May 13/20, 2019: Volume 34, Issue 25
By Lindsay Baillie
If a manufacturer is going to compete in the resilient flooring category it must possess top-notch products backed by performance, design and service. According to several flooring dealers, Karndean Designflooring is doing just that—and more.
With “design” strategically placed in the center of its name, there is no surprise that Karndean has placed much of its attention on creating show-stopping visuals. Its unique designflooring element has helped differentiate itself from others in market while assisting RSAs in closing the sale.
“Karndean spends a tremendous amount of time going out and researching natural products to make their floors, and they have a great story behind it,” said Cody Carman, a salesman with Wecker’s Flooring, York, Pa. “What’s really neat about Karndean is you’re not just selling a floor—you’re selling a story.”
Carman cited a new color in the manufacturer’s Art Select line, which is actually patterned after reclaimed wood from an old tobacco barn in Lancaster, Pa. “Lancaster is about 20-30 minutes from our store,” he added. “It really hits home for the consumer.”
Jody Robison, president, Red Mountain Flooring, Idaho Falls, Idaho, echoed Carman’s sentiments. “Our customers love having a story to tell regarding which historic building, rain forest or quarry inspired the look of their floor.”
Karndean’s products also allow RSAs and consumers to create unique flooring projects. With three installation options available—glue-down, floating and loose lay—as well as design strips, borders and beveled edges, no two floors have to look the same. “With Karndean’s design elements we have the ability to create a truly unique floor,” Robison explained. “Our customers don’t have to settle for a look that’s just like everyone else in the neighborhood.”
For dealers such as Jason Stafford, general manager, Stafford’s Discount Carpet, Redlands, Calif., Karndean’s focus on design flooring brings a unique boutique feel. “You can really go into a house and change the entire look of it by offering some of the different products (medallions, grout and design strips, etc.) Karndean has in its collection.”
For RSAs looking to sell Karndean, retailers suggest starting with the product’s story. “Everyone knows you sell to Mrs. Consumer and Mr. Consumer signs the check,” Carman said. “When you can tell a story to someone who is buying a floor it gets her excited. You’re not talking about price point, you’re talking about a new story for their home that they can tell their friends.”
Wecker’s Flooring’s Carman added that RSAs should take the time to learn the stories behind each one of Karndean’s colors. If an RSA needs help, Carman suggests reaching out to Karndean’s sales reps who are “really educated and know the history behind the products.”
RSAs should also take the time to explain the “designflooring” aspect with prospective customers. “The biggest thing is don’t be afraid of price,” Stafford explained. “Familiarize yourself with their products, the benefits of it and what you can do, boutique-wise, with it for a customer. Focus on the things they do well, such as styling, and go into the family history of how long they’ve been around. If you can lay down the foundation of what a great company Karndean is—and what they’ve done to set themselves apart—at that point the product sells itself.”
What’s more, RSAs can also take advantage of the manufacturer’s merchandising tools and product warranties, according to Brian Anderson, vice president, Anderson Flooring, Ponca City, Okla. “The display systems make it easier to sell upgrades and the company provides all installation methods. Karndean has extremely quick turnaround times from order to receipt of product.”
More importantly, RSAs need to sometimes step out of their comfort zones, Robison said. “Embrace all of the amazing design aspects that will set you apart. It can seem daunting, but Karndean has a great net- work to help you be successful.”
Making an impact
Several of the new products Karndean showcased at Surfaces this year are already making noise in retail showrooms. Van Gogh, a new rigid line developed from the 14 top-selling styles of Karndean’s glue-down offering under the same name, has captured the attention of several dealers. “We’ve been selling Van Gogh for the last 20 years and it’s kind of been the workhorse of the Karndean line,” Stafford explained. “It’s definitely our best seller out of their line. We’re really excited to get the rigid into the store because not every home you go into can accept a glue-down product. This allows us to still keep that great Van Gogh look, but move them into a rigid core product that may suit their needs better.”
Carman also looks forward to selling the product in multiple formats. “I really love that they came out with their Van Gogh line in a rigid click product, which are really huge in the market. When they stepped up and made some of their most popular colors in click—it’s a manufacturer you can sell all around the table. It doesn’t matter what their need is, they have an answer for it.”
In addition to Van Gogh, many dealers are excited about the new colors in the Karndean’s Art Select line. “We’ve had positive feedback on all the new styles, but because of the nearby mountain resorts and rural communities, we think the new Select Hickory and Reclaimed Chestnut visuals will be our top sellers,” Robison noted.
Regarding’s Karndean’s Art Select visuals, Anderson is in complete agreement. “Art Select Reclaimed Chestnut offers beautiful visuals not available from any other manufacturer.”