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Atlanta International Area Rug Market: Sluggish economy takes toll, but those who came spent

ATLANTA—Those working to lure buyers into their showrooms during the summer edition of the Atlanta International Area Rug Market all agreed the lingering sluggishness of the economy is affecting their bottom line. There is, however, no general consensus on just what they can do about it.

Steve Roan, vice president of Karastan Rugs, expressed anger toward the federal government for not showing more leadership during tough times. While Roan was excited about Karastan’s products, he was less excited about the U.S. government’s handling of the economy, which he said has played a role in creating consumer uncertainty. Continue reading Atlanta International Area Rug Market: Sluggish economy takes toll, but those who came spent

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State of the area rug industry: Price increases threaten to quash any rally

How have suppliers and retailers assessed the 2011 area rug market, specifically the mindset of the consumer? In a word, fragile.

“Has there been improvement in the last six months? Yes, slightly,” said Sam Presnell, owner and proprietor of award-winning retailer The Rug Gallery in Cincinnati. “I wouldn’t get overly optimistic though. It doesn’t take too much for consumers to hold back on a purchase, like negative economic news or a declining stock market.” Continue reading State of the area rug industry: Price increases threaten to quash any rally

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Spring introductions: New products, innovations blossoming

Much of the U.S. may still be struggling to escape winter temperatures but the calendar says it’s officially spring. A time of rebirth and hope, not just in nature, spring is when consumers air out their homes and take a look at how to get the glum out of the house. One historical way has been to redecorate, with new floors and furniture and a fresh coat of paint. Spring traditionally marks one of the industry’s busiest selling times. Continue reading Spring introductions: New products, innovations blossoming

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Atlanta ice no match for eager rug buyers

ATLANTA—Neither snow nor ice could keep optimistic patrons from the Atlanta International Area Rug Market held at AmericasMart from Jan. 13 to 16. Despite a deep freeze in the Deep South, droves of buyers bustled into the market with an air of anticipation for a bright 2011. Continue reading Atlanta ice no match for eager rug buyers

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Oriental Weavers expands assortment, goes green

Aaron Gray does not need an economist to tell him about ominous business conditions and whether it is safe to venture outside. As marketing director at Oriental Weavers USA/Sphinx, Gray knows first-hand that the economy has improved, at least for his company. Now he wants to take full advantage.

In the last year, the Dalton-based supplier has aggressively expanded its product assortment with the introduction of 150 new patterns. “Not only have we introduced sever- al new collections that are value priced below our normal offerings, but we have also added new collections that offer the finest quality and most sophisticated designs in our history,” said Gray, who joined the company in 2006 after serving as national accounts manager for Karastan and Mohawk Select. Continue reading Oriental Weavers expands assortment, goes green

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Industry's top selling products vary by region

Most products cross all boundaries when it comes to popularity—big screen TVs are in demand in New York as much as they are in California or Florida.

But when it comes to home decorating items like flooring, where a person lives in the U.S. plays a major role not only on the types of products bought but the particular styles used to spruce up the home. For example, houses in the Northeast are often decorated in more traditional looks while those in the Southwest incorporate more of the region’s Native American heritage in their decors. Continue reading Industry's top selling products vary by region

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New product=double value

I recently saw some cool, new area rugs while at G.Fried’s Carpet and Design Center on Long Island. Wendy, the store’s owner, showed a new offering from Sphinx by Oriental Weavers that features reversible rugs. Part of the Options Collection, the hand-tufted, wool pile area rugs have coordinating, though uniquely different patterns on each side, increasing the design possibilities of a room. Continue reading New product=double value