|AMER'S RAJ CHOUDHARY SHARES FALL HIGH POINT & 2018 OUTLOOK
Amer Rugs' Hamilton collection is shaping up to be a 2018 best-seller and will help the company end the year strong. Shown, design 4 in grey/blue
HIGH POINT, N.C. -- On the heels of a blockbuster introduction of 10 collections during summer 2018 markets, Amer Rugs will unveil three new collections today at High Point Market, as the company looks to close out the year with sales up 15 percent year over year.
Raj Choudhary, director, Amer Rugs, tells RugNews.com the collections encompass a range of weaves and illustrate the company's ongoing product diversification strategy. Long known as a leader in the hand-knotted category, Amer continues to bring fashion to that market with the debuting Winslow, which is hand-knotted of New Zealand wool and viscose.
Also premiering at Amer's Showplace showroom, 3415, are the Petra collection, a 100 percent wool flatweave, and the machine-made Fairmont, which is Wilton woven of polypropylene and shrink polyester for a high-low texture.
Looking back at summer markets, Choudhary says July was very strong. "Out of a launch of 10 collections, six are doing very well. The response to those collections looks very, very promising, and we have already started to ship for Q4. The main success story out of July markets were Venice and Hamilton, both machine made."
Woven in Turkey of high-luster art silk (viscose) and durable polyester, Hamilton offers the popular mosaic texture in a range of designs. The new Venice collection features patinated looks machine-made in Turkey of a blend of fine art silk (viscose) and acrylic yarns.
Amer debuts the Wilton woven, high-low Fairmont range. Above, design 5 in spice
"Our machine-made products have been very successful so far," he continued. "We have to diversify our business to grow it more, and the goal is to provide the highest machine-made quality possible for our retail partners and designer customers. We have some low price points, but those are for online," Choudhary added.
"For the most part we are trying to give something exclusive to our customers. We are getting a great response from major furniture stores; we even get traditional retailers who have small bricks and mortars -- some with one store each. This helps them when a customer doesn't want a hand knot ; with our machine mades they don't lose the sale. They can sell her a less expensive rug -- but with a high-end look. It gives them something to compete with."
AMER LOOKS FORWARD TO STRONG HIGH POINT
Amer's Synergy, crafted in a Tibetan hand-knot of hand-spun New Zealand wool and art silk, collection is a 2018 winner and already is being expanded.
Choudhary is expecting a good turnout for High Point Market. "We have good appointments, and are expecting it to be even better than Atlanta and Vegas. It will help us with sales for the balance of year."
Asked which lines were the best sellers so far for 2018, Choudhary says the hand-knotted Synergy and Zenith collections have been hands-down winners. "They did very well and we've already added new designs because of their popularity."
As for product development already in the works for 2019 launch at January shows, he says the company has several innovative hand-knotted collections coming out. "They'll be traditional -- in my opinion traditional is coming back in but in different colors -- fashion colors," he said.