Al's column

July 28, 2010 | Comments Off on Al's column

by Al Wahnon FRANK TALK: I just received an email from my old friend Warren Kenney, the Bigelow sage who, in the golden years past, put the big in Bigelow. Kenney stays in touch with a wide circle of Bigelow alumni and other industry personalities. He wrote: “Just off the phone with Frank Mayfield, who at 97 is sharp as he was at 27.” That brought back a flood of memories of Fabulous Frank. He...

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Checking in: Big brands on the brink

July 28, 2010 | Comments Off on Checking in: Big brands on the brink

by Steve Feldman Given that much of this issue focuses on brands, I thought it would be appropriate to look at some brands outside the flooring arena—only unlike the many monikers covered in this issue, these may soon go the way of the dinosaur. A brief look into their plights may serve as a reminder of what can lead to failure for both retailers and manufacturers. (more…)

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Follow the purchasing power

July 13, 2010 | Comments Off on Follow the purchasing power

by Al Wahnon I had dinner with a friend, a retired floor covering industry executive. We meet from time to time and, as is our wont, we drift into discussions about our industry, the people, the companies, the progress. He believes retailers can do a more professional job increasing store traffic and closing more sales. Really? Yes, he said, it’s a matter of focusing on the right target, aiming at a specific goal rather than...

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Al's column

July 13, 2010 | Comments Off on Al's column

BRIGHT SPOT: This may not be earth-shattering, but any glimmer of light is welcome in the darkness. Last month, consumer spending rose more than forecast, a sign households are gaining confidence in the recovery and the improving job market. Commerce Department figures showed purchases improved after little change the prior month. Incomes climbed slightly and the savings rate increased to the highest level in eight months. It hit 4% at $454.3 billion. Economists are hopeful...

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Stress less, score more

June 29, 2010 | Comments Off on Stress less, score more

by Al Wahnon We are living in trying times. For many people, it’s not just the depressed economy, the housing market, widespread unemployment and other dismal ingredients of a faltering marketplace, it’s their personal life that has them singing the blues. Mounting stress has buckled their spirit, long hours, career insecurity and the seemingly endless day-to-day grind can tax the endurance and resilience of any employee. Misery is corrosive and it will crush your ambition,...

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Yes, these laminate numbers are correct

June 29, 2010 | Comments Off on Yes, these laminate numbers are correct

by Steve Feldman I know what you’re thinking. How can FCNews in its right mind peg the laminate market for 2009 at over $1 billion ($1.073 billion to be exact). Truth be told, it could be higher. How can the industry believe the total laminate market is 20% smaller than actuality? It may begin with the stats services to which everyone seems to subscribe. From what I’ve seen and heard, they peg the market somewhere...

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Al's Column

June 29, 2010 | Comments Off on Al's Column

by Al Wahnon IT’S OUT THERE: You can sit back and complain, moan and groan about the sagging economy and long- gone luxuries, or you can spend that time scouring newspapers for articles that are upbeat, full of promise and hope, and herald an end to these fiscal doldrums. I always find snippets of reasonably good news when I troll the pages of the newspaper; perhaps not every day, but most of the time. I...

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Oz is no Wizard

June 11, 2010 | Comments Off on Oz is no Wizard

by Al Wahnon If you need a root canal, you visit a dentist, not a plumber, and if you need eyeglasses, you engage an optometrist, not a glazier. That was the essence of the response of the Carpet & Rug Institute (CRI) in its reply to FOX when the station’s Dr. Oz offered inaccurate and misleading advice about the hazards of carpet in the home. What are the doctor’s credentials? He’s a cardiac surgeon. He...

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Al's column

June 11, 2010 | Comments Off on Al's column

by Al Wahnon OUTLOOK: Sometimes reading, listening to or watching the news can be very depressing. When you’re in the doldrums, any ray of sunshine or sliver of light is manna from heaven. Perhaps the recession has hit bottom and is rebounding. Check these facts and figures gleaned over the past several days: A handful of economic reports indicated an improving job market with fewer layoffs and more hiring. Job growth in the service segment...

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Checking in: Learning about life from a legend

June 11, 2010 | Comments Off on Checking in: Learning about life from a legend

by Steven Feldman When legendary UCLA basketball coach John Wooden passed away earlier this month, the world lost more than the greatest basketball coach who ever lived. It lost someone who bettered this world. What does this have to do with flooring? Pretty much nothing. It has to do with life. Wooden was not only a coach; he was a leader, a teacher. He made his players better people. And that has everything to do...

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