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Shaw, HGTV team up for co-branded flooring line, licensing partnership extends an already strong relationship

DALTON—For the last three years, four if you count 2011, Shaw Industries and HGTV have had an ever-building partnership as the manufacturer has been the exclusive flooring provider for the HGTV Green Home giveaway. That relationship took a big leap forward with the announcement of a co-branded, exclusive flooring collection labeled “HGTV-Home Flooring by Shaw.”

The licensing partnership includes all types of flooring— carpet, hardwood, laminate and area rugs. Not surpringly, it will comprise green choices in each category including Shaw’s Anso nylon and Epic hardwood products.

Along with products, Shaw will introduce a full marketing program in support of the launch. HGTV will also execute advertising and public relations activities to support the program. Kathy Young, Shaw’s director of marketing, said the HGTV line, which will be available this spring, will be offered to Shaw retailers who meet the predetermined qualifications to be an HGTV dealer, saying the two companies “worked closely together on developing the line. The program took about over a year to complete.”

Randy Merritt, Shaw’s president, added, “A co-branded product line that incorporates the popularity and credibility of HGTV presents retailers a differentiated offering and consumers a very attractive buying choice. This is the most exciting launch our industry has seen in years, and it will be a real game changer for specialty retailers.”

Young pointed out the reasons behind Merritt’s enthusiasm. “HGTV is an exciting, established consumer brand with instant recognition and credibility with end users. HGTV is America’s leader in home and lifestyle programming, and is distributed to more than 99 million households across the U.S. and is one of cable’s top-rated networks.”

Beyond its TV presence, she point to its website, HGTV.com, as being the nation’s leading online home-and-garden destination that attracts an average of four mil- lion unique visitors per month. “That’s why Shaw is thrilled to partner with HGTV and [give] retailers a premier brand to feature in their stores.”

Ron Feinbaum, senior vice president and general manager of consumer products for HGTV, added, “Consumers trust HGTV to help them make informed decisions for the home. The HGTV Home [brand] is all about creating smart and stylish products based on our years of experience informing and inspiring consumers both on-air and online. Marrying the HGTV know-how with the great HGTV Home flooring products produced by Shaw, we’ll help consumers better navigate the flooring purchase process.”

When it comes to the initial offering, Young said more details will be announced in the coming weeks, but she told FCNews it is a limited, but complete collection of products. “Our goal, backed by consumer research, was to offer consumers enough product to select from with a variety of choices without being overwhelming. It is easy to give a consumer too many choices which can cause confusion and frustration. We wanted to offer the best-of-the-best products in each category.”

Young said the HGTV Home flooring line is more than a collection of products, rather a complete program that includes merchandising and marketing.

For instance, the HGTV collection will be showcased in its own display system “but has the versatility to be grouped as a boutique or integrated within categories,” she explained, ad- ding for dealers who carry the Kathy Ireland flooring by Shaw, “both collections are designed to live together on the retailer’s floor.”

To support the comprehensive program, Young said Shaw will introduce a dealer toolkit with a variety of marketing materials from local advertisings, to “cutting-edge interactive offerings.” Additionally, the mill will be supporting the program through national advertising and public relations that begin in the summer, including television and online ads as well as social media outreach.

By cutting edge, she explained, the HGTV brand “will be integrated in a powerful way on Shawfloors.com and in the Shaw Web Studio offerings for retailers. Additionally, Shaw will launch an HGTV Home Flooring by Shaw microsite with exciting features including a space for consumers to upload photos of their new flooring.”

Young added, more interactive offerings will be launched later as well. “Shaw designers,

with input from the HGTV team, are currently solidifying program details.” The HGTV Home-Flooring by Shaw collection is not the first co-branded line of products for the cable network. In mid 2009, HGTV contracted with a branding firm to create a strategic brand extension into licensed home and garden products.

The first products from this effort were announced early last year and included fashion bed- ding and window treatments by Victoria Classics, utility bedding by Natura World and select bathroom accessories by Ginsey Home Solutions.

At the time, Feinbaum said, “These strategic partnerships will help drive future growth for the HGTV brand in the home and garden space.”

He also explained the network’s strategy behind the licensing effort. “By providing consumers with smart solutions backed by education and design inspiration, HGTV Home products will help deepen the loyal relationship HGTV has with its viewers.”

The HGTV Home line of products, Feinbaum added, is designed to be both functional and stylish, providing consumers with the right blend of form and innovation with an aesthetic that is rooted in great design and aligned with current marketplace trends.

For more on the HGTV line, contact your local Shaw sales rep or call the company at 706.275.2983.

-Matthew Spieler