EXQUISITE RUGS OPENS HIGH POINT SHOWROOM, TALKS STRATEGY AND GROWTH PLANS
Cutting the ribbon for the new Exquisite Rugs showroom at High Point Market are Alex Brown, Noad Arslan and Rick Perkins with principals Hersel Bani-Esraili, David Beck and Daniel Bani-Esraili, and Chris Amos of IMC with Steve Felty of Exquisite Rugs.
HIGH POINT, N.C. -- Los Angeles-based Exquisite Rugs unveiled a new showroom at the fall 2017 High Point Market to a steady stream of shoppers that began with a grand opening celebration and ribbon cutting on Saturday morning, Oct. 14 and continued through the show.
At the ribbon cutting party, RugNews.com spoke with Exquisite Rugs president Hersel Bani-Esraili about the company's return to High Point and his expectations for the show. "We aren't looking for one specific channel or type of customer; we want to build relationships here," he said. "We're not looking to have 700 people through the showroom. We're looking to have 17 good people through the showroom."
Indeed, traffic was brisk, with buyers and designers streaming through wide-open sliding glass doors that appeared to seamlessly connect the busy IHFC Design Center halls to the rugs displayed inside.
||"We are not a new company. We are a reshaped company."
-- Hersel Bani-Esraili, Exquisite Rugs
Bani-Esraili, who runs the business alongside his brothers, Daniel Bani-Esraili, CFO, and David Beck, director of international trade, said, "Coming back to High Point Market marks a pivotal step in the growth of our company."
David Beck, director of international trade, and Daniel Bani-Esraili, CFO, are two of the three brothers at the helm of family-owned Exquisite Rugs.
The fact is that Exquisite Rugs already sells many of the big names you know -- from Neiman Marcus to One Kings Lane. But the company had kept a low profile until last year when it launched a new B2B website, expanding its reach and improving the user experience. On the heels of its High Point debut, Equisite Rugs is now toying with the idea of exhibiting at Las Vegas Market.
A NEW BRAND IMAGE
Luster was in the spotlight at Exquisite Rugs' new High Point showroom, with choices from ribbed textures to classic traditionals and the new bamboo-silk Roset collection of abstracts (right).
Formerly known as Orient Rugs Express, the company changed its name to Exquisite Rugs about 10 years ago. "We are not a new company. We are a reshaped company. We rebranded because we just felt we needed to move on. It's a new world. The name Exquisite Rugs is more understood: We tell our customers we are on a mission to provide the world's most 'Exquisite Rugs,'" Bani-Esraili said.
Originally based in London, the company is more than 80 years old and spans three generations. "We go back a long way," he continued. "My dad is 93 and still comes to the office. He is always telling us to keep our reputation, take care of your customers, and don't pay too much for freight."
FOCUS ON DESIGN INNOVATION
"We have always been known for our quality craftsmanship but at this market we wanted to showcase our innovation in design. This showroom will give us the ability to reach a much wider audience as well as give our customers an enhanced experience as they work with Exquisite Rugs," Bani-Esraili explained.
The new Exquisite Rugs showroom at High Point Market showcased a broad assortment, from wool Oushaks, to bamboo silk abstracts, to natural sheepskin and leather rugs.
"Our mantra is that we have the most extraordinary and unusual rugs and carpets in the industry. We really believe in that. Every rug that we make is inspired by textiles, fabrics and up-and-coming colors in six months, a year, two years down the line.
"We don't go out to the market in India or Pakistan and see if the rug is pretty enough to buy. We go through a sampling process. We have thousands of samples in our warehouse, and invest a lot of work and time to come up with these beautiful objects that are very unique and unusual," he said.
TARGETING HIGH-END CUSTOMERS
Bani-Esraili explained that the company focuses on servicing a medium- to higher-end customer base. "We have a lot of high-end online companies, and we work with higher-end interior design companies and furniture stores.
"There is no shortage of rugs," he continued. "The only way you can survive is if you try to not be everything to everybody everywhere. We used to be with Amazon, but now we try to specialize in the medium- to high-end market. And we don't sell to more than one good dealer per city geographically. We maintain integrity in the industry."
Exquisite Rugs' display cases, available to retailers, highlight the company's collections (left to right) Antolini, Reflections, and Robin in stripe and solid textures.
The company's current warehouse is 65,000 square feet, but Exquisite Rugs will be soon moving into a 100,000-square-foot facility, Bani-Esraili said. "We invest in our own product. We make rugs up to 15x25 that we stock, and we have thousands of designs in every style, texture and color imaginable."
PRODUCTS AT MARKET
The bamboo silk Antolini collection offers customers Exquisite Rugs' unique interpretations of the modern abstract look popular with designers at Market.
Traditional, contemporary and transitional rug designs were showcased, with sizes up to 25'x40' at High Point Market. Among the newest collections are Antolini, Reflections and Roset, all bamboo silk rugs. The Koda range of abstract designs also played well with High Point Market shoppers. A Koda collection design, featured in a High Point Trend Watch room vignette in the main entrance to Market Square, was selected for the 'Code' trend because the motif looks like an abstract interpretation of a computer grid.