BALTA HOME USA DEBUTS IN ATLANTA, RAMPS UP U.S. DESIGN AND SALES EFFORTS
Balta Home USA celebrates the opening of its new a studio space at AmericasMart Atlanta. From left, Brandon Gavic, Hans Fossez, Michelle Curtin, Kristen Hendrickson and Grace Veres.
ATLANTA -- Belgian-based Balta Home has been ramping up its U.S. presence and the latest step in that strategy is an inaugural studio/showroom space at AmericasMart.
"While other rug companies are moving out, we've moved in," Hans Fossez, president, Balta Home USA, told RugNews.com. "But we are using this space more as a design studio than as a showroom. Our designers are based here and our design director from Belgium visits monthly to work with them. The space is also used for presentations to clients year round.
"We have tweaked our philosophy: instead of being a European company producing and designing in Belgium and exporting to the U.S., we are now investing in a product development and design team here, and developing product in the U.S. for the U.S. market," Fossez explained.
In recent years, Balta, which focuses on offering private label rugs to big box retailers and e-commerce, has invested heavily in expanding its presence in the U.S., staffing up and growing its distribution facilities. "We are fine-tuning our sales efforts toward the channels growing here. We've had a huge push in the last few years in e-commerce. That's the reason for our new distribution center in Savannah -- it is devoted exclusively to e-commerce. Our brick and mortar distribution is in Rome. The requirements of service are different and each facility focuses exclusively on its channels."
Balta Home introduced Atlanta Market-goers its range of area rugs in Building 1, showroom 3-C1. The company's Balta Home division, which has three facilities in Belgium and two in Turkey, focuses on machine-woven rugs, while its recently acquired Papilio label offers hand-made lifestyle-driven area rugs.
Balta Home showcases its latest machine-woven and hand-made rugs, designed for the US market, at Atlanta Market. Shown, Chelsea
"We have the price points, constructions, logistics and product development to attract new markets -- for example, furniture stores are a possibility," Fossez said. "Furniture stores with good e-commerce businesses, who want to start in area rugs are among potential new customers."
"We are private label producers working with all the big retailers in the world. We ship two million pieces per month globally -- we are the second largest producer in the world."
Balta Home also has a New York showroom in the Textiles Building at 295 Fifth Ave.
Balta Home introduces Averie's Persian design at its first Atlanta Market.
"Our goal is to grow with key partners who are able to leverage the strength of a large manufacturer," added Brandon Gavic, VP e-commerce. "The additional capacity of Balta's US distribution centers has expanded the company's ability to service inventory locally, both drop-ship and traditional store fulfillment."
Balta Home, which has focused on using recycled materials in its new product launches designed for the US market, showcased a small selection of those in its AmericasMart space. The offering includes a fresh take on youth and tween rugs, coastal, nautical, boho, Persian, modern, Moroccan and patio at all key price points.
"Balta has always been under the radar in the US, but we export to 119 countries and have a 50 percent of market share in Europe," Fossez said. "We are still small in the U.S. but intend to open more points of connectivity."
Balta showcased a range of new rugs in a variety of categories including youth. Shown, Averie Kids' Fox