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Regal retunes its rug shop.

NORTH VERNON, Ind.--For too long, rugs have played second fiddle to towels in bath departments. Relegated to the nether reaches of the towel wall, or piled on shelves in a haphazard manner, small rugs sales have not achieved full potential because they have not been given prominence.

Enter Regal's shop concept. For April Market, Regal, a leading manufacturer of bath and accent rugs for the uptairs market with $45 million in annual sales, is filling its showroom with a wide varity of fixtures.

"We're doing a major fixture presentation," says Jane Cooney, vice president of visual merchandising. "We're multi-dimensional--not only good product, but good merchandising."

Regal first introduced a series of fixtures and presentation ideas in April 1991. Since that time, more than 240 department and specialty stores have incorporated all or part of the these fixtures, according to Cooney.

One of its innovations is the rug wall. While the idea involves a commitment of space, the payoff can be worth it. "I think the rug wall will continue to gain steam," says Cooney, noting that Burdines, Pacific Linen and Bob Marche already are on board.

At the April market, buyers will see a "new generation" of the original fixtures that Regal introduced in 1991, as well as some brand new concepts. The basic premise of all Regal's fixtures is licking the space problem.

"The challenge is to create a functional, flexible rug department in a minimum amount of square footage," says Cooney.

Other key elements are color impact, versatility, accessibility and excitement.

Retailers can achieve color impact through the use of Regal's Color Wall Tower at the back and/or the sides of the department. By emphasizing the colors of the best-selling basic patterns, it draws the customer in and provides them with Regal's entire palette at a single glance.

Versatility addresses the consumer's attraction to newness. Many of Ragal's fixtures are scaled to a size that makes them easy to move about the department, creating a variety of different focal, areas. The fixtures also are designed to accommodate and emphasize the shape, size, colors and other attribute of particular styles.

Accessibility. or the ability of a customer instantly to obtain the pattern, color and size she is looking at, it key to clinching impulse purchases, an estimated 70 percent of all sales. Regal's fixtures show extra stock that is easily understood.

Excitement is not a quality one normally associates with small rugs, but that needn't be the case, says Cooney. Design patterns have a story to tell, but need fixturing that will enhance and project that story.

The following are some of the innovations to be found in Regal's showroom at April Market:

Color Wall Tower II: Originally introduced in 1991, this fixture appears fully stocked since the rugs are gravity fed to the front on special hangers and brackets, keeping them easily within arm's reach of the customer. This has been re-engineered and enhanced, including a light bar valance that showers light over and into the top two sections and the display area above.

Basic Glide Shelf Fixture: This workhorse basic floor fixture has been made easier for the customer. Each shelf below the top shelf is on a gliding bracket that allows as the consumer to pull it out an additional 9 inches and better view the product. When the consumer releases the shelf, it is slowly returns to its original closed position and out of the aisle.

Novelty Vignette: An alternative to Novelty Glide, it is a compact display unit with a small footprint but dramatic visual impact. Each side of fixture is covered with a Velcro-type fabric to which the rugs are adhered, providing the consumer with a full view of patterns and shapes. The backup stock is rolled and tucked into cubby holes.

Cascade Fixture: Fashion basic product--that which goes beyond solid or monochromatic--requires a different type of fixture. One side of Cascade displays a cascading waterfall of color and design full-face, while the other is shelved to house all the additional sizes.
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Title Annotation:Regal Rugs Inc.; bath and accent rugs
Author:Adler, Sam
Publication:HFN The Weekly Newspaper for the Home Furnishing Network
Date:Mar 20, 1995
Words:671
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