07302017 Amer Doubles Distribution Capacity, Expands into New Rug Categories
AMER DOUBLES DISTRIBUTION CAPACITY, EXPANDS INTO NEW RUG CATEGORIES
Amer Rugs presents Mystique to Las Vegas shoppers after a successful launch in Atlanta, where the new range topped its hand-knotted best seller list.
ATLANTA -- Amer Rugs, which doubled the size of its corporate headquarters and distribution center in Norcross, Georgia, earlier this month, is counting on new product stories emerging out of Atlanta and increased efficiencies to strike another high note with retailers this week in Las Vegas.
A close-up of a hand-tufted Vector collection rug by Amer shows off complex artistry in a simple but textural geometric motif.
The company, which moved into an 85,000 square foot facility on July 1 in the same industrial complex as its previous location, doubled its capacity according to Joe Barkley, vice president of sales and marketing. "It makes us much, much more efficient. We had about 40,000 feet before, and now at 85,000 to- 90,000 square feet, we've doubled the size.
"When you grow at 30% for three years, and then grow at 40 % last year, it just tells you that the building you are in was not big enough. Honestly, we'll outgrow this one too, but this is an intermediate step until we build," he explained.
ATLANTA SUMMER SUCCESS STORY
"We had a great appointment schedule in Atlanta: we knew we were going to be busy and everybody showed up. We were really pleased," Barkley said, noting that the company picked up a 600-store chain at Atlanta market. "We had been calling on them for a while. They came in and saw things they liked, and they wrote orders at market. A lot of national accounts wrote orders in Atlanta."
Mystique in the Polo Blue colorway is hand-knotted of hand-spun virgin New Zealand wool and raw silk.
Barkley said Amer had a hit in each of its rug categories at the summer edition of the Atlanta market. In a perfect world that's always what you hope for. If you're in five categories, you hope you have a hit in each of them." He said that on the hand-knot category, Amer's Atlanta market hit was the new Mystique collection. "Mystique was terrific hit for us, and it's not an inexpensive product. It fits right in with the higher-end, higher-priced qualities Amer is known for."
Featuring transitional hand-carved abstract designs in a palette of grays, smoky blues, taupes and an orange colorway, Mystique is hand-knotted in India of raw hand-spun virgin New Zealand wool and raw silk.
A rug from the Vector collection by Amer, which is hand-tufted of 100% blended New Zealand wool, shows off texture and sophisticated geometric styling.
In the tufted category, which Barkley says is a growth category for Amer, Vector was another market best-seller for Amer. A collection of fresh geometric designs hand-tufted of 100% blended New Zealand wool, Vector should play equally well to West Coast buyers, Barkley said. "Vector was a huge success in Atlanta; we were really excited about how well it was received."
Amer introduces Andaman, a woven jute collection, to its roster of eco-friendly natural fiber collections.
Other Atlanta best-sellers expected to achieve the same buyer fanfare in Vegas include two woven flatweave collections in natural fibers: Andaman, a woven jute product, and Tropics, a multicolor woven jute. Both retail at $199 in 5x8. "Both really exceeded our expectations. It is a relatively new category for us, and we kept the product simple to appeal to a lot of people. We didn't really try to reinvent the wheel, but we made the very best quality we could make."
Tropics, a summer 2017 introduction to Amer's new natural fiber flatweave category, is a multi-color woven jute collection.