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American market welcomes Wool Project at Surfaces
Feb '10
The British Wool Marketing Board (BWMB) headed to Surfaces, the leading North American flooring show held in Las Vegas in February, to promote British Wool carpets.

Accompanied by Brintons and Axminster Carpets, the BWMB also hosted the American launch of the Wool Project, HRH The Prince of Wales' campaign to re-position wool. The BWMB promoted the natural sustainability of the fibre to a market that has bought in to the Green agenda in a big way.

“Whilst most retailers will admit it is not a decision maker for the consumer, they know that there is a growing interest in the environment and it is seen as adding value. “ Tim Booth, Product Development Manager at the BWMB explained.

“The view on British Wool has changed considerably in the last few years, more retailers are interested in making space for it in their showrooms and this is because they understand that natural fibres tick Green boxes and also they are beginning to understand wool and its benefits more.”

In the USA, wool is a high value product and is firmly embedded in the high-end market, It is a huge country and so styles vary from state to state, neutrals rule in Los Angeles but colour is king in New York. Almost all carpets sold by Brintons in the USA are area rugs, according to Angelo Gulano, their US Residential Sales Manager in the USA based in Atlanta. “Borders and runners are very important as the carpet is room size but not edge to edge.”

Axminster Carpets took their Design Director Gary Bridge with them and he mentioned that it is important to get the details right. “We have met the American trends by producing specific designs and also tweaking with yarn blends to get a cleaner look and a crisper weave.”

The Wool Project was launched at the event in an area of the BWMB stand designated as international and a pre-recorded dvd of HRH The Prince of Wales was played. He talked of the strengths of wool and he urged support for the fibre.

The message was well-received by the attendees and the planned Wool Project POS and educational programme was also seen as something the retail community needed to grow sales of wool ranges and would increase support.

“It was a very good show for British Wool and our partners, the impact of the Prince and the Wool Project in this market is highly valuable and we do feel this will help to grow the market share for wool.” Ian Hartley, CEO of BWMB said.

British Wool Marketing Board

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