published Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

Saudi rugmaker Al-Sorayai Trading Group opens office in Dalton, Ga.

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Saudi Arabian Al-Sorayai Trading Group announced that a U.S. expansion would start in Dalton, Ga., where the rugmaker has hired a number of carpet industry veterans to run a sales office.

Alsorayai has sold rugs for more than 60 years, and will sell in Dalton under the name Millennium Weavers, said Jefferson Knott, president and CEO.

Knott, who formerly was an executive with Johnson & Johnson as well as Rooms To Go Corp., said he is excited about the “opportunities ahead of us.”

“I am confident that we are poised to make a significant impact in the area rug market based on the response we have already received from customers and suppliers alike,” Knott said.

The company will “pursue prudent growth,” as it relies on parent company Al-Sorayai’s existing manufacturing capacity, he said.

The new location on 3331 Box Drive will house the sales force for the company’s operations in Latin America, the Caribbean and Canada, in addition to the U.S. market.

Mike Thompson, who worked for 16 years as a Shaw Rugs sales manager, said he is excited about Al-Sorayai.

“The products we are bringing to market are unique, and offer colors and styles that will really turn some heads,” he said.

Al-Sorayai’s website says the rugmaker exports to more than 65 countries, with three carpet and rug factories. In 1996 it opened a thread factory in its home country.

Reuters news service said the Jeddah, Saudi Arabia-based company also offers fiber bonded and tufted carpet in sheet and tile, hard surface floors, furniture fabrics, and luxury blankets.

Al-Sorayai, which is traded on the Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul stock exchange brought in about $62 million in sales for the third quarter, with net income of about $2.1 million.

In 2010, a down year for the company, Al-Sorayai sold about $242 million worth of carpeting, earning a profit of $20 million, according to the Saudi Stock exchange.

Contact staff writer Ellis Smith at esmith@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6315.

about Ellis Smith...

Ellis Smith joined the Chattanooga Times Free Press in January 2010 as a business reporter. His beat includes the flooring industry, Chattem, Unum, Krystal, the automobile market, real estate and technology. Ellis is from Marietta, Ga., and has a bachelor’s degree in mass communication at the University of West Georgia. He previously worked at UTV-13 News, Carrollton, Ga., as a producer; at the The West Georgian, Carrollton, Ga., as editor; and at the Times-Georgian, Carrollton, ...

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