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Robert Fritz to Sell His Area Rug Showroom & Rug Inventory

After 45 years in the industry, Fritz is ready to retire and is selling his Raleigh, N.C., gallery and area rug business.

RugNews.com Editors
9/17/2020
portrait of Robert Fritz and his store

Among the top styles with area rug clients of Robert Fritz Oriental Rugs is this contemporary Khorjin design.

RALEIGH, N.C. -- After 45 years in the oriental rug business, Robert Fritz (Bob), is retiring and selling his business along with its entire inventory of handmade new and antique area rugs (hyperlink robertfritzorientalrugs.com).

 

The business inventory includes hundreds of new and antique rugs in a range of styles from transitional to traditional and contemporary. For connoisseurs and collectors, Bob has hundreds of antique rugs and tribal textiles in his private collection also available for sale.

 

A lifelong North Carolina resident, Robert "Bob" Fritz began collecting antique furniture and decorative arts at age 17 while in college.  He is a graduate of the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill with BA, MS and PhD degrees. His interest in Oriental carpets began while living in Afghanistan with the Peace Corps from 1974 to 1975. Since then he has also traveled extensively to rug production centers in India, Pakistan, Turkey, Romania and Nepal, and over the years, his search for unique antique carpets and textiles has led him to major markets around the world networking with dealers who specialize in only the best and most desirable examples.


classic tribal design rug
Among the top sellers at Robert Fritz Oriental Rugs is this Khordjin style area rug.
 
A widely recognized international authority on antique Oriental rugs, as well as contemporary handmade carpet production, Fritz has been a certified rug appraiser for more than 30 years, and was the first to earn ORRA re-certification in 2007. In addition, he has been appointed as a court certified expert in oriental carpet identification and valuation. He has served as an advisor to the Official Identification and Price Guide to Antiques and Collectibles. 

 

Fritz, who built a deep knowledge base for the vintage and antique segment of his business, has spent years amassing a private collection of 400 antique rugs and 100 tapestries. And, he has been buying and selling Oriental and decorative handmade carpets in central North Carolina and across the United States for over 35 years. He brings a unique background and years of experience blending regional styles and tastes in design with the intriguing and complex world of Oriental rug suppliers and wholesalers.


image of rug showroom
Robert Fitz Oriental & Fine Rugs showroom and inventory is for sale.

STYLES THAT SELL AT ROBERT FRITZ RUGS


image of contemporary Angora Kushan area rug

Among some of Robert Fritz Oriental Rugs' top sellers is a contemporary Angora Oushak.


"With over 40 years in the business, I can offer my clients extensive variety in terms of country of origin, age, size, style, color and cost for authentic handmade rugs," Fritz explains. "We keep a very eclectic and diverse inventory of unique rugs as well as samples/examples of what we can get for them. We 'source' from domestic wholesalers and importers about 80 percent to 90 percent of our sales each year.

 

"We are committed to finding the best rug for each client’s needs instead of only selling out of inventory. This keeps overhead down and customer satisfaction very high," he continued. "Clients come to our business because they know we take a one-on-one customer approach to every sale.

 

"Our motto is 'only incredible rugs -- always exceptional values," Fritz told RugNews.com. The process at Robert Fritz Rugs starts with finding out what the buyer is seeking and then showing clients the best options based on their design preference and budget. "They could go to other stores that only offer their in-stock inventory without trying to help find what customers are really wanting."


an Indo Karadje area rug
An updated Indo Karadje style area rug in today's new neutrals palette has been a best-seller at Robert Fritz Oriental.


The area rug gallery tends to offer the best of choices in all price points, from the most expensive and exclusive options when price is not an issue to decorative inexpensive choices when it is. "I have found that the key to customer service and satisfaction is listening to what the customer wants and getting it for them. We as rug professionals know where to source that perfect rug but the customer does not."

 

Promoting this business approach, says Fritz, will insure the showroom's success well into the future regardless of changing floor fashion or design trends. And today, showroom owners can tap innovative and affordable social media marketing campaigns to boost success and awareness in the marketplace.

 

"Keeping up with new product offerings is important to stay on top of new rug and design trends," Fritz explains. "I have been increasingly impressed with the quality, variety and affordability of rugs made in Afghanistan."

 

Fritz currently works with about 75 wholesalers and importers to source his rugs -- many of these dealers consign representative current inventory and samples for his showroom to showcase. "It often takes a bit longer to locate that perfect antique rug, but the search effort is worth the results -- trade shows are very helpful to see new products first hand."

 

CLEANING & RESTORATION SERVICE CONTINUES TO GROW


an antique gabbed area rug

Part of Bob Fritz' personal collection, pieces of which are available for separate purchase, is this antique Bachtiari Gabbeh Mafresh panel.


Robert Fritz Oriental & Fine Rugs has also offered Raleigh-area clients cleaning service in partnership with a local cleaner. In addition, the gallery also offers a cleaning and repair or restoration component, where rugs in need of cleaning and repair are sent to a restorer in New York, with whom Fritz has collaborated for more than 30 years.

 

 "We are very proud to have 100 percent customer satisfaction in all our service work and our service business has grown in recent years to be over 20 percent of our sales, all without any separate marketing. Essentially our average service revenue pays for all overhead expenses including rent. I expect the demand for cleaning and restoration will continue to increase in the future as more clients understand that it is more affordable to preserve or restore a rug than to buy a replacement -- especially in the case of antique rugs.

 

"As an established rug business in the South, I am constantly reminded of the appreciation for traditional designs and colors, and especially antiques. When clients move or downsize they always look for cleaning or restoration of their traditional older rugs and many times seek additional older companion pieces to coordinate with their existing ones. However, Raleigh, as one of the top U.S. destinations for people moving here from other states, we see and are prepared for all types and styles including transitional and contemporary."

 

The showroom is located at 2002 Fairview Rd., Raleigh. For more information, email bob@rforugs.com.


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