AMER RUGS SCORES WITH MACHINE-MADE INTRODUCTIONS
At Amer's Showplace showroom an abstract rug from the new Wilton woven Cambridge collection runs from the hallway to its reception desk.
HIGH POINT, N.C. -- Amer Rugs, after making its first foray into machine-made rugs at January 2017 markets, continued to expand with new designs at last month's High Point Market to much success.
Explains company president Tanuj Gupta, "Our first collection, Cambridge, has been very well received. Buyers like the construction and the high-low effect: it's similar to what you see on high-end hand-knots." Gupta told RugNews.com that the Norcross, Georgia-based company, until recent years exclusively a source for hand-knotted rugs, has been steadily growing the constructions it offers, adding hand-tufted and hand-loomed rugs in 2015, outdoor rugs in 2016, and now indoor machine-mades.
From left: Joe Barkley and Lynn Thompson of Amer Rugs, Russ Evans of HOM Furniture in Coon Rapids, Minn., and Tanuj Gupta of Amer. A Cambridge rug is hanging on racks behind them.
But, Gupta added, Amer entered both the hand-tufted and machine-made arenas only after it was certain it could offer added-value to these categories. The company says these more affordable options are good for consumers who have an interest in hand-knotted quality, but might not have the budget for a handmade rug. The average retail for a 5' x 7'6" Cambridge rug is $253, for example.
The company's expansion into machine-made offerings is part of its strategy to be competitive on all fronts. "As Amer moves forward, we're expanding pretty aggressively into machine-made rugs," Joe Barkley, Amer vice president of sales and marketing, noted.
The Cambridge transitional abstract design CAM-3 on display at High Point above, and in detail below in the dove grey colorway.
"We've entered the category because our customers are asking for more and more diversity from Amer. We are expanding our assortment to provide the products that satisfy the needs of our current customers, but at the same time, machine-made rugs provide an opportunity for Amer to join a larger pool of customers," Barkley explained. "This is not just a new construction for Amer; it is a brand new price category for us as well. Undeniably, Cambridge was our best-seller this market. We designed it to look hand-knotted, and buyers said the collection gives status to machine-mades."
An updated palette and vintage pattern impart an on-point designer look to Amer's Cambridge collection machine-made rug, CAM-15.
The positive market response to Amer's first machine-made line affirms the company's design approach to the category. The transitional Wilton-weave line, which features subtle abstract motifs, is 100 percent polyester with a textural two-tone look achieved by using a combination of matte and silky yarns. "The idea was to convey that hand-knotted quality we are known for, but in a machine-made rug," added Molly Gibson Mays, creative director. Cambridge retails for around $480 for a 7.6 x 9.6 size, whereas a comparable hand-knotted version might be in excess of $8,000. "It's a great way to get that look, without the dollars," Gibson Mays continued.
A combination of matte and shiny polyester yarns help give the machine-made Cambridge collection a hand-knotted look.
ONE-OF-A-KIND SELL OUT
At the opposite end of the spectrum, Amer also scored with one-of-kind rugs at High Point Market. "One-of-a-kind was huge this market: we sold every piece we brought," Barkley said. Amer's parent company, Saraswatii Global, has been a go-to source for one-of-a-kinds throughout its history, and Amer's success in the category has continued that long-standing tradition since its inception in the U.S., Barkley explained.
Barcley said Amer was pleased to announce the winner of its curved big screen TV drawing on April 26 was Rakesh Agarwal of Rug & Home with stores in Gaffney, South Carolina, and Kannapolis and Henderson, North Carolina. Held between April 21-26, the promotion offered customers one drawing ticket for each $1,000 order of in-stock merchandise, with no limits on the number of tickets issued. Additional tickets were award for new accounts with an opening order of $1,000 during market.
A curved big screen TV was Amer's giveaway at the spring 2017 High Point Market.