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Laminate: Dollars down in category, but volume up

There are pretty much two ways to look at the laminate flooring category in 2010. The optimists will focus on the fact that for the second consecutive year, and in a very tough economic climate, laminate manufacturers moved more square feet of the product than the year prior. Unfortunately, it is happening at the expense of the product’s average selling price. Thus, the category suffered its fourth straight year of declining sales in terms of dollars, although similar to 2009, the dip was only in the 2% range. Continue reading Laminate: Dollars down in category, but volume up

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State of the industry: Laminate hit hard but still has plenty of life left

While every category has been hit hard by the recession and the new attitudes of the consumer as the country slowly recovers from the economic downturn, it seems like laminate has been taking some low blows lately and executives are fighting back, telling FCNews there is plenty of life left in the category going forward. “Low end continues to attract the most volume,” noted Travis Bass, executive vice president of sales and marketing for Kronotex, parent company of Formica. “However, there has definitely been a trend back toward the higher price points with consumer confidence growing.” Continue reading State of the industry: Laminate hit hard but still has plenty of life left

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Surfaces 2011: Laminate mills play it cautious with intros designed to fill gaps

Las Vegas—In years past, it was easy to define the top design and technological trends in the laminate category as most introductions included one or both. But with the recession taking a major toll on the category, manufacturers at Surfaces were all over the board as they focused on rounding out their offerings in anticipation of more consumers opening up their purse strings as the year progresses. Continue reading Surfaces 2011: Laminate mills play it cautious with intros designed to fill gaps

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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