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Show Recap

Suppliers at Alliance Flooring Convention Look to Hook Retailers with Rug Programs

Shoppers at Alliance Flooring’s 25 anniversary convention discovered exhibiting newly minted rug programs or broadloom collections that can be fabricated into custom area rugs.

RugNews.com Editors
rug and carpet buyers review carpet samples
Don Karlin of Nourison (right) enjoys company with flooring retailers from Alaska.

ORLANDO -- Alliance Flooring, a retail buying group made up of Carpetland USA, CarpetsPlus and Colortile retailers, held its 25th anniversary convention here at Rosen Shingle Creek March 13-15. And similar to other recent flooring conventions, many exhibiting companies were there to show off newly minted rug programs or broadloom collections that can be fabricated into rugs.

Following are highlights from the convention:


Nourison’s Rug Boutique allows retailers to be in the rug business without the inventory commitment.

When Alliance Flooring executives were searching for an area rug vendor to best represent the group a few years back, they targeted Nourison. Ever since then, Don Karlin, director of broadloom sales, has been looking for ways to entice traditional carpet dealers back into rugs. While an extensive piece of the rug business has been lost to e-commerce and home furnishings stores, Karlin said a sample vehicle like Nourison’s Rug Boutique allows flooring retailers to be in rugs at very little risk, and without having to inventory thousands of rugs. Rug Boutique lets retailers choose from 100 designs, styles and colors ranging from traditional to contemporary. So instead of selling area rugs at thousands of dollars, these rugs sell for a fraction of that.

As Karlin explained, “The cost of a fabricated rug is higher than a finished rug sitting on the shelf. That’s where our Rug Boutique program comes into play. It takes the risk away.” Karlin has also been counseling flooring dealers on the need to close the rug sale when the customer is in the store buying hard surfaces. “Every hard surface is going to have a rug on it, and that customer belongs to the retailer until they walk out of the showroom -- at which point they have missed the sale. You have to sell the customer when she is in the showroom; otherwise, she will buy rugs somewhere else.”


Laurie Springer (left) and Megan Simmons of Tarkett at the Home Solutions custom rug display.

Tarkett, a recent entrant to soft surface, showcased its Home Solutions custom rug program to Alliance Flooring dealers. In this program all carpet styles can be made into a custom rug or stair runner, and all rugs are serged with a complementary color of yarn with attached non-skid backing. “The great thing about this program is it gets retailers into rugs without making the commitment,” said Laurie Springer, director of brand and channel marketing. “It’s an easy program to understand, and it’s a great add-on sale as well.”


Peerless Flooring, a Canadian carpet mill, came to market with a bevy of solution dyed nylon products that will be private labeled under Alliance Flooring’s Happy Pets brand. Although Peerless does not have a specific rug program just yet, VP of national accounts Greg Payne said the collection’s patterns “are made into rugs and runners quite often.”


Steve Roan of Decorative Concepts meets with Michael Barta and Madison Barta, Signature Flooring & More, in Wisconsin.

Decorative Concepts, a new vendor to the group, introduced retailers to its woven vinyl products in addition to wool blends and 100% wool products. DecoVinyl area rugs, the company’s woven vinyl, is designed with long wearing performance qualities suitable for indoor and outdoor spaces. Some of the woven vinyl features include UV stable, phthalate free, and antimicrobial properties. The backing system consists of a high density felt cushion called DecoBac, which contributes to its durability, according to Steve Roan, vice president of sales. Another line, DecoWool area rugs, is hand tufted using premium wool. Roan said DecoWool’s luxurious feel will enhance any setting or accent high style projects. As to whether his products were resonating with retailers at the show, Roan said, “Yes. Once you understand the woven vinyl, it’s like ‘absolutely we want it.’” The woven vinyl was initially developed for pontoon boats but now has greater application as area rugs or flooring for exercise rooms.
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