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New York, Show Recap

NY Home Fashions Market Offers Snapshot of Top-Selling Rug Trends at Major Retailers

Area rug vendors at the spring New York Home Fashions Market, which saw buyer attendance inch toward pre-pandemic levels, deep dive into trends driving mass merchant sales.

Lisa Vincenti
4/1/2022
Oriental Weavers New York City showroom interior
Mass merchants scoop up the latest area rugs at the OW showroom during New York Home Furnishings Market.

NEW YORK -- Area rug vendors at the spring New York Home Fashions Market, which saw buyer attendance approach pre-pandemic levels, expect that many rug directions sought after by mass merchants will translate well at the upcoming High Point Market.

The March 21-24 spring event, which caters to home fashions buyers from mass merchants and e-commerce accounts, recorded increased attendance as more national chains eased travel restrictions put in place at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to all surveyed area rug executives. And while appointments have not reached pre-pandemic levels at the show yet, the numbers are moving in the right direction. What's more, area rug executives who participated in New York Home Fashions Market this spring said that demand for area rugs continues to be robust -- a trend they anticipate will continue at High Point Market, scheduled for April 2-6, 2022.

Mass merchant and e-commerce buyers continue to demand in-stock area rugs and home accessories and the most popular choices for the category include performance rugs, printed designs - many of which are now being offered in softer or plusher constructions, natural style looks and environmentally conscious designs.

RugNews.com stops by New York rug showrooms -- most of which were forced to relocate to new spaces throughout the NoMad neighborhood near the Textiles Building at 295 5th Ave., after that property stopped renewing showroom leases in 2019 -- to survey participants on the major drivers of mass merchant rug sales.

ORIENTAL WEAVERS


OW introduces the 13-color indoor-outdoor Largo collection of flatweaves.
 
Among the relocated area rug showrooms, Oriental Weavers, which now occupies the airy 11th and 12th floors at 260 Fifth Ave., completed most of the renovations at its new NYC showroom, which held a soft opening in October 2021.

Jonathan Witt, president at Oriental Weavers USA, is encouraged by the appointments the company experienced during New York Home Fashions Market, which just a few weeks ago was predicted to be light following the Omicron variant surge after the holiday season.

“Attendance is slowly climbing back to pre-COVID levels," Witt told RugNews.com. "It was 25 percent of normal at the October 2021 show and now we are at 40 percent to 50 percent of normal. It is encouraging … High Point is looking pretty good, and Vegas actually turned out to be great for us, much better than expected. People are waiting a lot longer to make the call because they are uncertain about another spike."

For Oriental Weavers, and most other vendors surveyed at the NY show, performance rugs continue to drive mass merchant sales. "The big story right now for mass merchants continues to be performance. Obviously the color and design have to be right, and softness with fiber has been important for the past three to four years. But the big thing that is resonating is family friendly, pet friendly performance — easy living. Now we can do so many things where you really can’t tell if the rug was a handmade wool or a synthetic performance."

In addition, OW's washables has found success as well. "We had a great reaction in Vegas and it has really started to take off. We are coming up with some new merchandising for retailers to use in stores, so we are really excited about that program.

At the OW NYC space, buyers were able to browse the washable Piper collection, which features a range of designs from distressed medallion to Shibori-inspired in a palette of blues. Largo, an indoor-outdoor polypropylene flatweave with 13 colors, brings traditional indoor styles to the outdoor category. Finally, OW debuts Brookfield, a range of polypropylene and shrink polyester designs in a new creel.

"Demand isn’t where it was at the peak, but it is so much greater than it was in 2019," Witt said. "The levels are still high, even with everything going on in the world."


The new Brookfield collection by OW features a new creel and fresh high-low designs.


Washable rugs are trending at mass and the new Piper collection offered a range of styles.

NOURISON


Nourison introduces the plush hand-tufted wool Modern Edge collection, which is heading to High Point.

Nourison, which now has a showroom at 230 Fifth Ave., also reported that many major mass merchant customers returned to in-person presentations for market. The company still presented to some major accounts via virtual tours, however.

Giovanni Marra, director of marketing and digital strategy, said "Some of our bigger accounts are coming back for the first time in three years. Compared to fall 2019, it's still less but there are more people that are physically coming in."

Marra, who said Nourison will bring several of the collections on show at New York to High Point, notes that the focus in North Carolina will be on the company's higher-end rugs, new custom program and one of a kinds.

Buyers at the Nourison showroom were also looking for performance rugs, fresh designs to update stores, soft area rugs, as well as stocking up on the latest scatter rugs, some of which (Quinn collection) are crafted from 30 percent recycled fiber, and brand pillows as well.

Among the performance-focused introductions that are popular with mass merchants are the new Nourison Easy Care collection, and Diamond. Plush rugs remain directional, and Nourison's new solid color Lush Shag and new tufted wool Modern Edge assortment ticked the right boxes as well.


Nourison debuts Thalia, a collection of textural warm-toned rugs. with textural motifs.


New York buyer's loved this in-out rug in vibrant orange from Nourison's new Diamond collection.


Nourison's best-selling Aloha in-out collection of rugs now has complementary pillows.

SURYA


Surya expects this design (BLR-2306)from its new Berlin collection to be among the year's most popular. 

What was hot at the Surya showroom, located at 41 Madison Ave., echoed successes at other showrooms. Among the most important categories for Surya clients were washable and foldable rugs (among them, Lillian, a woven polyester collection, and Lyna, also a washable high-design collection). Also trending at the Surya space were textural designs, notably the latest additions to Berlin, which is machine-woven of polypropylene and polyester. In addition, the company's new Signature collection, made of 100 percent recycled PET fibers -- a construction that helps corporations meet their ESG (Environmental, social and governance) criteria, which measures ethical impact and sustainability of corporate policies.

"We got to meet with some major new retailers, and for New York, Surya flexed its muscle with our unique constructions," Satya Tiwari, president, told RugNews.com. "This is still a new venue for us, but we have had some great success."

Surya had returned to NY Home Fashions Market the spring of 2019 following a long hiatus. The company has found growing success with each consecutive market.

"Mass merchants were always a good place for rugs, but historically it was more about value. Now it is style and value," Tiwari said. "With the evolution in rugs when it comes to design, style and texture, now you can really buy a rug that is priced well, has a great design and great perception -- today we offer some amazing looks and texture at a price that wasn’t available before.

"The rug category is growing at mass, and while it is still a small piece of the pie, mass merchants are making the category more productive. They are trying to make sure that their merchandise brings newness into stores regularly to attract the consumer who is more fashion- or decor-oriented. So, for us, it is a big part of our long-term growth strategy."


Surya's soft and textural Naila collection will be on display at High Point Market.


The new Adler collection by Surya offers tonal high-low geometric designs.

MOMENI


Performance rugs are hot and Momeni's new Vines collection of tonal high-low geometrics was a hit.

Momeni, which welcomes NY Home Fashions buyers at its 3 W. 30th St. second floor showroom, focused its spring introductions on machine-made qualities. The company introduced several new collections and constructions for mass merchant shoppers -- and the big take away is that performance and easy-care rugs, and printed designs remain hot sellers.

"Our appointments have been with the major league buyers, so it is a market where we see some of our larger accounts. Appointments have been heavier this spring -- we also have strong appointments for High Point as well," Reza Momeni, founder and owner, said.

"Performance and easy-care is really driving retail sales; people aren’t really using the indoor-outdoor label but instead what we are hearing from buyers is easy-care and performance." Momeni has been recasting trending patterns in easy-care constructions. Among the new lines that resonated at home fashions market are the Kingdom collection of animal prints, machine-made of polypropylene. The company's Hamptons collection, part of the Momeni Basics series, added new designs in charcoal for spring. And among the market's favorites is the new Vines assortment featuring high-low modern geometric design made of polypropylene and appropriate for use inside and out.


Printed rugs are a top choice for mass merchants and Momeni grows the category with Chandler.


The best of both worlds, plush and printed, Lucy collection rolls out at the Momeni showroom.

HAROUNIAN RUGS INTERNATIONAL (HRI)


An impossibly rich design hails from HRI's just-introduced 2 million point Lentis collection.

Harounian Rugs International (HRI) with its massive Rug District space at 104 W. 29th St., also reports that many major national accounts returned to New York Home Fashions Market for the first time in three years -- a development that bodes well for other 2022 markets. In fact, Lee Harounian said that appointments reached about 80 percent of 2019 figures. 

"We have so many new collections, 12 different ones, and they made a tremendous impact at market," Harounian said. "Buyers are coming back for performance rugs, and they are also seeking PET fiber and natural designs as well."

Among the introductions are two highly intricate 2-million-point collections: Lentis is crafted of polyester and viscose with high-low traditional motifs. And, Concord, a transitional line in neutral tones, is crafted of viscose and acrylic. In addition, plush looks from the Estoria shag range offer contemporary high-low geometric patterns that resonated with buyers looking to update their soft area rug assortments. The colorful Garden collection of transitional designs was popular with New York Home Fashions Market buyers, as were the shimmering high-low abstract designs from the new Daphne assortment.


HRI's new Daphne collection feature shimmery accents and textural motifs.
 

New York big box buyers gave HRI's new Garden collection a big thumbs up.
 
LOLOI


The plush and dense colorful patterns of Loloi's new Amor collection was popular for buyers looking to make a splash.

For spring 2022 market, more buyers shopped the Loloi second floor-thru showroom at 260 5th Ave., with some customers attending their first in-person event since 2019.

"It is not quite back to 2019 levels yet -- we have had to do several appointments virtually for those that still aren’t traveling," said Austin Craley, vice president of sales. "But we are seeing customers here that haven’t been to this market since fall of 2019. So that is encouraging. And we have the same thing happening at High Point. We have several customers coming who haven’t been to a market since 2019, so we are very excited about that. High Point should be a very busy market."

Loloi, which brings area rug collections specifically created for the mass merchant channel, is keyed in on trends that have been extremely sought after in the past few seasons, updating looks with fresh color and design.

"What is driving mass market rug sales is the continued to trend toward freshness, uniqueness," said Craley. "You have to keep coming up with fresh and new. Customers are all about thickness and softness, color and apparent value -- and those are the features that are driving the mass. Rugs needs a compelling feature to a draw customer to it. We introduced several new printed constructions, including soft constructions, which are a driving force."

Offering buyers rugs with a high perceived apparent value — whether that is a flat printed construction with eye-catching design, or introducing new plusher printed designs featuring an ultra-soft hand, or adding tufted looks that feature colorful looks and dense, thick piles, are the drivers for New York shoppers, Craley explained.

"The printed category has been very, very hot for a while now and we have several new printed constructions here. We have several soft constructions too. Those two categories have been the driving force for us."

In addition, natural fibers and natural-style designs remain "one of the hottest looks" today.


Printed rugs remain a top-seller in New York for Loloi, which rolled out dozens of new designs for market.


Loloi introduces new printed constructions that offer a softer touch. Shown, Rosette collection designs
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