cost of the product is brought down. When we show a sample and tell dealers how much it costs, you hear an audible ‘Oh, my gosh.’ That’s when they see it can make them money.”

And, while blended wool has been “around forever, it’s never been done in the U.S.,” Karlin concluded. “This is the only domestically made wool blend currently available in the market.”

Kane Carpet

For 2014, Kane has introduced a new proprietary product, a synthetic single-wire Wilton, which in the world of wool carpet starts at about $65 to $75 a square yard wholesale, according to vice president Joseph Frank. “We go to market with the same quality product, a synthetic yarn, for $19 a yard. We find a strong opportunity in that. The response has been tremendous.

“End users look at color and design,” he added. “They don’t even ask what the carpet is made from.”

Natural Carpet

According to general manager Myra Guce, the appeal of the company’s product is simple: “Green products are obviously a big interest, and a growing one. All our products are 100% green, as we don’t use any backing or chemicals.”

The mill represented the epitome of 2014 Surfaces trends, where everything was about color; Natural’s traditional neutral-hued offerings received a boost. “We’ve come up with new designs featuring colors,” Guce explained. “For example, in the summer we believe our blues will be a hot seller for beach homes. We’ve developed dyes that are not harmful.”

Prestige

The company’s newest brand, Mantra Collection, was unveiled with approximately 140 SKUs; it was Prestige’s biggest statement at the show. “Mantra is a mixture of products, handwoven and handmade, mostly from India,” said president Peter Feldman. “It’s a fully-stocked program in our Calhoun, Ga., warehouse, featuring 50-foot width broadloom in wool and wool combinations, various designs and cut loop textures, some with a silk-like look and feel. It’s been tremendously received.”

A mid to high-end mill, Prestige enjoyed a solid 2013 and anticipates doing even better in 2014. “Business has been on an uptick for two years now,” Feldman said. “Some middle-of-the-road stores are catching up to that. Their business is better and they’re looking to get into better goods because that’s where their clientele is going. That’s where we come in.”

Southwind

According to owner and president Ann Eaton, Southwind’s new solution-dyed nylon collection, Soft Solutions, generated quite a buzz at the show.

“We make our own fiber and have put together some very nice colorways,” she explained. “The combinations we offer have been attractive to the retailers; they’ve been very well received. People have made purchases, and when they buy that’s a very good sign. Things look very good headed into 2014, especially with this new launch.”

Screen Shot 2014-03-10 at 11.12.56 AMVenture Carpets

Surfaces was very positive for the Canada-based company, according to Stephan Guindon, executive director, North America, especially with the addition of U.S. distributors. “We’ve broadened our position. The number of retailers we’ve been exposed to through our new wholesalers has really helped our line, most notably with our new Zest collection.”

Zest is an olefin product in a 26-ounce construction that is design and color-driven “at a very unique mid-price point at retail,” he explained. “We have five products with very different visuals and colors. They’ve been well received by most of the retailers and distributors.”

Venture also garnered positive response to its new “step” display, which features five slots. “We already have several commitments on it,” Guindon said. “We’ve also included Zest into a regular boutique display. The presentation boards are all 24 x 36, so you get larger samples with all the specs. The boards make it easy for presentation purposes and training salespeople so they present Zest at one price point.”

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Suppliers set ‘sales’ for spring selling season

Incentives of all types offered to retail salespeople, consumers

By Louis Iannaco

Volume 26/Number 22; March 18/25, 2013

As consumers emerge from the doldrums of cabin fever with thoughts of redecorating —as well as, hopefully, an economy finally on its way to brighter days—many are ready to shop for new flooring, or at least these are the expectations of suppliers.

To accommodate the restless shoppers and retail sales associates, and with hopes of getting 2013 off to a flying start, several mills are now unveiling their spring promotions. Continue reading Suppliers set ‘sales’ for spring selling season