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Retail

Alliance Flooring Buying Group Rug Vendors Present Innovations at Dealer Conference

CarpetsPlus and Carpetland USA retailers were introduced to innovative area rugs and custom options from longtime rug suppliers and newcomers in materials from wool to woven vinyl.

RugNews.com Editors
11/12/2021
image of buyer reviewing Nourison's craftwork samples display
Flooring retailer Carmen Deling of CarpetsPlus of Fairmont in Minnesota feels the softness of the Craftworks by
Nourison samples from a program featuring hand-crafted rugs, broadloom and custom rugs.

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Alliance Flooring, a buying group composed of about 300 flooring retailers representing the CarpetsPlus/ColorTile and Carpetland USA retail brands, held its “Family Reunion” here at Rosen Shingle Creek in early October where they basked in the group’s success during the COVID-19 pandemic and met with eager dealers looking to buy.

More than two-dozen vendors took part in a Rush Hour buying event where bargains were the name of the game as well as a more traditional trade show the following day. Five new vendors were in attendance, including new rug company Decorative Concepts, which showed off its signature product—a woven vinyl rug. In addition, several carpet mills, among them Dixie and Nourison, introduced new or recent product lines while traditional hard-surface stalwart Tarkett made its initial foray into area rugs under the Tarkett Home banner.

While Alliance Flooring’s product mix has shifted to predominantly hard surfaces over the last decade, soft surfaces is still critical for the retail group’s success. As such, it was well represented at the event.

Decorative Concepts took center stage during the general session to discuss its new “market disrupting” woven vinyl, introduced to the group along with wool blends and 100 percent wool products.


Decorative Concepts touted its woven vinyl area rugs at the Alliance conference.

“The woven vinyl market has not been brought to a group like this in the past,” said Steve Roan, chief revenue officer of Decorative Concepts. “Our woven vinyl has been phenomenal. We are really disrupting the market in terms of both pricing and more toward the value of the product; and we are growing fast.”


A DecoVinyl area rug of woven vinyl designed to perform in indoor and outdoor settings.
 
Branded as “DecoVinyl area rugs,” the company’s superior woven vinyl is designed with long wearing performance qualities suitable for indoor and outdoor spaces. Some of the woven vinyl features include UV stable (which means a stabilizer was added to the resin for protection), phthalate free, and antimicrobial properties (promoting no mold or mildew growth).


Steve Roan, chief revenue officer of Decorative Concepts, meets with Emmy Potapan of Beasley Flooring Company.

The backing system consists of a high density felt cushion called DecoBac, which is said to contribute to the product’s durability. DecoVinyl is offered in 8-feet, 6-inch widths, as well as standard rug sizes. Another line, DecoWool area rugs, is hand-tufted using premium wool.

Roan said DecoWool’s luxurious feel will enhance any setting or accent high style projects. “No one is doing colors in wool like we are,” Roan said.

Tarkett showed Alliance Flooring retailers its new custom rug program that will be sold under a private label name. Offered in six sizes, the rugs are serged and feature an attached pad. “We got some great interest here on our private label lines,” said Laurie Springer, director of buying groups for Tarkett.


Laurie Springer, director of buying groups for Tarkett, stands next to one of the area rugs under the Tarkett Home banner.

The Tarkett rugs are made of solution-dyed polyester and feature multilevel loops. A large player in the hospitality space, Tarkett is using the machines it employs for specified hospitality to make rugs for residential customers. One example is Tribaleigh, a new style with a handwoven flatweave look, which Springer said will give any space a unique textural and design appeal.

Long-time vendor Nourison touted its Craftworks by Nourison featuring hand-crafted rugs, broadloom and custom rugs, as well as its Rug Boutique display.


Don Karlin, director of broadloom sales for Nourison, emphasized to flooring dealers the importance of making the
rug sale while the customer is in the showroom.


Don Karlin, director of broadloom sales for Nourison, said Rug Boutique is the solution for flooring retailers who don’t want to carry extensive inventory as it allows customers to choose from 100 designs, styles and colors ranging from traditional to contemporary. “The cost of a fabricated rug is higher than a finished rug sitting on the shelf,” Karlin said. “That’s where our Rug Boutique program comes into play. It takes the risk away as you don’t have to inventory the rugs.”

During his meetings with retailers Karlin stressed the importance of closing the rug sale while customers are in the showroom. “Over Black Friday weekend, Wayfair sold an area rug every 1.5 seconds,” he said, citing a newspaper report. “With 100 percent of hard surface being covered by a rug eventually, if the retail sales associate is not telling the story to the customer about rugs at that moment, they are giving it away to the web. Simply put, if we don’t ask for the order as an add-on when the customer is in the showroom, we won’t make the rug sale.”
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