industry insider | Oct 16, 2017 |
Tai Ping sells commercial rug businesses to focus on artisan brands

Tai Ping Carpets announced earlier this month that it had sold the company’s commercial brands to Thailand Carpet Manufacturing PLC. With this sale, Tai Ping exits the machine-made commercial carpet business entirely in order to focus exclusively on bespoke luxury carpeting, while TCM is now positioned as the largest producer of Axminster carpeting.

Rug by Edward Fields; courtesy Tai Ping
Rug by Edward Fields; courtesy Tai Ping

As one of the carpet industry’s global giants, Tai Ping had diversified its holdings to include several brands within two flooring categories: artisan brands that specialized in custom products for residential, aviation, yacht, and retail boutique projects; and a collection of brands producing high-volume commercial-grade flooring at a lower price point. While the company saw growth on both sides of the business—between 2003 and 2016, the artisan business grew 84 percent and the commercial business saw a 175 percent increase—Tai Ping’s board of directors felt that two distinct growth strategies would allow each portion of the business to continue to grow, capitalizing on their unique strengths.

“Collectively, the commercial divisions of Tai Ping have been one of our great successes of the past decade,” says Sir Michael Kadoorie, a representative for Tai Ping’s major shareholders. “Their value is a testament to the hard work and resourcefulness of our managers, and we felt strongly about leaving them in good hands. We have full faith that TCM will foster growth on a global scale and take these businesses to even greater heights.”

For TCM, the sale only augments its robust commercial flooring business, including its signature, hospitality-focused brand, Royal Thai. As a result of the sale, 1956 by Tai Ping will be sold under the Royal Thai banner, while corporate-sector-focused Carpets Inter will continue to be sold under new ownership. Former Tai Ping executives Bill Palmer and Mark Johnson have been tapped as co-CEOs of TCM’s new commercial business.

For Tai Ping, the sale represents a monumental shift in business strategy: The company will return to its roots, strategically investing in and developing its bespoke brands—Tai Ping, Edward Fields and La Manufacture Cogolin. That investment will touch all sectors of the company, from design, marketing, global distribution and sales, to the pursuit of new markets.

Another key element of Tai Ping’s growth strategy is the completion of a new manufacturing facility in Xiamen, China, which will also serve as the headquarters for product development, research and development, and marketing.

For customers, the most visible result of the sale will be Tai Ping’s renewed focus on customization—which will also enable the company to better modify its designs to suit consumer tastes and preferences in regional markets.

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