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Executive forecast: Carpet—Mills focus on the finer things in fiber

December 10/17, 2018: Volume 34, Issue 14

By Ken Ryan

 

Even as the overall residential replacement market has declined in recent years, there continues to be positive news emanating from the higher end of the carpet segment, primarily so-called “better goods.” This middle to upper-end segment offers dealers improved margin opportunities while giving their consumers what they desire—luxurious soft goods in their homes. This trend is expected to continue into 2019.

Mark Clayton
CEO
Phenix Flooring

What is your projection for category growth for the industry in 2019?We expect to see continued growth in the overall floor covering industry similar to what we saw in 2018. The hard surface category is expected to continue to outpace soft with growth in the mid-single- digit range, while carpet is expected to experience growth in the low-single-digit range.

What segments/products will fuel industry growth?Better styled residential products, specifically those within the mid-range to better-end price ranges, will provide opportunity for growth. Patterned products and those that offer differentiated design aesthetics while complementing other surfaces will continue to see increased popularity.

Where do you see opportunities for next year? Challenges?While carpet has lost some position within wall-to-wall installations, it continues to play an integral role in overall design platform within the home while addressing functional consumer needs.

What are some of your company’s biggest initiatives for 2019? In keeping with consumer trends, Phenix will be introducing a broad range of uniquely styled products that allow the consumer to create and design individualized solutions. This means more patterned designs along with products that leverage our unique design capabilities and our expertise at blending color.

 

Katie Ford
Director of Brand Strategy
Anderson Tuftex

What is your projection for category growth for the industry in 2019? We expect the carpet industry to be flat overall, while units could be down a hair. We expect modest growth at AT, however.

What segments/products will fuel industry growth next year?Textures, which are 65% of the industry, are making a comeback, and patterns are hot right now. We expect to see more unique carpets for staircases.

Where do you see opportunities for next year? Challenges? We’re expecting to see a lot of growth in our PetProtect segment. We have a very comprehensive program, from textures to loops to patterns. Regarding challenges, we continue to monitor the labor situation, which is causing pain points in certain regions.

What are some of your company’s biggest initiatives for 2019? In addition to our comprehensive PetProtect program, we have other launches for carpet in 2019. Some new offerings will come from our Signature collection as well as new opening price points with our Classics program.

 

Chet Graham
President
Marquis Industries

What is your projection for category growth for the industry in 2019?Carpeting should see a slight increase over 2018. The bright spot will be home improvement as consumers continue to hold their property longer and look for better upgrades.

What segments/products will fuel industry growth?Carpet will still fuel some growth with consumers moving back into this category with better quality and styling.

Where do you see opportunities for next year? Challenges? Combined styling of our hard surface and carpet product lines is one of our strongest opportunities. The biggest challenge in 2019 will be fending off the large influx of overnight hard surface companies.

What are some of your company’s biggest initiatives for 2019? We will continue to make capital improvements. After a large expansion in our yarn processing in 2018, we plan to make more investment in our tufting operations. We will continue our trend of being the best value carpet manufacturer in the industry.

 

T.M. Nuckols
President, Residential Division
The Dixie Group

What is your projection for category growth for the industry in 2019?I see carpet continuing its trend for the last few years—down in units due to hard surface preference, flat in dollars due to price increases and mix shifts toward better goods.

What segments/products will fuel industry growth?I expect better goods to outpace the market average as the consumer opts for better products in the residential replacement segment.

Where do you see opportunities for next year? Challenges? In recent years, we have been able to grow our carpet segment even while the residential replacement carpet market has declined. I believe we can continue this trend in 2019. We will refresh some key categories, including PetProtect, and focus on having the right mix of products across all our brands.

What are some of your company’s biggest initiatives for 2019?We’re expanding in hard surfaces including new WPC, SPC and hardwood products. We have built momentum with Masland Energy in 2018 and will continue driving that as an upper end Main Street offering. We will complete the launch of our EnVision66 program as a value offering in our Dixie Home line.