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The art of upselling laminates

It is not uncommon for retail salespeople to shy away from upgrading consumers to higher quality laminate floors. Some may feel compelled to show customers natural materials, such as ceramic and hardwood, which can be had for a few dollars more per square foot and offer higher margins. Others are afraid to risk losing a sale by showing pricier items that stretch a customer’s disposable income to the limit. Continue reading The art of upselling laminates

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Anderson expands into laminate with enhanced finish OptiGuard for strength, realism

FOUNTAIN INN, S.C.—One of the industry’s hardest hit categories during the recession has been laminate, so it would be hard to fathom a company trying to enter the sector now. Don’t tell that to Anderson Hardwood Floors, which threw its hat into the ring with the launch of an extensive program of products and technology designed to distinguish itself from what is in the market and give retailers the chance to once again create sales and earn profits. Continue reading Anderson expands into laminate with enhanced finish OptiGuard for strength, realism

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Shaw introduces new laminate finish

Dalton—Shaw released a new, high-gloss, durable laminate finish the mill has dubbed OptiGuard. Highly scratch resistant and made in the U.S., OptiGuard increases the detail, beauty and realism of Shaw’s laminate floors. To demonstrate the strength and resilience of OptiGuard, Shaw staged a torture test at the company’s laminate manufacturing facility in Ringgold, Ga. in Nov. 2010; Shaw laminate with OptiGuard endured 1,500 passes from an 18, 790-pound forklift. Continue reading Shaw introduces new laminate finish

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Anderson introduces its first-ever laminate collections

Fountain Inn, S.C.—For the first time in company history, Anderson Hardwood Floors introduces three collections of upscale laminate products. The collections, named Essentials, Artisan and Brilliance, feature a variety of styles with a wide array of species and beautiful colors at reasonable prices. Anderson laminates are made in the U.S. with a strong, stable and moisture resistant coreboard with a patented, adhesive-free, locking system on all four sides, so it is quick and easy to install. Continue reading Anderson introduces its first-ever laminate collections

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Valinge patents laminate recycling technology

Viken, Sweden— Välinge has patented a new method for recycling laminate flooring. In 2007, a method was developed in which old laminate floor panels are mechanically cut into small particles, mixed with binders, and pressed and formed to sheet shaped material to be used as a core in a new, traditional laminate floor panel or a powder-based WFF floor panel. Continue reading Valinge patents laminate recycling technology

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Distribution: Laminate continues to get squeezed out of share

A year ago, Cain & Bultman president Buddy Faircloth was singing the praises of his high-end laminate business, reporting double-digit increases from 2007 to 2008 and a slight increase in 2009. At the time, he said, “We have more displays out in the marketplace, more feet on the street. It’s all tied to higher-end business with the Armstrong and Bruce laminate lines.”

Fast forward to October 2010 and overall business conditions in Cain & Bultman’s market have grown more ominous. “Business in Florida is really tough,” he said. “We were the first in and will be the last state out of this major slowdown. We don’t see any real opportunity coming our way until the first quarter of 2012.” Continue reading Distribution: Laminate continues to get squeezed out of share

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Laminate: Fall products build on earlier intros

It may still be summer according to Mother Nature, but with kids going back to school and Labor Day around the corner fall is in the air. As such, laminate manufacturers are in the process of restocking retail displays with new collections, new designs and new colors to help dealers capture consumers searching for ways to spruce up their homes.

The following is just a sampling of the latest products hitting the market. For the progressive retailer, some of these may already be in stock but there are sure to be a few discoveries in the list. Continue reading Laminate: Fall products build on earlier intros

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Laminate under siege from imports, competitive products, prices plummet as alternative channels gain ground

Hammered by the recession and pressured by competing products, the U.S. laminate flooring market dropped for the third consecutive year. But just how much is largely debatable. Many factions have the category down significantly to the tune of 20%. Others peg the drop in the mid-teens.

But FCNews research revealed a completely different story. After conferring with just about every significant laminate flooring supplier to the U.S., and after being made privy to confidential sales figures for the purpose of this report, we believe the market was down less than 5%. We are reporting a 2.4% dip from $1.099 billion in 2008 to $1.073 in 2009. And executives at two major laminate manufacturers, Pergo and Kronotex, actually believe the category was up in 2009. When the dust cleared, laminate had a 6.6% share of the flooring market. Continue reading Laminate under siege from imports, competitive products, prices plummet as alternative channels gain ground

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Quick Step launches new laminate collection

Dallas—Quick•Step announced the launch of Veresque, its newest laminate collection. Featuring GenuEdge technology, design and color on the surface of each plank now rolls over the edges recreating the same visual found on real wood planks.

“Adding this edge treatment to the already authentic surface designs of Veresque planks achieves a level of realism that is unmatched in laminate flooring today,” said Roger Farabee, senior vice president of marketing. “A consumer will struggle to see the difference between real wood and a Veresque plank.” Continue reading Quick Step launches new laminate collection

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Commercial laminate: Mills using brand, education, service to rebound

Not unlike its wood sector counterpart, commercial laminate producers have suffered their share of economic bumps and bruises recently. By putting emphasis on service, style and brand, the hope is that an upturn manifests itself sooner rather than later.

Generally speaking, the laminate sector echoes the construction industry, noted Tammy Weadock, marketing manager, Wilsonart. “According to Reed Construction Forecast of May 2010, the decline in commercial construction spending will slow sharply during the balance of 2010 with spending turning up at year’s end. Reed says retail will recover first, followed by offices, which will be followed by hotels.” Continue reading Commercial laminate: Mills using brand, education, service to rebound