OXON HILL, Md. -- Area rug vendors made a strong showing at ConneXtion, the winter convention of Flooring America and Carpet One Floor & Home, two of the best-known brands under the umbrella of the floor covering industry's largest cooperative, CCA Global.
Held last month at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center, this year's event provided an easy rug-shopping experience for flooring dealers with a section of exhibit stands carved out for the category. Keep in mind that rugs are still a small percentage of sales for the co-op. But they are growing in importance to members as add on-sales to hardwood floors and luxury vinyl tile -- both in-store and online.
Indeed, CCA Global announced a partnership with e-commerce platform Rugs.Shop at its summer 2018 Carpet One and Flooring America conventions. Reaction to the program has been positive, according to Flooring America president, Keith Spano, who told RugNews.com it's helping members compete more effectively and leveling the playing field in a category that has exploded in Internet sales (read story)
. While all CCA rug vendors are not found on the independent Rugs.Shop platform, those showing at the CCA conventions are all hand-picked and approved by CCA, which negotiates exclusives, price advantages and myriad other benefits that come with its massive buying power.
On the show floor, rug exhibitors pointed to strong traffic at their stands despite flight delays from a snowstorm affecting Washington, D.C. and Baltimore airports serving the convention center. Nourison previewed new intros in hand-crafted broadlooms, textured wovens, and a large expansion of U.S. produced tufted wools for 2019, giving members a sneak peek before the official debut two weeks later at the International Surface Event in Las Vegas.
Nourison's Don Karlin showcases rug and broadloom intros, telling RugNews.com that outdoor collections were also on the must-see lists of CCA global dealers.
Rug companies with strong broadloom businesses like Nourison and Kaleen are a natural fit for CCA members because their custom cut and sew rug programs give end-use consumers a personalized solution-driven product that happens to be difficult to comparison shop. It's a big, growing business for flooring dealers and cost effective because vendors provide fabrication services. Don Karlin of Nourison sums it up: "The world is fabricated rugs. I tell people we are no longer in the carpet business, we are in the hard surface business, and rugs are the complementary piece."
Bob Stone of Kaleen at the CCA Global conventions, where new 2019 broadloom intros were well received by retailers as were point of sale display fixtures.
Looking to lock in broadloom and custom programs, Kaleen, which sells all four CCA Groups (Carpet One, Flooring America, ProSource and IDG), also previewed its broadloom intros prior to Surfaces. At the same time, three perimeter walls of its impressive display were lined with waterfall racks designed to be used in store decked out with 2x3 samples of programmed area rugs. "As usual we had good traffic and good sales at the CCA show," said Blake Dennard, senior vice president. "The new 2019 broadloom intros also went over big, and our waterfall rug racks were well received by the members. It gives them a way to display a lot of rugs in a small space."
New Rug Exhibitors
Orian's Terry Foltz, VP sales, and Jon Matamoros, sales rep for the mid-Atlantic region, pose in front of a plush Cloud 9 collection rug in silver at the company's first CCA convention exhibit.
"We were well received by CCA members as a new vendor and we sold a bunch or rugs -- what could be better than that," said Dave Matamoros, Orian's senior VP of specialty sales. "Our sample merchandising display was also well received," he added, noting that the company became an approved CCA vendor in August 2018.
First time exhibitor Dynamic Rugs also got a warm welcome according to the company's Anoosha Rouhanian. We got "great feedback on our outdoor collections," she told RugNews.com
Outdoor a Winner
Steve Fleming, owner of Acme Carpet One Floor & Home, Lunenburg, Massachusetts, with Mo Skander, operations manager of Dynamic Rugs during 2019 Carpet One winter convention.
"Our new indoor-outdoor collections -- Coastal, Newport, Villa, and Brighton -- were all well received. Dealers commented on the material and quality, combined with the color palettes. This is the time when people begin forecasting for outdoor rugs -- and that created the perfect recipe for getting great feedback and response to our outdoor collections," she explained.
In fact, several rug exhibitors reported they also were blown away by dealer purchases of outdoor rugs, with Nourison's Karlin declaring outdoor a top-selling category for the company at this year's convention. While CCA dealers typically prefer exclusives, big name licensing programs were also a hot ticket - most notably the Scott Living collection from Karastan and Mohawk Home. Members headed to the company's stand specifically to see the line, which debuted at the summer 2018 Las Vegas Market.
Steve Fortier, John McGeary, and Jimmy Gentry, at the Karastan/Mohawk Home booth, where Flooring America dealers gave a thumbs-up to the popular Scott Living collection.