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Business

Rug Suppliers Report Strong Response at Surfaces 2020, Part 1

Suppliers representing the broadloom and area rug sectors were encouraged by the turnout and  response to their offerings at Surfaces.

By RugNews.com Editors
2/19/2020
rug vendors and buyers
LAS VEGAS -- Suppliers representing the broadloom and area rug sectors were encouraged by the turnout and the response to their offerings at the International Surface Event (Surfaces), held here Jan. 28-30.

While many rug collections were shown at the nearby Las Vegas Market, several manufacturers displayed standalone rug racks, as well as custom rug programs spun off from their broadloom. As many executives can attest to, the fabrication side of the business is fueling growth in the broadloom segment, with double-digit gains realized.

In Part 1 of this two part special Surfaces report, Rugnews.com visited with several key suppliers at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center who reported the 2020 edition was one of the best Surfaces shows in recent years. Check out Part 2, which continues our coverage. 

COURISTAN

Penny Carnino, VP of Grigby's Carpet,Tile & Hardwood and Len Andolino of Couristan in front of a Pacific Island-inspired series of broadloom collections: Otemanu, Haka and Papeete.

Couristan was one exhibitor ecstatic with the quality of attendees and interest toward the company's new introductions. At Surfaces, 38 new introductions included constructions featuring new textures such as a 100 percent pure virgin wool woven Wilton loop pile, hand-tufted and hand-loomed loop piles, and a nine-row Axminster cut-pile design.

Couristan introduces 19 new indoor-outdoor broadloom, lines at Surfaces, cementing its leadership position in the category. Shown, Belize, Tahiti and Mardi Gras.

"When customers are investing in higher end products, that's when you know the economy is doing well. That is what happened over three days here," said Len Andolino, executive vice president -- residential division.

Similar to other rug/broadloom suppliers, Andolino marveled at how rugs are driving sales for the broadloom division. "It is amazing how much rug business we do from our broadloom business," he said, noting that their fabricated rug business has grown 30 percent collectively over the last three years. "Customers buy carpet and cut it into rugs. We are seeing bigger homes and larger rugs."

Couristan's best-selling St. Vincent in-out collection is punched up with new color in the weft yarn.

"In some cases, a 9x12 is considered small in today's market," he said. "The beauty of the fabricated rug business is we can make it within half an inch of what they need. We can hand serge, machine surge -- we have a lot of options. When developing products for the broadloom division, the first thing we say is 'how is this going to look as an area rug'? If you don't ask that question you are making a mistake because the consumer is going to ask that. I know our designers are asking that question."

KALEEN 

Blake Dennard, Kaleen, BJan Djahanbani Artifacts, owner CEO, Bob Stone Kaleen at the Kaleen Surfaces show booth in front of new broadloom collections.

Kaleen has been growing its presence at Surfaces every year since 2015, when it started out with 11 SKUs. This year, it showed 93. "We've always had great shows here; however, this year -- at least the first day -- has been the best we've seen," said Blake Dennard, senior vice president.

 
The classic menswear pattern in Kaleen's Tattersall wool broadloom was a best seller in the new all natural Pure Life collection.

The growth at Surfaces also coincides with the growth in Kaleen's broadloom business, which grew 35 percent in 2019 after increasing 50 percent the previous year. "We've always had a core following in rugs but in five years broadloom has caught up with our rug business," Dennard said. What's notable about that statistic, however, is that 40 percent of Kaleen's broadloom business is fabricated. 

Kaleen's Monty Rathi, COO, and Radhe Rathi, CEO, show off the company's new mascot - a ceramic elephant (Kaleen's logo symbol) adorned with broadloom samples at the company's Surfaces 2020 exhibit. 

At Surfaces, Pure Life was a showstopper. "Pure Life has been huge; it's been very well received," Dennard said. The environmental story behind Pure Life has resonated -- in particular that it is produced with no oils; uses all-natural glue; does not contain any harmful chemicals and is shipped in 100 percent biodegradable packaging. The company has been GOTS-certified for its use of natural dyes in Pure Life products.

All Pure Life products are handmade of pure wool by Kaleen's master weavers. Shown, the Tattersall collection, a best-seller at Surfaces. 

KARASTAN

Ray Huber of Carpet Outlet, owner/president, with Karastan Mohawk Home's John McLeod and Jake Sweeters.

The company called it "The Karastan Experience." This experience is their 12-foot wall unit display with built-in kiosk that created buzz and drew retail traffic at Surfaces. The centerpiece of the display is the interactive, self-serve kiosk that allows users to explore the unique and luxurious rugs provided by Karastan. Users can touch and feel the quality of the rugs -- which includes wool, SmartStrand fiber and nylon -- without requiring immediate help from a retail sales associate. 

The Karastan wall display with digital kiosk positioned as an endcap (above) and detail of rug samples and custom broadloom swatches with bindings.

 "A unit like this can change the mindset of buying rugs," said Kelly Moore, senior vice president of sales, Mohawk Home. "In this industry, people don't want to be sold rugs; they want to buy a rug. This display unit lets them shop by fiber type and gives them access to the entire Karastan line." The Karastan display can be folded or adjusted to fit a retailer's designated area. It is expected to be available in June.

Kelly Moore of Mohawk Home speaks with interested retailers at Surfaces about Karastan's space-saving 12-foot display with built-in digital kiosk

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