Horizon New Generations Etchware, constructed of SmartStrand fiber made with DuPont Sorona renewably sourced polymer.

Residential and commercial carpet sales are expected to increase in 2010, according to survey respondents in an exclusive Carpet and Area Rug Market Study conducted by Clear Seas Research forNational Floor Trendsmagazine.

For 2009, carpet sales continued to drop with an average of 29 transactions each month. The statistics are not surprising considering the downturn in the economy; therefore consumers are not making large purchases.

Shaw’s Design Twist Platinum using Anso Caress nylon with 25% recycled content.

Even with the drop in number of transactions, 39% of respondents tallied carpet sales of $1million or more for the year.(See chart 1.)The average ticket per carpet sale was $2,680, with 26% at $3,000 or more.

Carpet displays continue to be the main product category on the showroom floor with 54% of floor space devoted to it. Carpet sales continue to be split between residential and commercial at 67% and 33% respectively for the second year in a row.

Looking ahead, 54% of respondents expect an increase in residential carpet sales, while just 12% expect to see a decrease. In the commercial sector, 35% are expecting an increase in business, while 23% are planning for a decline.(See chart 2.)

Harounian Rugs International Cambridge Collection.

The sentiment is clear. Survey respondents who expect to see growth in their residential carpet sales report a better economy with pent up demand and more sales through remodeling as likely reasons for the increase. Unfortunately, this feeling is not the same nationwide, as those expecting a decrease in sales reason the decline may be influenced by the continued weak economy, increased foreclosures in Q3 and lackluster consumer confidence, combined with declines in residential and commercial construction.

On the commercial side of carpet sales, respondents who expect to see an increase report an improving economy, increase in employment and higher sales numbers as likely reasons for future sales growth. Respondents who expect to see a decline in future commercial carpet sales report reasons such as: banks not making loans; businesses rehiring instead of remodeling; and hard surface taking some of the carpet jobs.

When carpet sales are displaced by a hard surface category, hardwood garners most of the sales at 44%, followed by laminate, 19%, ceramic tile, 17% and resilient, 7%.

Sixty-four percent of survey respondents have continued to use the same number of carpet suppliers with 18% either adding or decreasing business partners.

The most influencing factors in respondents decision to sell/promote a particular brand/manufacturer of residential carpet include: product quality (94%), service/support (88%), price (87%), product design and styling (84%).(See chart 3.)

Survey respondents named Shaw top supplier in the carpet segment.

In the commercial sector, product quality (86%), price (80%), product design and styling (78%) service/support (77%), and customer request (72%) are key to selling/promoting a particular brand/manufacturer of commercial carpet.

Nearly nine out of ten respondents (86%)  report customers ask about green carpet products and the majority of respondents recommend green carpet products during their selling process.  Respondents that sometimes or never recommend green carpet products report lack of product selection, cost, and lack of sales knowledge as the main reasons they don’t push such products.

In the area rug segment, sales have dropped with respondents selling an average of five rugs per month. The average price point is $600 with 33% of sales between $500 and $999.(See chart 4.)Total annual area rug sales average $16,310, with 26% selling $25,000 or more.

Rug sales are expected to stay the same according to 57% of respondents, while 29% expect to see an increase and 14% project a decrease. Respondents who project a decrease report sales are expected to decline due to the weak economy and more competition from Internet websites.

Respondents report product design and styling (95%), product quality (86%), price (71%), and service/support (67%) as the top factors in their decision to sell/promote a particular brand/manufacturer of area rugs.

How Do You Measure Up?

Here are the average sale amounts/average sizes in square yards our survey respondents report.

Average Residential Sale:
39% between $2,000 - $2,999
Mean: $2,146

Average Main Street Commercial Sale:
33% at $5,000 or more
Mean: $4,226

Average Residential Carpet Job:
88 square yards

Average Main Street Commercial Job:
192 square yards