07182018 Floors & More Buying Group Stirs up Renewed Interest in Area Rugs By Rugnews.com editors
FLOORS & MORE BUYING GROUP STIRS UP RENEWED INTEREST IN AREA RUGS
"We obviously need to and want to do more with rugs." -- Vinnie Virga, CEO, Floors & More
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Among the many buying groups, Floors & More -- which oversees Big Bob's Flooring Outlet and Floor to Ceiling design centers -- is viewed as most likely to seek new opportunities within and beyond the floor covering space.
At its recent summer convention in Colorado, for example, exhibitors were showcasing everything from blinds to plumbing parts. This tactic also includes rugs, a category many flooring dealers have abandoned in recent years, but one that Floors & More is giving a closer look.
Vinnie Virga, founder and CEO of Floors & More addresses members at the buying group's summer convention
"We obviously need to and want to do more with rugs, and we have some vendors to address that," said Vinnie Virga, founder and CEO, Floors & More. In support of that effort, Floors & More has brought on several soft surface suppliers with rug portfolios, including Nourison, Nance Industries, the Dixie Group, Phenix Flooring and Gulistan. All except Nourison were at the conference.
Phenix, a full-line flooring supplier, entered the rug business in early 2018, and Gulistan, which had exited the flooring market a few years ago and returned in 2018, is readying its own rug line. "We're looking to make rugs a standard offering," John Sheffield, vice president of sales, said during the convention. "We have a lot of resources in Dalton to pull that off and it would make for a nice offering for us."
Gulistan executives John Sheffield (left) and Tom Mathis said the Gulistan brand, which returned to the broadloom industry in 2018, is readying a rug line.
Some retailers at the convention took notice. Guy Ferrell, co-owner of Big Bob's of Colorado, is one dealer putting renewed emphasis on rugs. "Rugs are a natural fit for our type of customer, which is one that prefers the cash-and-carry transaction," said Ferrell, who has in-stock specials in his Colorado Springs showroom.
At Big Bob's Flooring Outlet in Yuma, Arizona, owner Brad Milner sells rugs through the RugShop program, a third party that offers leading brands including Mohawk, Karastan. Oriental Weavers and Nourison. Several others on both the Big Bob's and Floor to Ceiling side have similar programs in place.
For suppliers like Nance Industries, rugs have always been a mainstay. "That is really our niche, and you are seeing a lot better growth in rugs," said Mike Nance, principal, whose company employs two custom rug artists.
Mike Nance of Nance Industries has seen rug sales grow by 30 percent.
Added Presley Nance, sales executive, "the rug business has grown 30 percent for us this year, thanks to the growth of hard surfaces. What we are seeing is the prices have changed this year, with more activity at the lower end."
Phenix, through its Cleaner Home Rugs program, and Dixie/Masland (Custom Area Carpets and Rugs) are also looking to take advantage of the momentum in rugs.