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Mannington and Abbey redefine relationship

Salem, N.J.—Mannington Mills has rescinded its approved supplier relationship with Abbey Carpet and Floor due to a dispute over rebate policy. The decision is a result of “contradicting understandings of commitment” within the partnership, Mannington said.

Mannington is upholding a long-standing policy that rebates are paid only to retailers who maintain updated, current displays in their showrooms. Anything less and the dealer is not representing the Mannington program in its best light, the company believes.

Abbey, meanwhile, has demanded rebates be paid on all purchases, regardless of that dealer’s support of the mill. If not, the company is not in its program as an approved vendor.

Beginning July 1, Mannington will support Abbey members on a one-on-one basis, something that Kim Holm, president, Residential Business Unit, believes can only enhance the relationship between Mannington and the Abbey member. “I think we will be able to provide greater support to the individual member than we were able to do going through Abbey corporate,” he said.

Rebates will be paid in accordance with existing policies to Abbey corporate up until June 30, after which dealers will be contacted individually by Mannington representatives to establish alternative, beneficial programs. Mannington will continue to service and support all existing programs, both branded and private label.

“Mannington has enjoyed a longstanding relationship with Abbey and its members for many years, so this is an unfortunate turn of events,” Holm said. “We regret that this dispute has developed but feel our policy is fair. As always, we strive to do the right thing and we’ll continue to work hard to earn the support of Abbey’s members.”

Holm noted this development will have little effect on Mannington, aside from the fact it won’t be participating in its conventions. “I don’t believe there will be any loss in business,” he said. “Of course, there is always a risk, but we enjoy a good enough relationship with Abbey members, so we expect to continue doing business with them in a strong manner. We have always called on and serviced the Abbey dealer independently.”

Holm concluded that supporting the independent retailer has always been at the core of Mannington’s existence. “That remains a top priority.”

-Steven Feldman