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Business, Las Vegas

Rug Execs Remain Cautiously Optimistic Heading to Vegas Market

Area rug executives are expecting more typical summer traffic at the upcoming Las Vegas Market yet remain cautiously optimistic for the second half of 2023.

Lisa Vincenti
montage of popular rugs and expected hits
Area rug debuts and recent market hits will help rug makers meet 2023 goals.

SPECIAL REPORT -- Area rug executives are expecting more customary summer traffic at the upcoming Las Vegas Market and remain cautiously optimistic regarding sales for the second half of the year.

In fact, area rug makers have invested heavily in not only expanding their offerings, with many rolling out or revamping custom rug programs in the past several seasons, they have also been pushing the envelope to develop affordable machine-made -- and even hand-knotted  -- options that up value perception. In the middle segment too, there has been more activity as several area rug companies expand or return to the tufted category.

Nourison's latest additions to its densely hand-tufted Prismatic collection in warm tones are striking it rich. Shown, PRS35

"Summer is always a little lighter than winter Vegas, but we are expecting a good turnout for this market," reports Giovanni Marra, VP of marketing and creative at Nourison Home, noting that while, "business has been up and down this year, we expect this summer to be stronger than summer 2022. And we expect to see modest growth this year.”

Nourison, which recently rebranded to Nourison Home in early 2022, launched its custom rug program called Custom Reserve Studio. That program offers more than 300 hand-knotted designs, and rugs are shipped within 3-5 months based on size. As a counterpoint, Nourison has also been expanding its lineup of washable rugs, which continue to perform well, as do its lineup of indoor-outdoor options. Summer Vegas shoppers can expect introductions to the luxe wool and silk hand-knotted additions to the Christopher Guy area rug program, and the first machine-washables in the Inspire Me! Home lineup as well.

"We are doing well at both the high- and low-end of the market. Indoor/outdoor rugs continue to do very well for us," Marra continued. "Our wool rugs and custom programs are also selling well. We expect this to continue for the rest of the year."

Feizy's new machine-made Gilmore collection offers bold contemporary styles. Shown, GIL-39MPF

Likewise, Feizy, which is introducing several new rug collections in machine-made, tufted and hand-knotted qualities, is also upbeat.

"We have some great appointments scheduled for summer market," said Mike Riley president. "We have some great new Fine and machine-made introductions that we are so excited to show. We make sure we are focused on all categories, so there is something for everyone."
The rug maker, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, also recently opened the doors on a spacious, new duplex High Point Market showroom. Top-selling collections have included updated traditional hand-knotted designs, from collections such as Ronin and Harmon. to its latest tufted designs, for which Feizy developed a new technique to produce a higher-quality tufted product. And its machine-made rugs, including the Clio collection, which sees a summer line extension, and Gilmore lineup, are expected to attract attention.

"So far this year, we're doing better than last year by a high single-digit percentage," Riley said. "However, foot traffic has slowed down as we enter the summer. The upcoming third and fourth quarters are causing some concern, nonetheless, we're cautiously optimistic about the fall."

Kaleen's latest high-end hand-knotted LUXE label continues to gain ground for its natural, organic styling. Shown, Jara

Kaleen also remains positive regarding the remainder of 2023, with COO Monty Rathi, saying, "Even though summer is historically a slow season, we are optimistic and expect Las Vegas Market to draw a fair amount of traffic from key customers."

Kaleen heads to summer showcasing the latest additions to its high-end hand-knotted LUXE collection, which offers customization options turned around in less than 90 days. What's more the company has continued to expand its broadloom program, adding new brands including its Hook & Beam lineup of indoor-outdoor options. These two categories have been driving sales at the company.

"Our focus this season, and going forward, is on our LUXE collection and our customization capabilities, both of which continue to grow thanks to ongoing increases in demand from our existing and new customers. Shoppers more and more need special sizes and shapes. We've ramped up our operations to deliver our top-tier soft-flooring qualities to their specifications – and quickly. Most of our custom orders are shipped in10 days; our custom orders for our LUXE hand-knotted qualities are shipped in less than 90 days." Rathi remains bullish on the remainder of 2023, adding, "We're anticipating a strong second half, although not up to par with the year-over-year period. That said, all of our categories of goods are driving sales and contributing to our growth - in particular, our broadloom/carpet programs and our customization services."

HRI's recently introduced Lola collection of blush-toned textural Oushak motifs was an instant hit with market-shoppers. 
Shown, LO-23017

Harounian Rugs International (HRI) also has high hopes for the rest of the year. "There definitely has been a slowdown in the overall economy and in the rug business in 2023 due to uncertainty in the markets. But, regardless, we continue to have a very positive revenue growth expectation for the second half of this year," Greg Jordt, EVP, sales and marketing, told RugNews.com.

The company will continue to feature and focus on transitional/contemporary looks, "because those categories are what is trending and what we are selling very well," Jordt said, adding that HRI also has a "few surprises in some unique traditional looks" in store for buyers. HRI, which is offering free freight to qualified buyers, has been introducing several trend-driven handmade area rug collections, with some recent debuts becoming instant hits. One such winning newcomer is Lola, a transitional offering featuring updated Oushak styles in pastel colorways. Lola rugs are hand-knotted of hand-carded wool yarns of varying thickness to produce a more attainable price point. For summer and fall marketgoers the company is adding still more fresh styles. HRI adds Viceroy, another transitional assortment of floral patterns in subtle neutral styling. These rugs are hand-knotted of PET.

"Coming out of a very strong High Point Market, we are expecting to see another well attended market in Vegas," Jordt added. "We are seeing our market traffic build and build at every market as we get further away from the 'pandemic markets'. We will see more people and do more business at this market than we did last summer."

Loloi showcases a variety of new handmade qualities full of texture and value at higher price points for summer. 
Shown, Stiles 03

Loloi heads into its third summer market, following events in Atlanta and Dallas with an again expanded presence at its World Market Center Building B showroom. "Loloi has a busy summer market season, showing in the Dallas, Atlanta and Las Vegas markets," Austin Craley, VP of sales, Loloi, said. "We have recently physically expanded all three showrooms, as we feel it is important to continue bringing the Loloi brand to customers wherever they are able to visit us, especially during these uncertain economic times."

For summer market, Loloi will present its expanded assortment of lower-end goods, introducing fresh prints, washables, outdoor rugs and lower-priced pillows and wall art. At the opposite price point spectrum, Craley said, "We are introducing many handmade qualities that showcase lots of texture and value at higher price points, such as Raven, Stiles, Varena and Tallulah. These are designed for our higher-end furniture stores, design firms and retailers."

Craley expects Loloi to continue to grow in the remainder of 2023 despite the challenging economics. "Our customers know that we are always by their side, willing to help them navigate their way. Fresh, in-stock inventory, priced right to sell allows us to keep gaining market share and being the brand of choice."

Capel's colorful and popular Verve collection adds several fresh designs for shoppers in Vegas.

Capel, which is a go-to source for domestically made braided rugs, is showing off its range at the summer Vegas market. And while the company expects summer traffic to be somewhat dampened, it remains optimistic for the remainder of the year. "We have so much newness -- Verve, our popular colorful Oushak program is being greatly expanded," Cameron Capel said. "We are also adding to our Capel Anywhere selections, which are perfect for the outdoors and summer."

For Vegas, the company is particularly excited about showing its Manhattan collection, which showcases black and white machine made, very plush contemporary designs. Capel said the company is “obviously hoping the economy bounces back somewhat. I am thinking sales will pick up in the late fall, as kids are back in school, and travel slows down,” she explained.

Rug & Kilim focuses on the designer segment rolling out new collections aimed at the higher-end. Shown, French 
Deco design 27929

New York rug purveyor Rug & Kilim has been tweaking its growth plans in recent years and continues to do so. "In past few years, we've had more of a wholesale focus, taking a lot of stock rugs and new collections to markets," said Sina Nazmiyal, VP, pointing to the company's recently introduced Scandinavian Nu and Rez Kilim collections. R&K, which has a long history of providing custom area rugs to designers, returned to its roots to begin to focus more on its top designer accounts adding several designer driven pieces, notably its luxe Art Deco collections, to its assortment.

"For summer Vegas we are focusing on the clients that come to that show. We've selected a far more particular sample selection for the West Coast market — more blues, more flatweaves, simpler, cleaner aesthetics — so our expectations are to hit home with interior designers." 
"We are putting a very large emphasis this year on our custom work with our designers—creating new collections with designers in mind to feed studios, libraries and more."

-- Make sure to see more of the latest introductions in RugNews.com's Insiders' Guide to Rugs at LVMKT
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