“The wolf is away from the door…..” I have said this in the past few days referring to our business in September and the first weeks of October. But, I continue, “I think he is still circling the house!”
In this environment, who knows what will come next. Will the ‘wolf’ be back? The past two years has been the most difficult of my entire career. I have never seen a period when a businessman is completely unable to forecast his company.
At Fine Rugs of Charleston, by every measure, September was best month we’ve had in over two years. Our clients and designers give me a feeling that there may be a resurgent demand in home decorating. However, you can’t really call it “pent up demand” in a classic sense. That implies that customer needs which went unfilled for a period are now being filled. Not by a long shot; things are totally different now and we are adjusting to the changes.
Clients have dialed back their price points, but not their style expectations and quality standards. This is natural in a recovery and logical when you realize that as business people we always endeavor to have our customer’s trade up. When the ‘wheels fell off’ in late 2008 we may have maxed out our client’s appetite for extravagance. I see now in our own rug selection we had let a quest for freshness and color push our price points to the sky. Frankly, I didn’t realize this until the past few weeks as business has begun to improve.
What are we doing differently? Well, we have addressed our price points by adding a number of more moderately priced, but stylish rug collections to our mix. For the past year and a half our vendors have been scouring the globe in search of value and these products are now coming to market. Fine Rugs of Charleston is among the top rug and carpet showrooms in the nation and we are often offered first crack at new lines.
These rugs simulate our Tibetan rugs where we sell a 9×12 rug for up to $8,000. The 9×12 rug in this collection (net) sells for only $2,300. Standard and custom sizes are offered and the lead time is 3-4 weeks. Come in and see the Delray or Sierra Collections. Believe me, this product line is helping us “keep the wolf from coming through the door!”