Otago Daily Times

Wool carpet makers notice expanding demand in New Zealand, US

- SUSAN MURRAY

AUCKLAND: The global pandemic has New Zealand wool carpet manufactur­ers spinning, as demand increases from customers here and in the United States.

Over the past decade, wool carpets have lost ground to synthetic floor coverings and national sales dropped from 80% of the market to only 15% now.

Godfrey Hirst general manager Andre May said some some growth was appearing because

internatio­nal consumer research and product developmen­t companies to better understand consumerfo­cused market opportunit­ies and how to reach those consumers.

MPI had also completed a domestical­ly focused environpeo­ple unable to travel were spending money on their homes.

Godfrey Hirst is New Zealand’s largest manufactur­er of floor coverings, mainly carpets and mainly synthetic.

However, Mr May said postlockdo­wn there had been doubledigi­t growth in wool carpet sales, with a recent ‘‘twomonth sales push resulting in a 30% growth, albeit off a very low base’’.

May said the firm’s large manufactur­ing site in Auckland was investing in new carpet

mental scan to give the group a better understand­ing on who was undertakin­g innovative work with strong wool in New Zealand.

Mr Caughey has been involved in the wool sector in New Zealand and internatio­nally since designs, colours and styles, more machinery, and overcoming challenges like colour fastness.

Capacity at spinning and dyeing plants in Oamaru, Dannevirke and Lower Hutt was being increased.

Staff were working overtime to cope with workloads, and Mr May said, unlike the firm’s imported synthetic products that were being held up with the port issues, increasing volumes of wool were coming directly from New Zealand farms.

1988. In 2011, he founded Armadillo Merino, a global company specialisi­ng in advanced nexttoskin clothing for tactical operators and profession­als operating in highrisk environmen­ts.

He attributed the support to

Flooring expenditur­e had gone up across all types of coverings, so some of wool’s increase in demand was coming from that he said.

‘‘In addition, we are seeing a sentiment coming in, people are looking to more sustainabl­e fibres, more natural fibres, possibly more than they have historical­ly, and so there’s a natural interest growing in that respect as well,’’ he said.

Interest was also coming from larger purchasers of carpets, including government department­s although for com

several reasons; there was a ‘‘really high calibre’’ board, with a huge amount of talent.

Those people were not going to put forward their names and time if they did not feel they could make a demonstrab­le difference. With them came their mercial reasons he would not expand on that, but he said group home builders were also more in the market.

‘‘Private commercial entities that would build multiple dwellings as part of their business, we are seeing them now ask for ranges not only of synthetic products but also for ranges in a kind of good, better, best, format for wool as well,’’ Mr May said.

Godfrey Hirst also manufactur­es woollen carpets for the increasing United States market. — RNZ

networks of contacts, he said.

The group’s strategy was also very clear; it was demanddriv­en and consumerle­d. ‘‘We’ve got to move away from our traditiona­l supplydriv­en strategy of pushing product into the market. We’ve done it for

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