Diversity of product leads to buyer success in Building 1, Floors 3 through 6
By Laura Raines
Four years ago, AmericasMart made a bold decision to integrate home furnishing exhibitors into its traditional rug floors (3-6) in Building 1. The showcase of diverse collections gives buyers access to more products, ideas and expertise.
“Retailers and designers appreciate the one-stop approach of having so much complementary merchandise within easy reach,” says Kevin Malkiewicz, vice-president and leasing manager.
One-stop buying works for the designer needing the perfect rug to complete a client’s den; the furniture store owner expanding into rugs; the carpet retailer adding more home accessories; or the lifestyle shopkeeper looking for display vignettes inspired by the latest trends.
“A creative lifestyle rug and home furnishings environment fits with the changing marketplace which has fewer specialty stores and more merchants selling online and across multiple product classifications,” says Malkiewicz.
Elk International Group readily adopted the idea. “We took a leap of faith by moving to a larger location on the 6th floor, historically a rug floor, several years ago,” says CEO Bradford Smith. ELK is a manufacturer and distributor of lighting, wall décor, gifts and home accessories. Other home furnishing exhibitors have joined them.
“The floor has broad appeal to customers wanting to shop multiple categories in one location, while allowing greater opportunity to view merchandise in lifestyle settings,” says Smith.
ELK’s designer has incorporated more than 400 new products into vignettes that
focus on modern farmhouse, urban and contemporary styles for the January show.
“Concrete tables and lamps, designer outdoor portable lighting, hand painted wall art, mirrors, and home furnishing accessories are shown in ‘wa-la’ settings that draw new customers,” says Kerry Radar, ELK showroom manager. “Catalogues and online ordering are a convenience, but people like to see things put together, to see the scale and how colors blend. It gives them ideas,” she adds.
Other exhibitors agree. “Buyers today are looking at the décor and furnishings in all-encompassing approach; most are buying at least one other category, making it important for them to see how rugs coordinate with other aspects in their vignettes and store settings,” says Cyrus Loloi, principal of Loloi Rugs, located on the 4th floor.
Atlanta’s market symbolizes newness and freshness in the rug market, says Loloi. “This will be one of our largest product unveilings to date, with everything from new machine-made rugs, to hand-knotted carpets, as well pillows and new throws.” Loloi customers include large and small furniture stores, luxury designer showrooms and flooring specialty stores. “While inexpensive rugs are getting more beautiful all the time with the advancement of technology; we also see a strong market supporting the skill and artistry that goes into a fine rug.”
Michael Marks, of Capel Rugs, an AmericasMart exhibitor since the early 1970s agrees that “Atlanta is a great rug market.” The company recently moved to the third floor, wanting to be closer to its competitors. “There is a synergy and community showing near other rug suppliers. Whether designers or retailers are looking for classic, transitional or contemporary styles, or the fast-growing niche of outdoor rugs, they’ll find it here,” says Marks. “An area rug can change the direction of a room, making it a popular home accessory in today’s economy.” And a good complement to other home furnishings.
Showing amidst rug and home furnishing showrooms makes rugs less intimidating
and more accessible, says Andrew Peykar, vice-president of operations for Nourison, a leader in the rug market, with a large showroom on Floor 3. Displays such as his
compact Rug Boutique helps place rugs in non-traditional rug stores. Diversification is
a benefit to everyone, he says. Key is for buyers to be able to source complete collections conveniently, which is simple at AmericasMart in Building 1, Floors 3-6.
Shop Floors 3-6 during The Atlanta International Area Rug Market® featuring The National Oriental Rug Show sponsored by ORIA, Wednesday, January 11 – Sunday, January 15 and select showrooms open for The Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market®, Tuesday, January 10 – Tuesday, January 17. Come visit the new Lighting & Decor Lounge in Building 1, Floor 5, 5-B-1 during Market and join us Wednesday, January 11 from 4 – 6 p.m. as we celebrate the debut of Lighting & Decor, a new magazine from Scranton Gillette Communications.The Lighting & Decor Lounge will feature a dynamic lineup of events with industry leaders, celebrity appearances, happy hours, trend presentations, and much, much more, Thursday, January 12 – Sunday, January 15:
Lunch and Lounge: Noon
Daily Dialogues: 1 p.m.
Happy Hour: 4 – 6 p.m.
Linley+Lauren’s Fab Five at Five Trend Presentations: 5 p.m.
Visit AmericasMart.com/January to learn more.
Images courtesy of Capel Rugs, Dimond Home and Loloi Rugs