Peter Pap is perhaps one of the most publicly recognizable individual names in the Antique Oriental Rug Business. If you haven't heard his name before, you would certainly recognize the popular PBS series Antiques Roadshow, of which Pap is a frequent guest as an Oriental Rug and Textile Specialist.
In June of 2007, Brian O'Reilly of Fortune Small Business wrote an article "Rugs to Riches," which expounded on some of the business dilemmas the successful Oriental Rug dealer Mr. Pap of Peter Pap oriental rugs Inc., had been facing. Pap owns two Oriental Rug Showrooms, one in Dublin New Hampshire, and a second in San Francisco. While different accounting programs were adding to difficultly with financials, Pap also explained some of the other problems his small business was confronted with: "I do best buying and selling," said Pap in 2007, "but I'm spending 80% of my
time doing what others should do." While certainly an expert in the field of acquiring and selling Oriental Rugs, delegating responsibilities was not the only bump in the road. At this point in time, Pap was also struggling to use his valuable inventory as collateral for banks to lend him money. Unfortunately, one of the main issues is that banks simply don't have the means to value such items as Oriental Rugs. However, sales in 2006 had reached some $3.5 million, and closed in a whopping $5 million in 2007. Pap certainly has some high profile clientele to meet the asking price of some of his highly prized and valuable inventory of which consists of several $250,000 rugs. Pap had also expressed concern over maintaining connection with some of these solid leads. While many of Pap's rugs certainly have high monetary value, Brian O'Reilly of FSB wrote: "Pap concedes that he is mismanaging his most valuable asset: his loyal
following among the nation's serious collectors. He rarely makes time
to call them. He has neglected to collect many of their e-mail
addresses. Even if he had an up-to-date e-mail list, Pap lacks an
effective online marketing program." As any small business manager knows given the conditions of the present economy, reiterating your position and availability to clients is integral for long term sustainable business interests. Perhaps the situation is not as much as a business shortcoming, as it is not fulfilling the potential such business may have to offer.
In a recent follow up article by O'Reilly dated May 2, 2008, "A Rug Merchant's New Strategy for Rolling Up Profits," it had been noted that some of the above issues had been resolved to a certain extent. What had previously been a difficult task in maintaining leads, Pap stated: "Now we track the types of rugs people want, we take their e-mail
addresses, and we ask if they'd like to get our newsletter." These tactics have proved both profitable and fruitful. While Pap mentioned the increased feasibility and results from online presence, differences between the accounting practices between his New Hampshire and San Fransisco stores still remain a point of contention for banks before loans may be allotted in order to acquire additional inventory. Creating more simplified financials of the two stores is quite a project, and Pap also expressed the need for more assistance in the IT department. As many can imagine, the challenges of hosting several thousand images of rugs including detailed descriptions is quite a task. Recent hiring which has been implemented in his stores have allowed Pap to continue with lectures and seminars across the states, however, the ongoing concerns regarding Internet presence remains to be of utmost importance. In today's economy, all strategies must be taken to have advantage over competitors. Creating an online presence of physical inventory is a daunting task, but the need for sellers to have merchandise exposure for public viewing must be available in as many venues as possible.
Despite these typical business dilemmas, Mr. Peter Pap is continuing to have success in the field of Antique Oriental Rugs. As Pap stated: "[antique] Rugs are blue-chip stocks you hold for the next generation. Instead of
quarterly cash dividends, they deliver daily beauty and pleasure."
Peter Pap Oriental Rugs, Inc.
Peter Pap Showrooms and Locations
For more information on Mr. Peter Pap as seen on PBS Antiques Roadshow
Brian O'Reilly FSB May 2, 2008
Brian O'Reilly FSB June 7, 2007