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Business, Show Recap

Strong Traffic at Atlanta Market Signals Positive Start to the Trade Show Season

Area rug participants at Atlanta Market reported a stronger, better-attended market than winter 2022, which they see as a promising sign for the Casual Market Atlanta, debuting in July.

Jessica Harlan
montage of area rugs and home accessories
Area rug exhibitors at Atlanta Market gave the event a thumbs up and expect Casual Market Atlanta in July to boost traffic.

ATLANTA — An uncertain economy and the ongoing looming specter of COVID-19 didn’t dampen the spirits of retailers ready to travel, nor the manufacturers ready to show off their products. Those exhibiting at Atlanta Market last week reported a stronger, better-attended market than last year, which they hope means continued good business as the industry heads into the market circuit, with Las Vegas Market later this month. And while few area rug manufacturers remain at this gift-centric show, those who still exhibit at AmericasMart find value in their participation.

What's more, current Atlanta area rug exhibitors expect the debut of the Casual Market Atlanta, July 10-13, 2023, to lift traffic and attendance for the summer Atlanta Market, scheduled for July 11-17.

“This market is so much better than in January 2022,” said Vinamra Laddha, principal, LR Resources, describing last year’s market as a “ghost town” compared to this year’s. He reported that from day one, his showroom saw quite a few walk-in customers, and that overall, the mood of the customers seemed to be looking ahead to a successful spring.

LR Home reports improved traffic at Atlanta, where the focus is on its growing accessories program. Shown, new on-point boucle pillows

Atlanta Market continues to be an important market for the company. “A lot of international customers come to this market, who we don’t see at High Point,” said Laddha. “We also see a lot of regional people who come to this market but not to High Point.”

Austin Craley, vice president of sales for Loloi, feels similarly. “We want to be able to service the southeast outside of just being at High Point Market,” he said. “In Atlanta, we get international customers as well as customers from all over the country. This gives them another venue to see us.” Craley says the variety of attendees at Atlanta Market is also a draw: Visitors to the Loloi showroom include department stores, furniture stores, design firms, brick-and-mortar gift shops, and more.

Craley said that this year’s edition of the market seemed stronger than the 2022 show. “In winter of 2022, there was still the stigma of COVID,” he says. “And even though the economy is an unknown, people don’t seem to be worrying as much.” Looking to the Vegas market, Craley says that he’s also expecting good attendance and a successful show there. “Appointments are looking good, and we have some special events with our licensing partners, so it should be a good show.” And looking even further ahead to High Point, Craley says attendees can expect to see a refreshed showroom, a new licensing partner, and a revamping of the Magnolia Home licensed collection.

A classic Greek key design gets a tribal twist in Loloi's new Ari area rug collection.

As Tamarian builds its Habit spinoff brand, Ryan Higgins, principal, says the Atlanta market has been instrumental in giving the company access to designers who are shopping for products in the price point that Habit is targeting. “Traffic here is good so far, and even though the economy is unstable, no one is complaining,” he said.

Laddha and other rug manufacturers are waiting to see how Casual Market Atlanta, debuting at AmericasMart this July in tandem with the Atlanta Market, will impact the area rug exhibitors. “It’ll be interesting once the casual market comes here,” said Laddha. “I think it’ll help us.”

Loloi has a strong indoor-outdoor rug assortment, so Craley also has high hopes for the Casual Market. “We were thrilled to hear that it was moving here,” he said. “We’ve actually launched a couple of indoor/outdoor rugs for this market to attract those buyers.”

At Atlanta Market, Trans-Ocean plays up its mats and scatter rugs, which are ideal for the gift retailers who frequent the market. Atlanta Market is the only gift show Trans-Ocean participates in, and Dean Smith, vice president of sales, sees the January market as being more successful than the one in July. He is also anticipating a potential boost from the Casual Market. “We’re looking forward to seeing if we get extra feet over here,” he said. Trans-Ocean is known for its door mats, ideal accessories for outdoor furniture retailers, as well as a sizeable selection of indoor/outdoor area rugs."

For Annie Selke, which is part of the Codarus showroom, AmericasMart is the biggest showroom space of the five regional markets in which the company leases space. The showroom is large enough to accommodate 14 different bed vignettes. “We are able to display so much in this showroom,” says Caroline Roche, visual merchandiser for Annie Selke.

Annie Selke has its largest showroom at Atlanta Market and had a successful winter event. Shown, new indoor-outdoor rugs

Atlanta Market continues to be an important market for Annie Selke for good reason: “We get the most traffic here,” says Roche. “Most of our Southeast customers come here, and we see a lot of folks from the Northeast as well.”

Even early on in the market, Roche says it was evident that the 2023 January Atlanta Market was going to be busier and more successful than the 2022 market. “Traffic-wise, we could see that the registration was busy in the first couple of days, and we also wrote a lot of orders early on.”

With a hope for more of the same at the Vegas market, Roche said she expects her company’s indoor/outdoor offerings will be among what sells the most at these first markets of 2023.


Annie Selke reports strong order writing for its accessories and rugs, and featured plenty of pinks in one of its vignettes.

Several area rug exhibitors saw an opportunity when showroooms were relocated from the third through sixth floors, to move to other areas within AmericasMart. LR Resources moved to Building Two, on a high floor surrounded by gift showrooms, and Trans-Ocean now occupies a well-located temporary space in the gifts and accessories area.

Capel Rugs has returned to AmericasMart in a temporary space in Building One, among home textiles exhibitors. The booth was manned by Capel’s former Atlanta showroom manager, Michael Marks, now Southeast regional manager. The company closed its permanent showroom three years ago. Marks said his customers were happy to see Capel had returned, even on a smaller scale. “I sent an email blast to our customers who come here, and many of them have dropped by because of it.”

By the summer Atlanta Market, Loloi will have moved to its new showroom space. Still on the first floor in Building One, the showroom has a more prominent space directly across from the registration area, where the company hopes it’ll see even more traffic. Loloi will still keep a second showroom on the 13th floor in Building One, which houses the company’s one-of-a-kind rugs, wall art and pillows.
trans-ocean ad spot hri rugs