• Cecile Corral

Burlington exits rug biz with sale of Bacova

Bacova, the last remaining rug business for Burlington Industries, has been sold, effectively shutting down the company's Burlington House Floor Accents division as of July 1.

Rocky Mount, VA-based Ronile Inc., a space-dyed yarn supplier to the commercial carpet market, has signed a definitive agreement to buy the Bacova division of decorative floor mats and accent and scatter rugs and operate it as a separate division.

Ronile, a $120 million company, said president and ceo Phillip Essig, will rehire Bacova's 374 employees and appoint Charlie Bowers, executive vp of BHFA, as president.

"This is a great opportunity for me and all of us at Bacova," Bowers told HTT. "Our strategic plan is in place, our vision has not changed. But the opportunity to change that vision has changed. We have more opportunity now."

Under Ronile's ownership, Bacova's name will be changed to Bacova Guild Ltd.

Essig expects to continue pursuing Bacova's existing customers, adding that he has plans of expanding the breadth of Bacova's offerings into new home textile categories.

"Ronile discovered a company located within its same geographic area, one that offers steady growth and earnings and can be a piece of a bigger puzzle in building a bigger business as a key vendor to retailers across the country," Bowers said. "Our business has been strong and steady, and we want to continue doing things the way we have been. We want to be able to offer the market a choice of product that represents value in a number of different businesses. Right now we have the floor mats and accent and scatter rugs. But obviously as opportunities present themselves, we'll grow and add more categories."

Bacova joins Ronile as a manufacturer and importer of a broad assortment of decorative floor mats and accent and scatter rugs.

  • Floor mats include needle-punch textile in polyester and polypropylene; berber in polypropylene; berber in wool; cotton; molded rubber; synthetic koyer; natural koyer; and engraved.

  • Accent and scatter rugs are made of cotton, nylon and polypropylene.

  • And bath rugs come primarily in basic solid color and fashion styles.

Burlington bought Bacova in 1995 as the then-newest addition to its 50-plus year old rug business. But more recently, the company has been shrinking Burlington House Floor Accents (BHFA) by exiting the rug business gradually since early this year, when the company sold its tufted rug business to the Yanoor Corp. More recently, Burlington phased out its roomsize rug business, which left only the Bacova line.

Earlier this year Burlington rolled its bath business — which included some Bacova rugs — into its Burlington House line, which also includes bedding, window treatments, upholstery, mattress coverings and the division's commercial interior furnishings contract business.

"We will not be in the rug business any longer," said Jack Ganley, president of Burlington House. "We want to concentrate on what we feel are our core businesses — woven fabrics. We didn't feel floor mats were part of that core."

Ganley added that while BHFA will cease to exist as of next month, Burlington Industries will continue to maintain a close, "good relationship" with Ronile, which is a raw yarn supplier for Burlington Industries' Lees Carpets division.

With the purchase of the business, Ronile also acquires BHFA's two facilities in Virginia, a 335,000-square-foot manufacturing plant in Low Moor and a 35,000-square-foot office space for the design and part of the marketing teams in the village of Bacova in Bath County. Also, Ronile will showcase a new Bacova line of product at the New York Home Textiles Show in October in Burlington Industries' showroom. Essig said by next year, he hopes to lease a separate space for Bacova at the 295 Fifth Ave. home textiles building.

Bowers and several other executives from Bacova, also based here, will continue using their offices at Burlington Industries' headquarters here, except Ronile will lease the spaces.

"There's no reason to make everyone relocate if we are able to lease their office space from Burlington," Essig said. "We have a very good relationship still with Burlington, and we've arranged to make this possible."

Cecile CorralCecile Corral | Senior Product Editor, Home Textiles Today

Cecile B. Corral has been a product editor with Home Textiles Today since late 2000. She covers the area and accent rug, kitchen textiles, table linens, beach towels, decorative bath and decorative pillow categories, as well as some retail subjects.

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