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High Point, Show Recap

High Point Market’s In-Person Event Boosts Area Rug Orders, Part 2

In-stock was the buzzword among area rug buyers shopping High Point Market's first live event of the year. In Part 2 of this two-part exclusive, RugNews.com tours rug showrooms open for business and found that orders were strong and many of the latest introductions a hit.

Jessica Harlan
RugNews high point market montage of rugs and buyers
Clockwise from top left: Nourison's Prismatic rug, shot by designer Gary Inman; Trans-Ocean's Fresco; Kaleen's Tiziano; Designers Kayla Dawn Watson, right, and Victoria Maudlin at Feizy's one of a kind gallery; and Kalaty's Torano.

HIGH POINT, N.C. -- Area rug buyers and designers that participated in the first in-person High Point Market of 2020 were placing serious orders and retailers wanted product that was ready to be shipped to stock their shelves.

While many area rug showrooms were open for business, some chose not to participate in-person due to health concerns or because of low attendance expectations. It was, after all, a High Point Market like no other.

Despite current travel restrictions High Point Market experienced its largest Premarket on record, though officials acknowledged that traffic patterns into High Point would be considerably different than previous years. “We knew this market would be different, but we also knew both buyers and sellers were counting on us to open since home furnishings sales are so strong right now. High Point is where they wanted to be,” commented Tom Conley, president and CEO of the High Point Market Authority.

In fact, area rug showrooms visited by RugNews.com reported that while traffic was down, retailers and designers were hungry for new product to stock shelves or finish projects. And everyone appreciated the live one-on-one interactions as well as the chance to shop rugs in person. 
Part 2 of this comprehensive two-part series continues RugNews.com's report from the trenches with showrooms LR Home to Trans-Ocean by Liora Manne. Don't miss Part 1, where we tour showrooms from Couristan to Loloi.


The Vintage collection by LR Home is a new cut/uncut hand-tufted wool construction in neutral palettes.

In its new showroom with a more prominent location, LR Home showed off a range of new rugs and accessories that included dog bowls and occasional furniture. “Because we’ve added so many home accessories, particularly for indoor/outdoor use, it's become a big category for us,” says Mike Thompson, vice president of sales.

The space also showcased some of LR Homes' latest introductions, including Vintage, a new cut/uncut hand-tufted wool construction, with five traditional bordered designs in a neutral palette. Calypso comes in five patterns and is hand-loomed of wool and viscose. The abstract patterns are executed in pale beige, pink, moss green, and mustard. At $899 for a 6x9, it’s a little higher-end than most of LR Home’s offerings, Thompson said. And, the company’s ever popular Naturals collection continues to expand: this market buyers saw a new jute and cotton design with a border detail on either end, and an all-jute rug in a striped braid that came in both bleached and natural hues. Naturals now comprise more than 40 designs and color combinations. Also, LR Home expanded its accessories offering, adding butterfly chairs with different colors, poufs, pet bowls, frames, indoor/outdoor baskets, poufs and benches.

LR Home continues to expand its popular Naturals assortment with a new jute and cotton design in in natural and navy for market buyers.


Momeni's new Momeni Basics program rolled out at High Point and buyers approved its style and value. Shown, Beckton

The Momeni team has been working hard on new collections and line extensions, so there was plenty to see in the showroom. The new Momeni Basics program, with a $299 price point, was one of the biggest hits of market. “It’s style at a value price,” said Tim Schantz, account executive. The collections to launch this program include Beckton, Charles, Hampton and James. Beckton is hand-loomed wool with hand-carving and a simple bordered look. Charles has a focus on geometric chevron patterns. James features textured solids in hand-tufted wool.

Additional new Momeni arrivals include Simba, a wool hand-tufted rug with contemporary, tribal patterns worked in browns, dark blue and ivory. Ember is hand-loomed over New Zealand wool, with raised geometric patterns and a fringe. Boulder, hand-woven of wool and cotton, is a value riff on the company’s Atlas collection. Bristol, hand-woven of polyester and cotton, features a high-low design and a fringe. And the company’s Cambridge collection has been revamped. Made of viscose and polyester, it’s a Turkish machine-made rug featuring traditional patterns.

For the youngest consumers, Momeni’s Lil Mo line of children’s rugs has a new addition: Lil Mo Snuggles, which are soft, plushy die-cut scatter rugs in shapes like a cactus, a cloud, or a moon. They’re made of polyester and have thickly fringed borders.

Momeni grows its successful printed Asfar collection, featuring rich, over-dyed color palettes.


Always a favorite, Nourison's latest Prismatic collection's carved designs, hand-tufted of wool and Luxcelle, proved no exception this fall.

“Attendance was at least 60 percent lighter than previous markets, but customers that came were looking to buy," Nourison's Giovani Marra, told RugNews.com. "Prismatic, Twilight and Christopher Guy collections as well as one-of-a-kind rugs all did well for us at market. We had strong attendance for our virtual market, and continue to see customers wanting to engage with us virtually.”

Bob Tucci, director of national sales, noted that the customers passing through the showroom were heavily weighted towards designers working on specific projects. Among Nourison's new introductions and line extensions, customers were most drawn to the additions to the company’s successful Prismatic collection of wool and Luxcelle — one was colorful, with gold accents, and the other was a more subtle grey-based design — and they also responded well to the new Infinite collection, which has a traditional Persian feel with updated colors. This line, power-loomed of low-pile polyester and polypropylene, offers the look of a handmade rug, with a micro fringe border, and a sharp price point.

Nourison debuts its luxe hand-knotted, Tibetan-style Plateau collection for buyers seeking more exclusive styling.


The hand-knotted, vintage-styled Izmir collection from Safavieh added new looks for fall 2020 market shoppers.

"Although traffic was down this year, each customer seemed to be there for specific items rather than just browsing," Logan Inman, manager of Safavieh's High Point showroom, told RugNews.com. "Overall we stayed consistently busy with more quality customers – they were looking for individualized projects and most shoppers were looking for wool and cotton rugs – straying from viscose. They were also very interested in a broad selection of furniture from accent tables and chairs to dressers and nightstands; and most shoppers were looking to purchase on the spot this year."
Inman noted that almost every rug inquiry received was for oversized rugs: 10x14 and 12x15 specifically. "Out of everything in the showroom our Lauren Ralph Lauren Collection was the most popular."

Among the other area rug introductions on display in the showroom were a new addition to the Tibetan collection, a 100 percent wool and cotton range made in India, featuring a striking concentric line design, and a new pattern in the Izmir collection of classic Persian garden designs. Made of 100 percent finely worsted New Zealand wool, Izmir is hand-knotted in India and has a distressed, vintage look.

Safavieh expands its Tibetan collection with a concentric geometric design, above, crafted of 100 percent wool and cotton.


Samad's reworked classic designs are recast in trending palettes, notably bold blues, that resonated with designers shopping High Point Market.

Bryon Hamilton, vice president of sales, Samad, said that days into the market, when they saw the light traffic, the company quickly pivoted. “We had to start thinking about what we could do differently,” he noted. “We started calling clients to do a virtual showroom tour. One client was close enough that he ended up coming to market after all, to write his orders.”

And there was plenty for the clients to see — virtually or in-person — in the Samad showroom. The Caspian collection features 100 percent vegetable-dyed wool in a Turkish knot. Available in custom sizes and colors, this collection has an extensive palette, including the trending sage green hue. The Nordic collection, meanwhile, is more understated, relying on the natural colors of wool for variations. And Meridian represents one of the company’s lowest prices on hand-knotted rugs, at $3,300 to $3,500. The collection features traditional florals in muted blues, beige, and charcoal.

Samad's Nordic collection, crafted of natural wool, features understated high-low geometric designs.


Designers and retailers stopped by Surya's High Point showroom and gave hand-knotted higher-ends, such as Birch, above, a thumbs up.

“We were still very pleased with the market,” despite the circumstances, Eric Nyman, director of sales, Surya, said. “The customers that are here, are here to write orders, and we stayed busy.” He reported a good variety of customers passed through Surya’s doors, ranging form designers to retailers from across the country, as well as a handful of national chains. The Surya sales team also used the opportunity of having the showroom set up to conduct virtual showroom walk-through appointments via Zoom and FaceTime. “This pandemic has taught everyone to adapt and get creative,” he explained.

At the Surya showroom, Nyman reported that higher-ended hand-knots were getting good feedback from show attendees. This includes Smyrna, a chunky construction of 100 percent wool, and Sahara, which features braided tassels, a longer pile and a high-low effect. Another hit from market is Gavic, which is ideally positioned for furniture stores. It has a subtle geometric pattern and is machine-woven of polyester and polypropylene. Other highlights in the Surya showroom included Anatolia, a distressed antique look made of hand-knotted wool; Avant Garde, a machine-woven polyester/polypropylene collection offering a designer look at a value price; and Flux, machine-woven of New Zealand wool and polyester, with a clean, contemporary look.

Surya's Gavic, positioned for furniture stores, offers textural geometric patterns in tonal colors, machine-woven of polyester and polypropylene.


The outdoor Fresco collection from Trans-Ocean by designer Liora Manne features a cut pile construction in a range of styles.

"People we typically see in Atlanta or Chicago (at the Casual Market Chicago), they’ve been here instead,” said Dean Smith, vice president of sales for Trans-Ocean, who notes that he met with a number of patio-type retailers and gift stores at High Point. “They haven’t been to market in nine months, and now they’re looking for spring merchandise, or they’re restocking for now.”

Smith sees High Point Market as a bridge to what trade shows and business will be like going forward. “If people come here, it’s the first step in getting back into a routine.”

In the company’s popular scatter rug category, a new line of mats called Illusions, has gotten a lot of attention from market buyers. These rugs are printed on a polyester face. They’re machine washable, nonskid and have a low-profile construction. The printing technique allows designer Liora Manne to “get more detailed designs, and to play with colors,” Smith said. Although the company has offered the construction for about a year and a half, there had been only a few designs, now the line has been significantly expanded to more than 20. A 20- by 30-inch mat retails for $24.99.

There are also lots of new options in Trans-Ocean’s area rug program. In indoor-outdoor rugs, Ipanema is a wavy blue pattern, and Florentine features oversized flowers. Bhutan is a new cut and loop collection featuring stripes, colorful diamonds, and circle motifs. There are also new options in true outdoor rugs. Portofino is a new outdoor collection featuring a range of 16 patterns, from nautical and sea creatures, to botanicals, to simple geometric designs. And Fresco is an outdoor rug in a cut-pile construction, with geometrics, abstracts, traditional designs, and oversized florals. When it comes to indoor rugs, several new patterns are added to the Corsica collection of wool hand-tufted and cut and loop constructions. These include florals, contemporary motifs, and a stepping-stone type design.

Trans-Ocean by Liora Manne had buyers that typically attend Atlanta or Chicago's Casual Market stopping by looking for new product, and its latest printed Illusions mats were a big hit.

-- Don't miss Part 1, where we tour showrooms from Couristan to Loloi
trans-ocean ad spot hri rugs