Trends of Consolidation in the Dalton Carpet Industry
If you’re standing on carpet in a hotel, airport, or even your living room, there’s a good chance it was manufactured in Dalton, Georgia. More than 85 percent of the carpets sold in the United States are from a 65-mile radius of this small city. Worldwide, 45 percent of the residential and commercial carpets also come from this area of 32,000 souls nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The Dalton carpet industry leads the world in production, and therefore sets trends in quality, innovation, and supply.
85% of carpets sold in the U.S. are made within a 65-mile radius of Dalton, GA.
The Dalton Carpet Industry Consolidates
The carpet industry we know today looked different thirty years ago. In the late 1980s, Dalton was the epicenter of a massive ring of carpet manufacturers. Well over 100 mills covered the region, manufacturing carpet just as quick as it sold. Most operated as privately owned operations ran by families and small business owners. But as the market boomed, industry giants like Shaw Industries began acquisitions and bought many of these companies.
The industry shrank rapidly. Companies like World Carpets, Queen, Salem, Galaxy, and Diamond became part of larger conglomerates. By the turn of the century, only three major manufactures of residential carpet remained.
The Major Carpet Companies Focus on Their Market
Shaw Industries, Mohawk Carpet, and Beaulieu of America stand tall as industry leaders. As the leaders began to buy smaller operations, they shifted focus to their manufacturing specialties. They continue to do so today; Shaw predominantly produces nylon carpet, Mohawk mainly manufactures polyester carpets, and Beaulieu focuses on high-end polyesters.
These companies all concentrate on their carpet sector and do it well. The industry shrank not because of failure, but because of the potential to expand corporation’s market shares. The global use of carpet fell, so as companies consolidated the market shrank with it.
A New Competitor Emerges
Just recently a new player has put their foot in the door of the industry: Engineered Floors. They specialize in producing mass quantities of mid-market polyester carpet. They affected the polyester sector. Yet, because they are in its premier stages, they haven’t eliminated any of the major players. Now known in the industry, they have gained a great deal of respect for their innovation. Engineered Floors now prepares to enter the nylon sector, making their footprint one step at a time.
The carpet industry went from hundreds of companies to four, showing great market consolidation. Heading into the next generation, there appears to be four global manufactures at play. This proves that regardless of consolidation, the carpet industry continues to be a profitable marketplace.