LAS VEGAS – Traffic at the Las Vegas Market, which wraps up tomorrow, is almost back to pre-pandemic levels, according to many vendors.
“We had a really good crowd on Monday and fed 150 people at lunch, which is close to the level of traffic that we had before the pandemic,” said Justin Yeck, Feizy Rugs vice president of sales and marketing. “We had some lookers but we also wrote many orders for items from our new collections.”
Diana Samuels, director of operations at Harounian Rugs International, shared his sentiments. “We had several bursts of traffic on Monday and people are here to write orders. We’re looking forward to the same pace for the rest of the market.”
Most vendors also say supply chain issues appear to be improving.
“There is light at the end of the tunnel,” said Wendy Reiss, Kas Rugs vice president of sales and national accounts. “We have really focused on improving our tracking during the pandemic and have added several people to our customer service team. Right now, we are in a good stock position and our High Point Market introductions from October are in stock now.”
The sample rugs are now coming in on time for Karastan Rugs, which sources from Egypt and China. “This is a step in the right direction,” said Robert Parr, sales representative. “We are all in the same boat, no pun intended, but most of the industry is facing the same types of delays. We expect it to improve over the course of the year.”
Most of the product for Unique Loom, which sources from Morocco, Pakistan and Turkey, comes into East Coast ports including Savannah, Ga. and Charleston, S.C. “We aren’t experiencing nearly as many issues as companies that ship into the West Coast ports,” said Carissa Near, Unique Loom account manager.
“At Moe’s, we dealt with some shipping issues back in 2009 and learned from that experience,” said Leigh Kalvelage, Moe’s Home Collection director of key account sales. “We are now seeing some improvement in shipping our rugs from our factories in China, Malaysia and Indonesia and we expect that to continue to improve.”
Color and texture
Although Peri is Pantone’s color of the year, Blake Dennard, senior vice president at Kaleen rugs, said he is finding that “green is speaking to consumers and resonating with them.”
“Many of our most popular rugs are in pastel colors including light blue and green,” agreed Kami Navid, Jaunty Rugs vice president of sales. “I think neutrals will also remain in high demand.”
Gold accents also seemed to be in abundance. “People are looking for touches of gold to add a subtle pop of color,” said Near from Unique Loom. “Texture is also increasingly important.”
Since people are spending more time at home, they want their rugs to have a cozier feel, according to Cameron Capel, president of sales and marketing for Capel Rugs.
“They want that soft and welcoming feel under their feet,” she said. “In response to that, we have added several rugs to our Cococozy collections including two hand-tufted, 100% wool collections made in India. Both collections feature a hi-lo textured pile that uses a mix of loop and cut yarns in various thicknesses.”
Nourison’s senior vice president of sales and broadloom production, Gerard O’Keefe, said sales continue to be very strong for its Prismatic collection, known for its luxurious softness and bright colors. The company made several new additions to the collection that is made with a combination of 100% New Zealand wool and Luxcelle, a silk-like thread found in the cellulose of purified cotton fiber.
“Many of our most popular items are those that emulate nature,” said Jen Dolan, director of sales, residential and retail for Arteriors. “We are using many natural materials such as willow, raffia, teak and jute as well as upcycling some new items that are made with cornhusks.”
Several vendors are already heavy into planning for the High Point Market which is less than 10 weeks away, in early April.
“We are planning a rebrand for the upcoming High Point Market,” said Dolan from Arteriors. “We plan to humanize our marketing efforts and focus on some of our more iconic pieces and that will launch in early April.”
For its part, Kalvelage from Moe’s Home Collection said the company made the decision at the start of the pandemic to go full speed ahead and placed large orders so they would remain in stock.
“This has resulted in some of the best sales months we’ve ever had,” said Kalvelage. “With the unpredictability of recent markets due to the pandemic, we are now releasing items as soon as the inventory is available. We currently have 500 pieces in development so we no longer wait for markets to test product but do so on an ongoing basis.”