August 22/29, 2016; Volume 31, Number 5
Coming off a soft second quarter, MaxWoods is seeing a spurt of business across both existing and new product lines. “The pickup in demand is palpable, and we are encouraged to be seeing the mid-summer uptick which indicates that the back half of the year will be strong,” said Peter Spirer, CEO. “Although it isn’t the customary time of the year to be showing new products, we believe it is always the right time to introduce winners.”
Among the new collections from MaxWoods are RIO X and Vineyards, which span retail price points from $4.99 to $12.95 per square foot. RIO X, made of high-grade white oak, is offered in 10-inch width and ¾-inch thickness and features a 4mm wear layer on a platform of birch. RIO X is made in Portugal, the only exception to an all-American made product line.
“The rule is often defined by the exception, and RIO X is so exceptional that we were compelled to add it to our line,” said Joshua McCrane, MaxWoods president. “It is arguably the most elegant engineered product ever made and will appeal to consumers who may think they want solid until they see RIO X. It’s pretty spectacular.”
The Vineyards collection, which is currently being shown to MaxWood’s key stocking dealers, features a ½-inch engineered profile with an advanced HDF fiberboard platform. Available in an 8-inch-wide plank in 72-inch-long panels, the planks are lightly wire-brushed and come in 11 trendy colors across oak, hickory, walnut and maple species.
Other features of the Vineyards collection include factory cold-pressing, which improves dimensional stability. According to MaxWoods, this means there is no need to acclimate the floors when installing in new construction. Once the subfloor is dry and sealed, Vineyards is ready to be installed.
“Its value can’t be touched,” McCrane stated. “For us, this series is entirely new and compelling. I love presenting it, because there’s so much to talk about.”
Back on track
Since its official launch, MaxWoods had its share of hiccups; the company took a hit in sales when it discontinued importing from China at the end of 2014. “It was costly to pull the plug on our core business, but we just weren’t comfortable,” Spirer explained. “We were determined to rebuild the business with products Made in the USA. These have taken hold and are great sellers among a growing contingent of customers. They want to develop an image in their markets as supporters of American-made hardwood floors.”
MaxWoods has rationalized its product focus with a well-balanced mix of hardwood products featuring northern hickory, American white oak, maple and walnut. “These species are the real thing, harvested from American forests and produced by American workers,” McCrane stated. “They are the best sellers in the industry and are ours as well. All products have wider, longer planks, and feature a variety of surface textures from moderately wire-brushed to highly distressed cowboy rustic looks. These distinct looks have been well received, with some of the edgier ones taking a little longer to kick in.”
At the same time, MaxWoods executives feel their success goes well beyond product development. “I’d like to think the improvement in our business is not entirely product based, although the USA initiative has been a huge part of our success,” McCrane explained. “We are also feeling the impact of our sales reps throughout the country, whose efforts are bringing in serious business. Success feeds on itself, and nothing motivates a sales staff more than seeing its efforts rewarded.”
With the new developments, combined with MaxWood’s 2015 introductions now kicking in, the company is getting back on track. “We’re regaining our mojo,” Spirer stated. “We believe American ingenuity will continue to forge a bright future for MaxWoods.”