The machine-made rug business continues to grow. Headquartered in Cairo, Egypt, Oriental Weavers and its subsidiaries have manufactured products for more than 40 years. We recently caught up with Hany Amin, marketing manager, Oriental Weavers, who shared his outlook at Domotex Asia in Shanghai this spring.  

FT: What types of products you highlighting this year?  

Amin: We are bringing some of the colors that we have seen fashionable for 2019 and 2020, and we are also trying to bring some different weaving constructions, whether in traditional designs or in modern designs. Also, some of our products actually have been invented, especially, to be different from what has been offered in the Chinese market or the surrounding market in Asia. For example, the company has launched machine-made collections that offers rugs that offer density of almost 3 million points per square meter, which gives a look similar to handmade rugs. For regular customers, it's actually very difficult to differentiate between this and handmade rugs. It brings real value and class to any home. 

FT: How big is your business in the United States?  

Amin: North America is actually our biggest market. In the U.S., we are holding about 20% market share of the machine-made area rugs, and we are basically supplying most of the major retailers in the U.S. We have our own production facility as well in the U.S. besides what we export from Egypt to the U.S. market and Canada.  

FT: What product trends are you seeing?  

Amin: There is lot going on with the indoor-outdoor programs, what they call the patio rugs—the things you put in your garden, your yard, and on the balcony. These are all UV treated you UV stabilized, so there's no effect from the sun. And this is going with all the retailers, all the major retailers in different price points—we're talking volume here. Besides that, we are serving also a lot of the furniture retailers in the U.S. with the middle to higher end products 

FT: What is your outlook for the next year?  

Amin: We are very optimistic about 2019, 2020. Some people say that some markets are slowing down a little bit, however, other markets are picking up a very high. The U.S. is doing very well, east Europe is doing very well, and we are doing great business in the Far East region, especially in countries like Indonesia and Malaysia. So overall the, the picture looks quite optimistic.  

FT: What are you attributing that growth to?  

Amin: The main reason for having such a growth is trying to be always a different, offering unique products to the markets. At the same time, everybody's looking for lead times—like how you are offering your service to the people in different markets. What makes the difference between a successful factory and another is how fast you can deliver the goods to the customers at the right time. Now that major retailers are working according to seasons, the faster and the sooner and the more efficiently you can deliver your goods, this will make a big difference for your presence in the markets. 

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