The United States domestic carpet market fell by 5.3% to $7.857 billion last year and had a 4.4% drop in domestic production with a further drop in imports, according to Market Insights, a market research firm. However, despite these setbacks carpet mills pursued elevated design, new technologies and high performance construction in the residential and commercial sector and five of these mills rose above the rest.
Shaw Industries, US carpet producer, is the top producer of flooring overall by its growth in the resilient category. Shaw’s total US business was up about 3% to $5.387 billion in 2019 while carpet sales were down by low single digits to $3.156 billion, according to Market Insights estimates.
Commercial business outpaced residential business in the domestic market mainly due to Shaw Contracts’ emphasis on carpet tile. The collection called Floorigami is luxury vinyl tile planks with some square formats used wall to wall, as inserts or area rug concepts which are ideal for do-it-yourself installation.
On the residential side, momentum took place in the middle to lower-middle price points, while the firm added designs such as tonal accents and small-scale patterns at the lower end to mainly PET carpets. Shaw also bought Tailored Loop machinery from Card-Monroe, a tufting technology corporation, to use in the Caress line, an anso nylon range, and Anderson Tuftex, a carpet and hardwood brand.
In addition to its multiple US facilities, Shaw manufactures carpet tile in China for the Asia-Pacific regional market and in Scotland for the European market. Shaw’s foreign business accounts for less than 10% of revenue, but was more robust than domestic business in 2019.
Mohawk Industries, global floor covering manufacturer, posted essentially flat sales for 2019, going from $9.983 billion in 2018 to $9.970 billion in 2019 with the US market making up about 59% of sales. Mohawk’s biggest categories in the US are carpet and ceramic tile, which combined make up $3.5 billion in sales.
Estimated US carpet sales were down by single digits to $1.849 billion where about 75% of revenue came from the residential market including mainstreet business and specified commercial through the Mohawk Group and Durkan, its hospitality business. Mohawk is a leader in rugs and laminate flooring, accounting for $1 billion of its sales.
Last year revenue growth was stronger in the commercial market than in the residential market. In residential, the most active segment was multifamily in carpet and hard surface, with the Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) fibre system called Airo, made from recycled PET, and Smart Strand, made of triexta, a polymer with 37% bio based content, being busiest.
Mohawk also uses nylon6 with the highest ratios in its Karastan and Godfrey Hirst brands, as well as Card-Monroes’ Tailored Loop machinery to generate woven looks at tufted price points, which it calls Karaloom. The corporation has also expanded its new Colour Max eyeing technology across its nylon, PET and SmartStrand platforms.
Engineered Floors managed to post single-digit growth with about $1.029 billion in US carpet sales in 2019. Residential business outpaced commercial though both sectors showed growth with its resilient programme growing from $35 million in 2018 to an estimated $50 million last year.
Engineered Floors is barely 10 years old but has quickly grown into one of the largest flooring firms in the US. It has targeted the multifamily market with PET carpet and has followed up by adding its Dream Weaver division, which goes to independent retailers targeting the single family builder market and Pentz, its mainstream commercial brand.
The firm has four mills largely for residential production, another three that focus on commercial and a backing plant. The largest residential division, Dream Weaver, focuses entirely on PET while the other divisions also offer nylon.
DW Select, part of the of Dream Weaver brand, is the upscale line available in 13 styles with loop pile and cut and loop construction featuring TwistX fibre technology. TwistX allows colours to be changed along the strand of the solution-dyed fibre, yielding striated looks at affordable price points.
Global sales for Interface were up 13.9% to $1.343 billion in 2019 including an 11% increase in the Americas from 2018. Most of that growth came from its’ acquisition of Nora, a global rubber flooring producer which it bought in August 2018, and through growing its commercial luxury vinyl tile business.
Interface’s domestic carpet sales were down about 0.5% to $548 million in 2019 from a revised $549 million in 2018. It is the only firm in the top five that does not produce broadloom and the bulk of its revenues come from the commercial market, with less than $40 million sales coming from the residential floor brand.
The group has bought Card Monroe’s Traditional Loop machine to develop the Arras collection of the Flor brand for residential and commercial markets. It has invested in a backing system to give it the lowest carbon footprint in the industry along with manufacturing innovations providing new ways to incorporate more recycled and bio-based content.
Products using the enhanced backing system will start rolling off the line later this year. Interface’s Flor brand has been increasingly used in commercial markets and the brand may receive a boost going forward from DIY projects with COVID-19 pandemic keeping people home.
The Dixie Group
The Dixie Groups’ overall U.S. carpet sales fell 9.2% to an estimated $354 million in 2019 with 72% of revenues coming from residential products and 28% from commercial products. Commercial carpet was down an estimated 12.4% while the residential side was down 8.8%.
The Dixie Group’s residential and commercial brands both target the higher end of the market. On the residential side, the Dixie Home brand is a medium high collection, the Masland brand a higher collection than Dixie Home while the Fabriuca brand is the top collection.
Dixie Home makes carpet from nylon 6.6 and polyester while Fabrica and Masland use wool and nylon 6.6. On the residential side, the toughest channel was its home centre channel which has been shifting floor space from carpet to hard surface.
For years, the Dixie Group has been a strong supporter of Stainmaster branded nylon6.6 from Ascend which the firm calls Envision 66, to hit some lower price points. Envision 66 has rapidly gained traction and now accounts for a meaningful piece of Dixie Home’s revenues.
Full thanks and acknowledgement are given to Floor Focus for the information in this article.
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