While the United States domestic carpet market fell during 2019, commercial carpets outperformed residential carpets partly because of a market share shift from broadloom to carpet tiles. Carpet groups also found opportunities during the tough market to steer customers away from lower end offerings by focussing on designs by mills, improving interest in woven goods and broadloom rugs, as well as by introducing new technology.
Ways carpet groups are improving sales
Residential carpet has never been a DIY product because the residential sector is a broadloom market, but DIY is fast becoming more appealing and is a sales channel that could work in today’s environment. Thanks to a shipping and transportation infrastructure that seems to be holding its own, DIY may be the key to improving sales, even under stay-at-home protocols.
Another opportunity can be found in broadloom rugs customised in size, colour and shape to fit the client’s space that have been growing in popularity in the last few years in the residential and commercial carpet market. In terms of technology, the Tailored Loop, a machine providing new design possibilities for soft-surface floor coverings by Card-Monroe, a tufting technology corporation, is an opportunity carpet producers are fast adopting to grow sales.
Market managing to meet US needs
The US carpet capacity has been sufficient to meet the local market requirements during 2019, however some carpets are exported, mostly to Canada, and these needs could not be met. There was a decrease in imports of speciality carpets such as Axministers and woven goods from Asia, unique or higher end goods from Europe, as well as tufted and woven carpets from China which impacted total US consumption figures.
Multifamily and builder business carpet markets outpaced the residential remodelling carpet market in 2019 with the multifamily market being strong since the Great Recession ended in 2009. The multifamily market has grown so much since 2009 that despite construction slowing, the volume of apartment turns – where carpet is replaced in apartments when tenants leave – has given residential dealers plenty of work.
Uneven and lower sales areas to grow
The builder business carpet market was uneven last year, even though conditions were ideal for home buying with low mortgage rates, low unemployment and healthy economic growth. Consumer debt, monthly expenses and stagnant wage growth made housing affordability an issue for many lower to middle income Americans with homeowners staying in the same place longer slowing home turnover.
The residential remodelling carpet market usually has lower figures because of lower price points rather than volume sold as it includes home centres which focus on the lower end of the remodel price range in carpets. Home centres have also made shifts to reducing carpet offerings and boosting the hard surface side in terms of luxury vinyl tiles.
Full thanks and acknowledgement are given to Floor Focus for the information in this article.
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