We weren't surprised to hear that Flor (of carpet tile fame) now has an exclusive arrangement with Target to retail their Flor in a Box product: a set of 6 tiles which piece together into an area rug.
Before Target began retailing down market clothing, houseware, and furniture lines from big name designers like Michael Graves and Isaac Mizrahi, there were almost no large American consumer brands whose names had been made via a design-driven product strategy.
But when you think about American companies that have had monumental successes by bringing good industrial and product design to the masses, who comes to mind? Apple's beautifully designed iPod and its proliferating children have made the once-struggling innovator everyone's favorite brand to emulate. Who else? It's a very small list, and Target remains at the top of it.
Target also seems to know how to stay on top of it. Flor in a Box was launched and sold through Flor's website and catalog, but now can only be had through Target. (You can still order pre-designed area rugs of various sizes through Flor directly.) Its exclusive presence on Target's shelves (so far in these four, fairly conservative combos) should lay carpet tiles down beneath the feet of a whole new (and much larger) market.
$59.99, and only here.