CHICAGO—Among the rows of cookware and gadgets at the International Home + Housewares Show are several exhibitors that focus on the floor. These rug and floor mat companies used the show to debut new items—or themselves—to the housewares market.
First-time exhibitor Bungalow came to the show because “we’re trying to find new market channels, including this one,” said Rob Shriver, president. Besides showing its best sellers, the company also featured two new items. Forever Koco is a coir-mat look made in polypropylene. “It’s more expensive [than coir mats] but it’s going to last forever.” The collection will offer raised designs in three sizes. The new Classic Impressions uses outdoor fabric molded to a rubber back with a raised design. It can be manufactured in sizes up to 4-by-6.
Sleep Innovations’ Comfort Co. mats can now be adapted for bathroom use by using its new Deco covers. In two styles–knit pile and plush–and four colors, the covers fit over the line’s most popular size, 20-by-30 inch. The company found that consumers were using its kitchen anti-fatigue mats in the bathroom, so it decided to develop something to make the mats more bathroom friendly, said Barry Jacobs, director of home products business unit.
Wellness Mats expanded its line of kitchen mats into new colors. Its puzzle piece mats are now available in Granite copper and steel colors. In addition, Wellness looks to add color to its Granite line, testing several new brighter colors, including brick red, emerald green and sea foam. For its top 100 retailers, it has also launched its Premium Partner Program, which offers an in-store display that takes up the same size as a mat and fits four 2-by-3 and three 6-by-2 mats.
J & M Home Fashions debuted a line called Denim for back to school, made of recycled jeans. The collection offers three sizes of rugs as well as decorative pillows and poufs. “I wanted to create something fun,” said Gary Marino, managing partner. “This is how you grow your business–by listening to your customers.”