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Retailers Encouraged to Offer Rugs at FCA Network Convention

Broadloom vendors showcase rug offerings and custom capabilities to help flooring retail members compete with online rug sellers.

RugNews.com Editors
image of FCA rug buyers reviewing broadloom samples
The Dixie Group’s Bill Waters (far left) and Bill Storey show retailers the latest offerings from DH Floors (formerly Dixie Home).

SCOTTSDALE, Arizona -- FCA Network, a buying group of roughly 75 flooring retailers, celebrated its 25th anniversary during its national convention in Scottsdale, earlier this month, where several vendors showcased offerings that were available in broadloom as well as area rugs.

FCA Network is made up largely of flooring retailers from the Midwest and mountain West regions, where soft surface continues to claim most of the floor space. In fact, FCA is alone among buying groups with a soft surface component accounting for roughly 50 percent of its inventory.

As such, the convention centered around some key new soft surface introductions from the likes of Shaw, Mohawk, Phenix Flooring and The Dixie Group.

During a keynote speech, Pami Bhullar, vice president of business development for The Dixie Group (brands DH Floors, Masland and Fabrica) made it a point to encourage retailers to go hard after area rug sales. “I know most of you are into hard surfaces,” Bhullar told the audience. “But did you know that three weeks after you install hard surface in your customer’s home, that same customer is going to be in the market for area rugs? Make sure you take advantage of this opportunity and don’t let the customer go to Wayfair for their rug.”

Pami Bhullar, VP of business development for Dixie (far right), talks to retailers Buddy Mitchell (far left) and Karyn
Mitchell (second from right) of Simply Floors. Bhullar urged retailers to close the rug sale after a hard surface purchase.

FCA Network does not offer custom rug programs, according to Liz Rivera, FCA Network buyer, in part because members are spread out across a diverse span of markets. “We let the retailers figure out rugs because the category is so market-specific,” she said. Nonetheless, more and more vendors are stepping in to offer broadloom and area rug solutions for retailers, including innovative products to help sell the category.

Liz Rivera, buyer for FCA Network, with retailers. “We let the retailers figure out rugs because it is so market-specific.”

As a result, rugs continue to be an important piece of business for a number of retailers. As Sara Livensparger, manager at West Bay Floor Source in Westlake, Ohio, noted, “When people buy hard surfaces, we have had success adding the rug sale; customers like the option of being able to customize their space.”

Wholesale Carpets & Flooring, Fox River Grove, Illinois, was another dealer heeding the advice of pairing rugs with hard surfaces. “It’s important to us. We do a significant amount of soft surface, and we sell custom area rugs,” said Steve Knisely, owner/manager, who also provides tips on buying and maintaining area rugs on his Facebook page.

Core vendor Phenix Flooring was showing retailers its Signature Home Pet Safe collection. As the exclusive provider of polyester and nylon carpets with built-in Microban antimicrobial protection, Phenix said its carpets and rugs remain 99 percent cleaner than untreated surfaces.

“In a market where a huge part of the carpet business is rugs, we’re trying to get a piece of that rug business where it makes sense,” said Jason Hair, vice president of sales. Phenix showed Mirage, a 77-ounce face weight product made of solution-dyed yarn that makes for an ideal rug, Hair said.

Jason Hair, vice president of sales for Phenix: “We’re trying to get a piece” of the rug business.

The Dixie Group showed its Elements collection which is sold private branded to FCA members who can order rugs through the company’s web portal.

Shaw Industries continues to offer members custom-sized area rugs from its Anderson Tuftex and Shaw Floors brands. The rugs can be ordered through the company’s web portal.
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