16748 Mon, 08/10/2009 - 1:45pm
By Andrea Lillo
With a continuing focus on pricing, manufacturers exhibiting at the Las Vegas Market in September will aim to tempt buyers with new categories and designs. Beyond expansions of lower price point offerings, of course.
Manufacturers also see this as an opportunity to show their new products to the West Coast, as many buyers may not have made it to the other summer trade shows.
“We expect that many of the buyers attending the Las Vegas market will be looking for value-oriented products, as was the case in Atlanta,” said Doniella Arabia, director of public relations, Couristan. “However, we’ve typically seen a clearer focus at the Las Vegas market on handmade rugs with unique design appeal.”
So, in addition to many new machine-made designs, Couristan will be showcasing several new handmade rugs at modest price points, ranging from $359 to $549 suggested retail for a 5-by-8. These new patterns will feature simple, modern styles coupled with soothing earth tone colors.
Couristan will also show its eco-friendly Nature’s Elements collection. It brings “affordability to this niche category,” Arabia said, and blends jute, cotton, straw and grass. These flatwoven rugs have a suggested retail price of $149 for a 5-by-8.
Surya will emphasize its new accessories program, which includes a rug, two decorative pillows, a throw and wall art at three retail price points: $399, $699 and $999, said Seth King, vice president, sales and marketing. Retailers are looking for “solutions to increase business,” he said. “They want value but more importantly they want to know what they can do to drive more dollars through the register.”
Jaipur Rugs will push its hand-tufteds, indoor/outdoor, naturals, and shags such as its popular Pebble Beach design, which are all at lower price points, said Josh Roberts, vice president, sales and marketing.
These types of rugs offset the slowdown it has seen in its handknotteds. “Price continues to be important,” he said.
“We are working with each retailer to see what types of price points and styles are going to work,” Roberts added. “We’re taking the time to concentrate on the sell through, and not just the sell in.”
And though it will also highlight its value pricing and longer terms, “not everyone wants cheap merchandise,” said Mike Shabtai, president, The Rug Market. So it will also show a new high-end designer collection in Las Vegas.
Nourison will debut new Calvin Klein designs at the show, as well as its new Axminster collection. In addition, attendees will see Citi Limits, a hand tufted collection of contemporary designs, and Fantasy, in transitional and contemporary designs—both constructed of polyacrylic fibers. The machine made modern Radiance line and the Fantasia handwoven shag group, as well as the traditional Jaipur line using Nourison’s exclusive Herbal-Wash will also be showcased.
In Las Vegas, Feizy will add both collections and designs to its fine rug and home collections, “so we have something to offer all retailers and designers at a wide range of price points,” said Cameron Feizy, vice president of sales. Recent introductions and best sellers will also be added to its Feizy Designer Series sample program, he said.
“Casual contemporary and relaxed traditional styles continue to be the predominant trend, especially as opposed to edgy contemporary and formal traditional styles,” said Feizy’s Steve Sorrow, vice president, design and product development.
Feizy opened its new showroom in Building C at the last Las Vegas market, where it “will continue to showcase new ideas to help [retailers’] business,” said Sorrow. For example, “instead of using the old swing-arm racks exclusively, we demonstrate how to free hang the rugs to make a dramatic statement without taking up a lot of floor space. Because you can see the rugs from across the showroom, they become true focal points.”
Manufacturers will also get the opportunity to be in front of retailers that didn’t make it to earlier markets. “We expect traffic to be down overall, but steady from outdoor retailers and retailers in the West that are unable to visit us in Atlanta,” said Lynne Minchello, marketing manager, Colonial Mills. And the company’s customization and quick ship specialties are strong selling points, she added. “Retailers seem to seek us out as a valuable resource that can create exclusive designs to coordinate with their other products.”
For newcomer Chandra Rugs, “we work very hard to gain awareness in the retail market,” said Michael Heath, sales manager. “The normal trend for any market is the second show each year is slower, but we have found our sales growing with each show in every market and expect that trend to continue as more people learn about Chandra.”
Besides showcasing its new Amy Butler collection, seen at High Point, Chandra will also expand its Thomas Paul collection with a new group called Counterfeit Studio. It “is a bit of departure from his current line,” which has been so successful for Chandra, Heath said. “These designs will be at a lower price point making them accessible to a wider range of consumers,” he added.
Another relatively new player in the rug category, Rizzy Rugs started with handmades, and just recently expanded into machine mades, said Mark Ferullo, vice president. With its new machine made factory in India, the entire manufacturing process is under one roof, he said. “Everything is under our control.”
Rizzy showed its new machine made viscose line at the Atlanta show, and in Las Vegas that will expand to include two qualities of heat-set polypropylene and one quality of wool. The heat-set group will include a “price sensitive” quality that will have a 5-by-8 retailing for $99, he said, and a step-up quality at $199. Both will contain casual and traditional looks. The machine made wool will be a traditional group that is hand serged.
“The idea of ‘affordable couture’ is definitely on the rise, as customers are looking for budget-friendly fashions without sacrificing design sophistication,” Arabia said of the market overall. “Color trends are centered in relaxed, casual tones that create a neutral foundation, like charcoal gray, saddle brown and jade green. Providing a pop of drama among these calming hues, we’re using accent colors such as amethyst and ice blue.”
CMI, on the other hand, has seen more vibrant colors, said Minchello. And designs have become more “daring,” as well, so the company has tweaked its traditional three-piece braid in a space-dyed pattern into more fashionable colors and in a contoured rectangle for a new look in its Ridgevale collection. Its line of indoor/outdoor braided-textured area rugs include its Renaissance collection, which uses Sunbrella yarns, and its top-selling Simply Home collection.