From Artisan Hands to American Homes
Through the doors of Landry & Arcari Rugs and Carpeting in Boston, customers are greeted by works of art. Grand oriental rugs handcrafted by weavers across Asia and the Middle East adorn the walls and are stacked in neat piles on the floor. Here, a rug is more than a room accent—it is a masterpiece rooted in a 2,500-year-old tradition.
Just like its inventory, the store has a strong history. Founder Jerry Arcari has more than 50 years of experience working with floor coverings and carpeting, though oriental pieces have always been his passion. It all started with a high school job working for a rug dealer when he “fell in love” with the quality and history of hand-woven rugs.
“I became enthralled with the fact that each rug is unique and special,” he says. “It became my passion and vocation in life.”
Arcari went on to work in flooring installation, later joined the military and afterward became the international rug buyer for Allied Stores, a major department store chain. In 1981, Jerry purchased Landry Brothers Upholstery Furniture, a Boston company established in 1938. He rebranded the business as Landry & Arcari and shifted the store’s focus to oriental rugs. Today, with three stores in the Boston area and an inventory of more than 12,000 oriental rugs and broadloom carpets, Landry & Arcari is a staple of Boston’s floor covering and interior design communities.
Staying Ahead of the Competition
Known for their one-of-a-kind antique orientals, custom-order rugs, in-store designs, rare restoration expertise and high-quality pieces, the Arcaris work hard to stay at least two steps ahead of competitors and cater to the fashion-forward interior design community.
“To supply designers with new and innovative options, we are always looking for ideas and designing new pieces,” says Arcari. “It takes us a year or two to design, produce and get a new rug on the store floor.”
His team’s market research includes visits to high-end clothing stores to analyze colors and patterns used in women’s dresses and men’s ties. This inspiration is leveraged by the company’s design team to sketch a series of new rugs. These sketches are sent overseas to weavers in Nepal, Pakistan and India. Within six months, brand new hand-woven rugs grace the Landry & Arcari showroom.
“The colors in women’s dresses this year will be on their floors in two years,” notes Arcari.
Selling Investment Pieces
Oriental rugs are an investment—new rugs average in the low $3,000 range while antiques can cost upwards of $25,000 to $35,000—and are of such high quality that they can be handed down for generations.
“The great rugs woven 150 years ago still sparkle,” says Arcari. “When I lay them on the floor, they look new. It’s amazing.”
When selling such pieces, building relationships is key. The Landry & Arcari family takes the time to hear a client’s vision for their space and educate them on the rug production process.
“Once we take our clients through the design, patterns and human effort that goes into each rug, they understand it will last them forever.”
Even when clients don’t end up buying from Landry & Arcari, they often leave satisfied and become the store’s ambassadors—telling their friends about the excellent service and design support they received.
“If you service your clientele well, they will build your business for you.”
All in the Family
After 50 years, Jerry’s passion for oriental rugs has not wavered. He retired in 2016 and moved to Florida, but did not stay away from the business for long. He works part-time for Florida Floor Fashions and every few months travels back to Boston to work the floor and chat with customers at Landry & Arcari.
“My true love is being on the floor with clients,” he says. “That’s where the rubber hits the road.”
While he’s away from Boston, though, he knows the business is in good hands. His daughter Julie has taken over as CEO, his son Jay is the broadloom carpeting manager, and his son Jeff handles all the oriental rug buying and overseas production. His grandson has even joined the team, going on buying trips and helping out where needed.
“This business has provided a lovely livelihood for me, for my family, and for many families over the years. I’m very grateful. To be able to flip rugs with my grandson is the frosting on the cake.”
The DOMOTEX USA Advantage
Jerry’s son, Jeff, accompanied by three or more Landry & Arcari team members, have attended DOMOTEX Germany for 15 years, and Jerry himself looks forward to joining the USA show in Atlanta, Feb. 28 – March 2, 2019.
“That’s where we find cutting-edge products that you can’t find anywhere else,” he says, adding that the show has helped his business appeal to its interior designer target market.
“The success of any retail operation is education. If you want to see what the rest of the world is doing, this is the show to go to.”
While Jeff and his team will be at DOMOTEX USA scouting new products, Jerry will be manning an exhibitor booth for the International Design Guild, a community of artisans and interior designers who curate luxury products.
Join Jerry, his team, and his family at DOMOTEX USA—America’s Home for Flooring Feb. 28 – March 2, 2019! #whyidomotex #domotexusa2019