Thursday, May 19, 2022

More NZers opting for wool-based floors

Soaring consumer demand has more Kiwi homes being floored in wool as consumers increasingly ask specifically for wool carpet.

Wools of New Zealand chief executive John McWhirter says wool carpets now account for a growing proportion of WNZ partners’ retail sales.

Soaring consumer demand has more Kiwi homes being floored in wool as consumers increasingly ask specifically for wool carpet.

As a result, Wools of New Zealand (WNZ) is reporting a 50% rise in wool sales through its retailers.

WNZ chief executive John McWhirter said wool carpets now account for a growing proportion of WNZ partners’ retail sales.

“The rising demand means wool’s share of the carpet market has grown by more than 350,000 kilograms of wool,” McWhirter said.

“It’s a clear indication that more New Zealanders are considering sustainable floor options for their homes.”

WNZ last year partnered with Flooring Xtra and other independent retailers to launch wool carpets to the market.

“Wool-based flooring now accounts for a significant part of our sales revenue and we couldn’t be happier,” he said.

“In the last six months we have seen consumers consistently walking into our stores asking specifically for carpets made from wool,” FlooringXtra chief executive Tony TeAu said.

Next month WNZ will be welcoming on board additional independent and retail chains to market wool carpets.

Wool’s lower carbon footprint is increasingly in step with consumer expectations.

“The feedback we are getting from retailers is that consumers are seeking sustainable, renewable and biodegradable carpet made from wool grown right here in NZ,” McWhirter said.

One of the key barriers to increasing sales of wool carpets in the past has been affordability.

“WNZ carpet is priced competitively compared with synthetic carpets, meaning New Zealanders have a genuine choice between a synthetic product or a natural product direct from WNZ’s farmer-growers.

“We firmly believe carpets don’t have to cost the earth.

“Our goal is to grow the consumption of strong wool in the market by making wool carpet affordable to the majority of Kiwis.

“We can achieve this by utilising modern high volume manufacturing operations, without impacting on quality, and taking costs out of the supply chain.

“Carpet moves significant volumes of wool and for our growers this captures greater returns and increases the demand for wool.”

In line with the increase in wool carpet sales, the price of wool has started creeping up, he said.

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