January 7/14, 2019: Volume 34, Issue 16
By Lindsay Baillie
A common challenge independent flooring retailers face is how and where to merchandise various product categories. With the increased popularity of LVT, WPC and rigid core flooring, showroom placement has become even more strategic.
“When LVT and WPC first came out we just kind of fit them into the showroom,” said Richard Scherzer, owner, About Floors N More, Jacksonville, Fla. “Now the category is growing, and we have moved them to their own section. However, they are outgrowing the space.”
Other dealers, including Friendly Floors in Port Charlotte, Fla., attest to the growth of these sub-segments. “LVP and WPC have the prime real estate in the showroom these days,” Marjorie Benson, owner, told FCNews. “As soon as customers come in the front door, it’s displayed in a large area to the right.”
Friendly Floors uses Abbey stackers to display the product when suitable. “Other [brands] such as COREtec display in their large flip rack, so we have all four of their racks against the wall,” Benson added.
Ted’s Abbey Carpet & Floor in Anniston, Ala., originally positioned LVT and WPC in the back of its showroom. But all that has changed. “Since they started taking off about a year ago, they have now gradually moved to the front of our showrooms,” said Ted Gregerson, president. “It is now definitely one of our hotter categories. We make sure they are highlighted with signage and placed in a prominent position inside our showrooms.”
Bridgeport Carpets, with two locations in Alpharetta, Ga., has also adapted its showroom to highlight the growing category. “Due to the increasing popularity of hard surface, we rearranged the main room in our larger showroom to focus on those items,” said Mary Ann Gore, officer manager. “In our other showroom, we have the LVT and WPC in a separate room from the other hard surfaces.”
For dealers such as Bridgeport Carpets, separating LVT and WPC from other hard surface flooring makes selling easier. For others, combining all the hard surfaces in one area is the way to go. Carpetland USA in Rockford, Ill., for example, displays its LVP and WPC on the showroom floor alongside sections such as tile and hardwood, according to Kevin Rose, president and owner.
Montgomery’s CarpetsPlus Color Tile in Venice, Fla., also positions LVT and WPC next to other hard surfaces. What’s more, the retailer has LVT and WPC products from different manufacturers installed in the showroom to demonstrate the various products’ benefits and visuals. “We also show installed photos to the customers of jobs we have done,” said Missy Montgomery, showroom manager. “It pretty much sells itself here in Florida because of the pools in most of the homes as well as the sand people track in. Also, our plumbing runs through the concrete slabs, which has been known to break, so it’s a win-win for anyone down here. The floor comes up easy and can go back down again without any damage most of the time.”