The range of beautiful rugs at High Point runs from Christopher Guy at Nourison and indoor outdoor designed by Liorra Manne for Trans Ocean.
Shown is a polypropylene indoor outdoor flat-woven a patio scene– Trans Ocean $99 retail. Not shown is Christopher Guy because the surface is too subtle and a cell phone to crude to capture the exquisite workmanship and design in these wool hand knots from Nepal. When Cristopher Guy introduced these rugs last October (2017) the designs included figurative elements. This year the focus was on the delicate balance of light and object—a drop dead effect.
New Technology Pushes the Edge of the Box
The important point I am trying to make is that traditional design stayed pretty much in a similar scale of design for over 100 years but with new design technology we are pushing the edge of the box.
Technology Can Promote Rugs
Not only is technology creating opportunity in designing rugs,. it can be used to promote rugs and I don’t mean yet another wanna-be Amazon.
I ran into a company that produces wall murals on vinyl that is peel and stick, leaving no residue. They can convert large scale pictures (gigabytes) into images on a custom reusable format. (CHCART.com) It seems to me that using wall art to catalog designs visually in a small trade show space is an efficient visual presentation.
Technology can make design presentation more efficient than flipping rugs or swinging arms. Scale matters and thumbnails are just that postage stamps. Smaller venders can bring many more rugs to market More vendors mean more traffic
Major Buyers from Mass Merchants
Major buyers from mass merchants were there as were the Internet companies. I know because when they walk in I get thrown out.
Rug Business Shift is Irreversible
In the good old days, rugs were a product. Inventory was a sign of wealth and success. (Dead inventory or liquidation inventory is a separate subject for a different day.) Vendors carried inventory to sell. Retailers carried inventory to sell. Consumers bought from inventory.
No longer. Designers representing consumers buy on demand. They do not carry inventory. They buy on behalf of the consumer. With the decline in levels of production and new inventory following the great recession, the custom rug business is growing. Short production runs and more distinctive designs are important at higher price points. Long runs, more neutral designs and drop shipping are important at lower price points. The Internet owns the 5×8 market.
Disruption in the Market Place – Machine Mades
The disruption in the market is coming from more step up machine mades replacing tufted as middle market goods. There is a lot going on. Quality still sells. Customer service is the key to the future.