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Shaw’s Bellera strikes a chord with retailers

June 11/18, 2018: Volume 33, Issue 26

By Ken Ryan

 

Shaw Floors’ Bellera High Performance Carpet has only been in the market for a little over a month, yet flooring dealers are already touting this new, feature-rich collection for its vast potential in soft surface.

Shaw Flooring dealers have been eager to get their hands on the collection since first seeing previews in January. Although still early in the launch, their initial impressions are very positive.

“Everything in the line is a home run—colors, pattern, fiber and Lifeguard backing, and the pricing is very reasonable for what you get,” said Steve Weisberg, president of Crest Flooring in Allentown, Pa. “If I am correct in thinking there will be more of this type product, Crest Flooring will be stocking it in the future.”

Steve Vanderhye, vice president of Banter Floors and More in Cedar Lake, Ind., noted sales have been excellent in the first month since the first displays arrived. “The customers are drawn to the styles and are excited about all of the benefits that come with this carpet,” he said. “The softness/looks of the styles, the Lifeguard backing, excellent warranty and its great pricing are the perfect combination to make this product a big success.”

Other flooring dealers likened Bellera to a top baseball prospect making his debut in the big leagues. While not ready to put the product in the Hall of Fame, they see the potential is unlimited. “I went to their show in January closed minded and wanted nothing,” one dealer told FCNews. “I said 2018 is the year of the vinyl plank, which it still is. But I have to say, I came away very impressed with their presentation on Bellera, and the color lines were impressive. If it performs the way they say it will—and with all the guarantees it has—it will be a gold mine.”

Bellera High Performance Carpet has been more than two years in the making. It isn’t an extension or enhancement of a previous line, it is altogether new. In fact, Tim Baucom, executive vice president of the residential division for Shaw Floors, said he challenged his team to start with a blank sheet of paper to create what is now Bellera. “I told them, ‘Take out your perceptions of incremental thinking.’ How would you build a great product that hits these [mid-range] price points?”

The making of Bellera was buttressed through discussions with consumers and dealers. “We looked at consumers holistically—how they purchase, what they purchase, what are their pain points, what are their concerns—and how do we develop a product to meet those needs,” said Heather Yamada, marketing director, retail, Shaw. “We know consumers really want durability and performance, but they also want beautiful. Here, they didn’t have to have one or the other, they could have both. We wanted to give them confidence that this is a great product.”

Teresa Tran, director of soft surface portfolio management for Shaw, said the vetting process also entailed product knowledge presentations and demonstrations. “For people who shop for carpet every seven to 10 years, demos are very powerful. You don’t have to visualize or imagine this product; you can see it right here in the display.”

Shaw believes Bellera can be a legacy collection of the type that 10 years from now dealers will look back and say this was one of the most impressive soft surface lines they have ever carried. “It’s certainly not a one and done,” Baucom said. “It creates a category of exciting products in the mid part of the market.”

Bellera High Performance Carpet will retail between the mid $20s and low $30s. For that, consumers get a product that has no compromises, Yamada said. “It’s not just one feature, it’s a package of features.”

After extensive testing, key attributes of Bellera have been designed to ensure that when it is placed in an active household, it will look as good after five years of wear as it did on day one, thanks to high-performance fiber that features crush resistance while retaining its softness.

The collection comes with LifeGuard Spill-Proof backing, which is debuting its new blue color on Bellera. The company believes the ‘Backed by Blue’ moniker will resonate with consumers. Bellera is also engineered with R2X Soil and Stain Resistance, which keeps spills and messes on the surface of the carpet longer for easier
cleanup. A “no surprises, worry-free” warranty is added to give consumers peace of mind. “It’s unheard of to say you won’t have to worry about spills or pet accidents on carpet, but we’ve made that possible for consumers with Bellera,” Baucom said.

Bellera hit the market with 13 new styles and over 200 product offerings in solid textures, tonals, tweeds, loops and patterns. It also offers on-trend colors and patterns geared toward a variety of tastes and interiors. “The carpet’s visual aesthetics and color options were born from trend tracking, consumer testing and countless hours of research,” said Pam Rainey, ASID, IIDA, vice president product design for Shaw. “The wide variety of patterns, textures and colors ensures Bellera can fit seamlessly into any modern to transitional home’s design scheme.”