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Fading glory of Carpet Capital concerns entrepreneurs
Nov '08
Northwest Georgia has been known as 'The Carpet Capital of the World', as this industry is the key economic pillar of the region with annual mill sales exceeding US $14 billion.

However, carpet and floor-covering industry is being adversely affected by global recession, especially due to rising production cost and lack of demand in the market.

Carpet's market share has fell recently as consumers' started preferring hardwood, laminate and tile, which are easier to clean. Nevertheless, carpet still accounts for more than 60 percent of all flooring sold despite the fact that over the last two years carpet sales have slowed by about 350 million yards annually.

Many companies are opting for cost-cutting strategies including downsizing that has left significant number of workers unemployed. This industry accounts for over 70,000 jobs nationwide with an annual payroll of more than $4 billion.

However, in the recently held annual meeting of Dalton-based Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI), delegates stressed that this rough phase was only temporary and would soon pass as home-textile industry has a bright future.

Many of the floor-covering industry's top delegates, including Jim Bethel of J&J Industries, Vance Bell of Shaw Industries, Boe, Dan Frierson of The Dixie Group, Russell Grizzle of Milliken and Co, Jeff Lorberbaum of Mohawk Industries and Ralph Boe, President and CEO of Beaulieu of America, participated at this event.

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