Though some buyers are looking for deals, choice flooring in the home adds a certain something beyond higher prices. That something is identified as the “wow” factor by Paul Mixon, manager of resilient business, Mannington. Beautiful floors that catch a visitor’s eye are not only good for the buyer, but ultimately for the retailer. A successful installation in the home is a great product display for new buyers. “This is the best kind of referral and will result in a motivated shopper who knows what she wants, where to get it and is ready to pay.”
High-end floors also help retailers distinguish themselves from other stores, particularly big boxes. “They send the message that a retailer carries only quality products and can be trusted because they only sell the best,” said Gary Finseth, director of marketing, Tarkett Residential. This kind of recognition is another way to generate referrals from satisfied customers.
Long known for its expertise in the vinyl category, the manufacturer last year introduced Alterna premium tile. Over- sized 16 x 16 tiles are suitable for mixing and matching in unique patterns, distinctive textures and natural colors, according to Allen Cubell, vice president of residential resilient. Further variations can be applied in grouting options: color coordinating, contrasting or none at all.
He attributes awareness of its higher-tier products to brand awareness. “A brand they know they can trust gives them confidence they’ve made the best choice.” He added that retailers can take advantage of that brand awareness and interest. “That brings consumers to our Web site, where they educate themselves on the products and generate qualified leads.”
And even with higher-end shoppers, value is always part of the buying equation. “Close the customer with the value of vinyl,” Cubell advises. “She can walk away with these high-end vinyl products without putting an enormous dent in her pocketbook.”