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Congoleum gets ‘Ovations’ at Surfaces

OvationsLAS VEGAS—Add Congoleum to the list of Surfaces participants that came away from Las Vegas glad it made the effort. Returning to the market for the first time since 2003 in a ballroom off the show floor, the largest resilient-only manufacturer saw a steady flow of traffic throughout the first two days of the event.
“The people at Hanley Wood were tenacious in their solicitation of our participation in Surfaces,” said Dennis Jarosz, senior vice president of sales and marketing. “We were offered a showroom in an easily accessible location and also had a private meeting room. For us, it was a much more convenient venue to meet with our customers.”
Congoleum’s success proves retailers will seek out their suppliers. “A week before the show we mailed to all our registered display retailers the fact we would be at Surfaces,” Jarosz said. “We attached a map and invited them to stop by. We did not have high expectations. But we had people at our door before we opened on the first day and had steady traffic throughout the show.”
The product on which Congoleum was focusing was the debut of Ovations, another LVT line. Jarosz referred to it as a “fighter product,” a second brand a manufacturer creates to fend off price competition while still protecting its flagship brand, in this case, DuraCeramic.
“Over the course of the last couple of years DuraCeramic has faced increased competition in its category,” Jarosz said. “Since the competition is not
delivering a better product to the market, the only tact they could take is a product that is less expensive.”
While Ovations may be considered a step-down product, he noted Congoleum held nothing back on styling and kept the same wear surface, one Jarosz calls “the most stain resistant in the industry.” In fact, there are few discernible differences between Ovations and DuraCeramic:
•DuraCeramic is a 16-inch tile; Ovations is 14-inch.
• Duraceramic    is    160mil thick; Ovations is 14mil.
•DuraCeramic is a matte fin- ish; Ovations has a satin sheen.
•DuraCeramic retails between $4.49 and $5.49 a square foot, product only; Ovations will be $3.79 to $4.49 a square foot, which competes price-wise with DuraCeramic competitors.
“Ovations gives retailers an opportunity to continue featur- ing DuraCeramic but adds another product in the category,” Jarosz said. The line launches with 15 SKUs housed in its own $99 display with looks that include travertine, slate, marble, sandstone and granite.