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Retail

Retailers Report Favorable 2022 Results, Remain Optimistic Despite Challenges

Many dealers expect 2022 to exceed expectations, with some posting double-digit gains, others say the year will keep pace with robust 2021 results.

RugNews.com Editors
12/19/2022
portraits of five flooring dealer executives
Flooring retail executives, top left to right, Susan Hadinger of Hadinger Flooring, Rick Meyers of Meyers Carpet,
Miriam Thompson of The Rug Rack & Décor. Bottom from left: Bruce Odette, of the Carpet Exchange, and Matt Wien,
owner of Marshall Carpet One & Rug Gallery.

SPECIAL REPORT -- Coming off what for many was a record 2021 in rug sales, flooring retailers expected to return to earth in 2022 with what they hoped would be a “soft landing.”

That said, 2022 will wind up exceeding expectations for many dealers, with some posting double-digit gains and others merely satisfied with keeping pace with last year given how robust the year was.

“We are flat for the year in rug sales but maintained a record pace from the previous year,” said Bruce Odette, president of the Carpet Exchange, with 17 locations in Colorado. “We have continued to update the assortment, offering the most popular styles and colors that are available. By doing this, we have developed a following over the years to keep our customers coming back to see what is new and different.”


Bruce Odette, president of the Carpet Exchange, reports that 2022 sales kept pace with 2021.
 
The popularity of hard surfaces continued to drive increased rug sales for Marshall Carpet One & Rug Gallery, Mayfield Heights, Ohio, which is poised to match its record 2021. “We’re about flat compared to last year which we consider a huge win,” said Matt Wien, owner, adding that additional business came from an unlikely source. “We’re seeing customers who are buying these washable rugs online and having poor experiences with them. They are coming back to us looking to purchase better quality rugs that will perform in their households.”


Matt Wien, owner of Marshall Carpet One & Rug Gallery, sales in 2022 are expected to match a record 2021.
 
Other bellwether flooring/rug retailers eked out gains, and then some. Naples, Florida-based Hadinger Flooring, which is trending slightly above last year, saw an uptick following Hurricane Ian, which hit Southwest Florida in late September and devasted large swathes of residential communities throughout the region. “I think Hurricane Ian played a role in our increased sales over the last month and will likely impact our sales over the next several months, if not years,” said Susan Hadinger, president.


Susan Hadinger of Hadinger Flooring expects brisk sales, especially in the custom area, in Southwest Florida to
continue in the wake of damage from Hurricane Ian.


For Rick Myers, co-owner of Myers Carpet Company, with locations in Dalton, Georgia, Atlanta and Nashville, rugs were up a whopping 28 percent over 2021. “Our Atlanta, Nashville and Dalton locations all have workrooms and the most experienced artisans in the floor covering industry for the production of custom rugs, which benefited our business,” he said. Strong consumer reaction to Shaw, Mohawk and Couristan offerings also contributed to the big year.


Rick Myers, co-owner of Myers Carpet, reports double-digit rug sales gains in 2022.
 
WHAT’S TRENDING

The Carpet Exchange’s biggest sellers were transitional rugs, mostly synthetic fibers, with 8x10s the favorite. “We have also seen a surge in runners as well as the 5x8 size continuing to hold its own,” Odette said. “The magic sale price for us is an 8x10 at $599 or under.”

As a retailer appealing to higher-end clientele in the Naples market, Hadinger Flooring sells primarily hand-knotted and hand-tufted rugs along with some machine-made and outdoor rugs. “We continue to see healthy fabricated rug sales,” Hadinger said. “8x10 is our strongest size category followed by 5x8.”

Larger area rugs—10x13, 9x12 and 8x10—in the $2,000 to $3,000 range was a catalyst for Myers. The owner credited the skill of his custom workroom employees as well.

The Rug Rack’s Miriam Thompson witnessed an emphasis on more texture in 2022, explaining “patterns in bold colors as well as more earthy ones in traditional designs were very eye catching and soothing to the eye. Traditional styles are far from going away, and the new color combos mixed with the old make for a great offering.”


Miriam Thompson, of The Rug Rack & Décor, saw an uptick in rugs with texture and bold colors in 2022.
 
OUTLOOK 2023

A slowdown in retail traffic, which began in 2022, is expected to continue next year, at least until inflation eases significantly, executives said. While that prospect is a bit disconcerting, dealers said they still expect to see higher end purchases because the consumers who have money are not afraid to spend it.

“Based on our fourth quarter, we expect 2023 business to continue to be brisk and are forecasting a strong season overall and expect rugs to hold or increase sales,” Hadinger said.

Her sentiment was shared by fellow retailers, including Odette who said both dollars and units for rugs are up double digits in the fourth quarter, “and we are very optimistic about finishing the year strong and continuing the momentum into early 2023.”

Myers said he “sees no reason” that 2023 rug sales would slow down or decline. “As the largest wool carpet retailer in the Southeast and one of the top 10 in the country, we believe the market for high-end rugs will continue.”

Marshall’s Wien, meanwhile, said the increase in higher-end rug purchases more than makes up for the fall-off in foot traffic. “You always want as many people through the door as possible. Hopefully this trend tapers off and the consumer traffic returns to ‘normal’—whatever normal is anymore. As a company, we’re going to continue to do what we’ve always done and that is offer the absolute best service customers can expect from a flooring retailer.”
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