Atlanta International Area Rug Market: New layouts, products expected to fuel attendance, activity

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December 22/29, 2014; Volume 28/Number 13

By Nadia Ramlakhan

The winter edition of the Atlanta International Area Rug Market featuring the National Oriental Rug Show, slated for Jan. 7-10, 2015, at AmericasMart in Atlanta, will not only serve as the top venue for new products from leading area rug manufactuers, but it will also provide an opportunity to show off the completion of the market’s ongoing construction project.

Among many recent additions, the latest and most anticipated is a construction project involving a new bridge, which will connect Building 1 with Building 2 and, essentially, the entire campus. The bridge is expected to have a huge impact in the rug area as it will allow visitors to travel to different market areas with ease.

“Over the past 55 years we’ve worked to create an environment that’s unlike anything else in the world,” said Michael Turnbull, senior vice president of strategic relations, AmericasMart. “This newest bridge will create greater connectivity for our customers with enhanced flow and access to product.”

In terms of aesthetics, floors 4, 5 and 6 are also undergoing some changes that will be ready for January’s market. In addition, members of the Market Club can enjoy perks of the renovated Market Club Lounge on Floor 6 in Building 2.

The Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market will take place simultaneously, from Jan. 6-13, and is expected to attract a larger audience and more foot traffic for exhibitors. In an ongoing effort to integrate rugs with home furnishings, some exhibitors are improving their showrooms and expanding their spaces. For example, on Floor 6 in Building 1, ELK Group International has committed to a new 10,000-plus square-foot showroom. Couristan is revamping its showroom directly across from the new bridge, and Nourison is updating its space on Floor 3.

Also new this year is Floor 15’s Home & Design collection, a destination for designers and high-end products that is expected to generate more traffic for the rug business in what Turnbull calls a “halo effect” as more Home attendees explore other floors.

Industry leaders are eager to reveal their latest products at the winter market, knowing that the event facilitates extended exposure in the marketplace. Mohawk Home will focus on its new Sovereign Collection, which are Axminster wools from Eden including two never-before-seen designs. The company will also unveil its Winchester Collection, a line of traditional patterns in a revolutionary new yarn system that is a blend of Mohawk’s exceedingly popular Wear-Dated nylon, Smartstrand Silk and EverStrand polyester.

Steve Codella, Couristan’s executive vice president of sales, is also preparing to introduce new designs. “At the Atlanta market, we are looking forward to the grand opening of our newly expanded and renovated showroom,” he said. “We are also excited to continue to introduce more fresh and trendy looks to our assortment, as we had in 2014.”

Also exhibiting at the market is Oriental Weavers, which will highlight its new Pantone Universe rugs featuring the Pantone Color of the Year for 2015, Marsala 18-1438. In addition, the company will display its Tommy Bahama collections as well as new Oriental Weavers-branded offerings, hitting a variety of price points and design styles.

To prepare for the show, Turnbull encourages past attendees as well as newcomers to watch for updates on AmericasMart mobile app, which is undergoing continual enhancement to make navigation easier. Other technology being showcased this year includes the LeadPod app, a tool for vendors that allows them to track every buyer that comes into a showroom, facilitating easier and faster post- market follow-ups.

“Each market brings new opportunities to see our customers grow their business, Turnbull said. “That is what excites us—to bring buyers and sellers together in an incomparable market experience.”

Additional market happenings…

With this year’s education program attendees can expect a wide array of seminars and special events, including Interior Design Camp’s inaugural Atlanta conference Jan. 10-11 at the Penthouse Theater. Known for their appearances on HGTV, Bravo, NBC, Oxygen, TLC and Food Network, celebrity interior designers Lori Dennis and Kelli Ellis will provide opportunities for designers to learn and network with other professionals.

As always, the America’s Magnificent Carpets Awards (AMCA) will honor the very best area rug designs from around the world. Featuring live music and refreshments, the event will be held Jan. 9 at 6 p.m. in the Peachtree Ballroom at the Westin Peachtree Plaza.

For more on the 2015 winter market, visit market-dates.

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