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High Point, Show Recap, Trends

OAK Rugs and Custom Programs Enjoy Continued Uptick

Several area rug players rolled out new custom rug programs and grew their OAK assortments at the spring High Point Market -- and retail buyers and interior designers snapped up unique looks.

Lisa Vincenti
5/9/2022
collage of one of a kind and vintage rug displays at high point
Several area rug players rolled out new custom rug programs and grew their OAK assortments at the spring High Point Market
-- and market buyers snapped up unique in-stock looks. Clockwise, top row, left, Nourison, Feizy, Surya, Loloi, Kaleen, and Momeni

HIGH POINT, N.C. -- Several area rug exhibitors at the spring High Point Market amped up their offerings of one-of-a-kind rugs and custom options, and those strategies paid off with market buyers.

In fact, high-quality hand-knotted and hand-made area rugs have been experiencing a renaissance in recent years as consumers spent more time at home during the pandemic and began investing in their interiors. With the prevalence of hard surfaces in residential design, as Americans stayed home, they began improving their spaces and also seeking out noise dampers and warming finishing touches to areas that had formerly been largely ignored -- home offices, hallways, the outdoors.

At the high-end of the market, designers and end-users have always sought out distinctive and exclusive area rugs to deliver a personal or unique look to their interiors. Now they also want them because they can’t be comparison shopped online.

What's more, for the past several markets, and even during the height of the pandemic via virtual meetings, there has been a growing demand by high-end retail buyers and by interior designers finishing up projects to source original high-quality area rugs to offer their clients – especially OAKs which are in stock. As a result several rug vendors have increased their commitment to OAKS and beefed up their custom programs at the spring 2022 High Point to capture a larger share of the pie.

RugNews.com tours the latest OAK and custom additions at the showrooms of area rug exhibitors and finds out how buyers responded to the latest strategies.

FEIZY


Feizy continues to show off more one-of-a-kind area rugs as the category's popularity continues to rise.

Feizy not only added more one-of-a-kind area rugs to its High Point Market assortment but introduced its curated designer-driven Revolution fine rugs this spring. In addition, the rug maker showcases its range of custom rug options as well.

"Revolution was met with rave reviews from our clients," Cameron Feizy told RugNews.com, noting that not only are designers purchasing OAK and Revolution rugs, but retailers are as well. In fact, Feizy has been featuring handcrafted one-of-a-kind new, antique and semi-antique rugs at High Point for several years, adding to the category as demand grew. What's more, the company has invested in the category, adding some 20,000 OAKs to its website and creating a concierge service to help clients find the perfect OAK.


The spring 2022 High Point assortment continues that strategy by not only featuring OAKS but introducing the new Revolution program.

"The designer market certainly is a large consumer of our OAK/Revolution pieces. But we also consistently have retailers work with us as well to get unique products into the hands of their clients," Feizy said.

"Being curated, Revolution felt special and unique to everyone who saw it. Clients were very impressed with the level of quality in construction as well as the high-end fibers like New Zealand wool and silk."

For its one-of-a-kind selection the company offered more than 500 OAK rugs in its showroom, offering a large variety of styles including rounds and runners, which have increasingly become popular with Feizy clients, he noted.

"Updated traditionals and contemporary pieces continue to be popular with our OAK shoppers. Our typical OAK buyer is a client who is looking for something completely unique, be it in size, coloration or design. These clients don’t want to have the rug their neighbor has from a mass retailer; these clients want something special that will be not only an investment but a statement piece."


In addition to its OAK selection and Revolution area rugs, Feizy showcased its custom area rug capabilities at spring
High Point Market.

KALEEN


Kaleen's dramatically expanded Showplace showroom features a distinct space for its broadloom and Kaleen Custom,
a new, easy-to-use custom one-of-a-kind merchandising system.

Kaleen has invested heavily in its custom capabilities introducing not only its Luxe by Kaleen's Sikri collection last year, and rolling out Kaleen Custom at the January '22 Las Vegas Market.


"Our Sikri collection, branded as LUXE, is available only at brick and mortar stores, and to the trade and designers -- we received great feedback from High Point shoppers," Monty Rathi, COO said, noting designer attendance for Kaleen was "outstanding" at spring market, with a 50 percent uptick from a year earlier. "Customers liked the Sikri program sizes, which are in stock, but also appreciated that it is available in any size, from 15 feet wide up to 50 feet long, in 120 days hand-serged. The industry is struggling to deliver and we have reduced the gap for our customers providing any size custom-made with delivery in 120 days."

Adds Blake Dennard, senior vice president, "Sikri is a hard MAP and is very limited in online exposure, so the B&M retailers love it." He added that, likewise, the new custom broadloom program was a "huge hit" with furniture retailers at the show.

Kaleen Custom now includes a simplified retail merchandising unit geared toward furniture and rug dealers, as well as designers. "They can choose from over 850 SKUs, and any custom size can be produced in 10 days out of our warehouse in Georgia," Rathi said.

Explains Dennard, "Our merchandising unit and literature are built with the furniture retailer in mind, while our broadloom products have done outstanding in carpet retail locations. The new merchandising unit features the product lines from a custom rug viewpoint rather than a carpet viewpoint, so the furniture store sales associate is comfortable with the selling process."


The Kaleen Luxe label's Sikri collection is available in any size, from 15 feet wide up to 50 feet long, in 120 days.

LOLOI


Loloi continues to commit to OAKS, relocating its one-of-a-kind offering at the spring High Point Market.

Loloi, a long-time supplier of one-of-a-kind rugs, also has continued to amp up its commitment to the category adding to its program at the spring High Point Market. In fact, the company has grown not just the number of OAK rugs, but continues to expand its one-of-a-kind pillows and wall art as well, both of which attract a large number of market-growers.

"While Loloi has participated in the OAK rug category since starting in business back in 2004, we have been continuously expanding our OAK assortment every year since," said Austin Craley, VP of sales. "It is now a major volume driver for the company, with a team of people dedicated to just that area."

The Dallas-based company is a source for both vintage and contemporary OAK rug designs, as well as antique rugs, sourcing its one-of-a-kinds from Turkey and Pakistan, in mostly wool transitional, traditional and modern designs, Craley noted. "Customers today are very interested in hearing the stories and history behind the rugs, especially on vintage and antique rugs, as they love to mix them with newer rugs for a modern balance bringing a lot of life into the setting," he said, adding, "Our typical buyer of OAK rugs is the furniture or flooring store that has a rug department, many of which have design staff or sales specialists that can romance the rug's history and story to the consumer when they are selling it."

In addition to offering original one-of-a-kind rugs, Loloi also offers custom rug options. "Custom rugs have been a large and growing part of Loloi's business, especially our rugs from India," Craley explained. "While our line is now extremely broad, when a customer needs that 'special' rug, custom options can fill that void. We fill multiple custom rug [orders] weekly, despite the supply chain challenges currently being faced."


Loloi's antique, vintage and contemporary OAK rugs offer buyers an original story to share with end users.

MOMENI


Momeni doubled its offering of one-of-a-kind rugs at High Point market, adding an additional space for spring shoppers.

Momeni, long a leader in one-of-a-kind rugs, has continually committed more space to the category, and doubled its assortment to about 2,000 OAKs at the spring edition of High Point. The company, in addition to featuring OAKs in its new OAK gallery, which is part of its main IHFC space, also leased a second showroom just for OAKs.

"Momeni imports OAKs from India, Pakistan and Turkey in all sizes and ranges of prices from $5 per square foot up to $25 a square foot," Aria Momeni, vice president & CFO, said. "We had about 2,000 pieces at High Point Market, and we sold about 85 percent."

The OAK offering includes contemporary, tribal, transitional and some traditional rugs. "The specialty stores and furniture stores are the typical shoppers of the category, and the end user is an affluent household with discretionary income," Momeni continued.

However, he pointed out that designers and decorators are also big users of OAKS, and that designer traffic at High Point Market has increased alongside the demand for housing. "Some designers were telling us they are not taking more projects since they are way too busy."


A major appeal of OAK rugs is not only that they are original, but also in stock. Above, among the classic rug
styles at the dedicated Momeni OAK space.

NOURISON


Nourison's new Reserve custom program features many of the company's best-selling handmade area rugs.

For spring High Point shoppers, Nourison not only added an extra OAK showroom but also introduced its new Reserve custom rug brand. Reserve by Nourison is targeted at primarily brick and mortar stores, upscale dealers and designer showrooms that sell higher quality area rugs. The product selection is curated and contains many of Nourison’s best-quality hand-made rug programs such as Divine, Ocean, Silk Shadows and Christopher Guy.

"Our products that were displayed in the one-of-a-kind area as well as the custom programs are nothing new to what we have been doing for many years," Alexander Peykar, president, said. "However, we made a stronger presentation to bring to the buyers' attention that we are a serious player and a source for higher quality one-of-a-kind and custom area rugs.

"The reaction and results were very favorable, and most likely it will be a step towards future awareness and continued success for these categories for us," he added, noting that most sales in the category were to the company's brick and mortar retailers.

Nourison's OAK offering focused on fashion-driven contemporary designs. Peykar said, "We did well with modern and contemporary designs, as well as some traditional patterns with modified looks and colors that brings it a lot closer to a bridge that connects the traditional world to modern living."


Nourison showcased its one-of-a-kind area rug array in a second IHFC showroom for spring.

SURYA


Surya's expansive revamped High Point Market showroom sets aside plenty of space for OAKs.

Surya, which completely re-merchandized its spacious High Point Market Showplace showroom, carved out a generous space dedicated to the company's expanding one-of-a-kind area rug offering. "Customers are looking for unique pieces with a rich history," Satya Tiwari explained of Surya's commitment to the category, which it entered with a big push in 2020.


Surya's clients appreciate not only the stories behind each OAK but also that they are ready to ship.
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