The Nation’s Premier Area Rug, Furniture Retailers Honored at ROY Awards
The extraordinary achievement of the nation’s premier area rug and furniture retailers was honored during the July Atlanta International Area Rug Market®’s signature event—the Retailer of the Year (ROY) Awards—on Monday, July 14, at the Georgia Aquarium. Presented by AmericasMart and the Oriental Rug Retailers of America (ORRA), the ceremony recognized leaders making a significant impact on the entire industry. The ROY nominees were selected by AmericasMart area rug exhibitors and were voted on by an independent panel of industry experts.
More than 700 buyers and exhibitors filled the world’s largest aquarium’s majestic Oceans Ballroom to celebrate the winners. The evening’s festivities featured a lavish cocktail buffet by Wolfgang Puck catering and a Monte Carlo-themed casino evening. The winners of the July 2008 Rug Retailer of the Year Awards are as follows:
• Area Rug Specialist: Albed Rug Company, based in Wayne, Penn. Ray Albed, owner, accepted the award. The firm has been in business for more than 90 years and has transitioned from generation to generation. As a stellar community advocate, Albed Rug Company annually donates approximately 50 rugs per year to support local charities. They currently stock more than 6,000 new, used, semi-antique and antique rugs.
• Creative Selling: AJA Rugs, headquartered in La Jolla, Calif. Its presentation was the most outstanding one ever received by AmericasMart. In addition to its presentation, AJA Rugs was nominated by more AmericasMart exhibitors than ever before. A 3rd generation west coast company, AJA is the staple of the southern California design trade. They pride themselves on providing a welcoming environment while creating an enjoyable buying experience and have been voted the “Best” for nine straight years by the local ASID community.
• Furniture Store: HOM Furniture, established in Minneapolis, MN, in the early 70s. It has made radical changes since its conception as a gift Import business, which turned into a waterbed store five years later and soon evolved into Total Bedroom stores. From there it became Leather and Oak showrooms, and in 1996 these two entities merged into HOM Furniture. It now has 14 locations and has become one of the largest furniture businesses in country and is a dominant player in the Midwest. Its rug departments and galleries range in size from 3,000 to 17,000 square feet with more than 3,000 rugs.
• Flooring Store: The Carpet Shop, based in Augusta, Ga. Donna and Bill Farr and Dan Holloway accepted the award. It has four locations in two states and is currently celebrating its 50th year in business. The Carpet Shop is one of the first carpet specialty stores in the southeast and has grown to one of the top 100 in the nation.
• Outstanding Merchandising: Elte Carpets from Toronto, Ontario. The award was received by James Metrick and Abe Jerohmi. Elte Carpets was established in Europe in 1919 and has continued to be a family business since. Today, it is one of North America’s largest retail companies with a 200,000-square foot facility and is also known as Canada’s leading importer of home furnishings. In addition to mastering area rugs, Elte Carpets also stocks broadloom carpet, furniture, lighting, linens and accessories.
“The area rug industry is only as strong as the retailers that support it on a daily basis, and we are grateful that we are able to be surrounded by such established leaders,” says Chas Sydney, senior vice president of Area Rugs for AmericasMart. “The nominees and winners are exceptional players in our industry, and it is because of their dedication and commitment to customers and the industry as a whole that we are able to continuing thriving together. We commend and honor those that were part of our ceremony as they are the primary reason we are here today.”