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My take: Random ramblings three months into 2019

April 1/8, 2019: Volume 34, Issue 22

By Steven Feldman

 

It’s hard to believe we’ve passed the quarter mark on 2019. Time flies when you’re having fun. Or getting older. So three months into 2019, here’s what’s on my mind, which these days is going in more directions than a 2-year-old after drinking a Red Bull.

I think Brian Carson was the perfect choice to lead AHF Products given his strong manufacturing background... Trust me when I say this: COREtec Stone is the next big thing. Some retailers have said this will replace their entire ceramic department... I attend almost every retail group event, and there’s something different about CarpetsPlus— a different feel, a different level of enthusiasm, a different level of camaraderie... I don’t want to sound like I’m drinking the Kool-Aid, but when just about every NFA member takes on a new vendor in its first year, my antenna goes up. It’s Cali Brands, it’s that Meritage collection, it’s Doug Jackson...

Sad to learn of the passing of former Galaxy, Mohawk and Lexmark executive Ed Williams. Not many details, but word on the street is it was a farm accident. A true gentleman in every sense of the word. Rest in peace... Speaking of Mohawk, Paul De Cock is certainly putting his stamp on Mohawk Flooring. Everyone I speak with is a believer... Happy to hear a couple of Sams are on the mend. Sam Roberts, who suffered an aneurysm a few months back while skiing, will be as good as new, and Sam Ruble, formerly of USFloors and now with Foss, was back in action at the recent NRF event after suffering from a heart ailment. Both seem to have averted more serious fates...

The Domotex USA conversation continues one month following its inaugural edition. Surfaces can rest easy that the success Hannover Fairs enjoys in Germany and China likely won’t be replicated here. The 2020 event will go a long way in determining whether we’ll be talking about it in 2021... No matter the city, you always get a top-notch steak at Mastros... I like that retailers remain optimistic for 2019 following a slow two months to open the year. They’ve been encouraged by a healthy March, which hopefully continues into April... Labor still remains an issue whether you are on the residential or commercial side. Someone better figure something out fast, because the installers we do have aren’t getting any younger...

Gotta find it interesting how no one wants to call a laminate a laminate anymore. It’s almost like years ago when people ran away from words like linoleum and vinyl. It’s gotten to the point where the NWFA had to launch the “Real Wood. Real Life” campaign to
address all the confusion in the market
today... Also find it intriguing how many are getting away from the traditional 5-ply engineered wood construction and replacing that with non-traditional wood cores topped with thinner veneers. Better or worse? The consumer will decide... People who need to use the restroom more than twice per flight should not purchase window seats when they fly. Just sayin’... Is there any limit to how expansive this rigid core category can become? At what point does the momentum begin to wane? Hopefully commoditization doesn’t set in anytime soon...

Check out Raskin Industries’ Brooklyn Reserve collection ad on page 27 in our March 18/25 issue. One of the more creative ads I’ve seen in awhile... Retirement has called Jeanne Matson of Starnet and Deborah Hardin of USFloors. Matson has been running Starnet since Lori Dowling stepped down in 2006; the May convention will be her last. Hardin has been a vice president at USFloors pre-COREtec... Awaiting the forthcoming launch of Karastan hardwood. If it lives up to the reputation of Karastan carpet and rugs, it will be a home run... Only about six weeks until the Award of Excellence winners are announced. I wonder who Russia wants to win.