Al's column

April 5, 2010 | Comments Off on Al's column

IT’S A START: Consumers spent modestly last month (February), a sign that the economic recovery is proceeding at a decent—but not spectacular—pace, according to the Commerce Department. Consumers boosted their spending by 0.3%, a tad slower than the 0.4% increase recorded in January, which was the smallest increase since September. All things considered, the increase in spending was considered a respectable showing, especially given the snowstorms that slammed the East Coast and kept some people...

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Checking in: NFA comes out to work and play

April 5, 2010 | Comments Off on Checking in: NFA comes out to work and play

by Steven Feldman They say Banff is one of the most beautiful places in North America. Who am I to argue? There’s nothing like a National Floorcovering Alliance meeting. And the locale is just the beginning. What you have is 35 (now 38) of the sharpest retail minds in one room. Spend three days with this group and you emerge a smarter human being. My mother was right: “Keep your ears open and your mouth...

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Advertising: the front line of selling

March 18, 2010 | Comments Off on Advertising: the front line of selling

by Al Wahnon Since the collapse of the housing market and the subsequent meltdown of the economy, I have been paying close attention to advertising in newspapers, magazines and on television. I was curious to see if there was a correlation between the level of business and the frequency of advertising. I found that the automobile industry, pharmaceuticals and insurance companies intensified their ad campaigns and most smaller manufacturers curtailed their programs while maintaining a...

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Al's column

March 18, 2010 | Comments Off on Al's column

SWEET TOOTH: New research showed trust and brand equity in different market areas. Three of the five highest-rated brands among consumers in 2010, which includes trust as a factor in this over-the-counter loyalty, are candies: Hershey’s Kisses chocolate candy; M&M plain chocolate candy; Hershey’s Milk Chocolate candy bars; Google.com, and Duracell batteries. For non-profits, the highest five organizations ranked in trust, are: St. Jude’s Research Hospital (for the fourth year); Susan G. Komen for the...

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Checking in: Who should we honor next? You decide

March 18, 2010 | Comments Off on Checking in: Who should we honor next? You decide

by Steven Feldman This year Floor Covering News established its Lifetime Achievement Award to recognize and celebrate those people who have not only made significant contributions to the floor covering industry, but more importantly, worked toward its betterment and made a difference over a sustained period of time. Simply stated, the intent is to recognize service and leadership that is of a scope and duration to be considered a lifetime achievement. (more…)

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The power of advertising

March 8, 2010 | Comments Off on The power of advertising

by Al Wahnon I’ve spent my entire business career as an editor and half with the additional responsibility of publisher. I’ve learned a lot through the years and I’m always astonished when a new bit of information alights and debunks a myth or discredits a widely held platitude. For example, I grew up in publishing knowing advertising was the lifeblood of a publication. Without that revenue stream a publication could not exist. I always believed...

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Al's column

March 8, 2010 | Comments Off on Al's column

LOGUE-ISTICS: At the recent convention of Alliance Flooring in Orlando, Fla., co-CEO Jon Logue told members 2009 carpet mill shipments were down more than 20%. Residential was down 21% and commercial was off 25%. He said hard surface was down 23%, laminates off 22%, ceramic tile down 35%, wood 30% lower, and resilient 11% down. He noted that resilient and carpet showed a small gain on the other categories. Logue said that Alliance members reported...

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Checking in: Sustainable recovery is under way

March 8, 2010 | Comments Off on Checking in: Sustainable recovery is under way

by Steven Feldman I’ve never been a fan of economists. Talk to 20 of ’em and you’re likely to get 20 different opinions. I put them one rung above weather reporters. Except one. Alan Beaulieu is a principal at the Institute for Trend Research. He claims to have a 96% accuracy rate when it comes to predicting turning points in the economy. I can’t vouch for that, but I can tell you that four years...

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Business tips: Inspirational methods leaders use to rally the troops

March 8, 2010 | Comments Off on Business tips: Inspirational methods leaders use to rally the troops

During these difficult economic times, keeping your employees motivated is one of the keys to maintaining a successful business. If a consumer walks in to your store and sees a bunch of people moping around she may get the impression things are so bad this business may be closing soon. She will most likely not want to buy anything as a result. In a recently concluded four-year study of over 200,000 responses describing 20,000 leaders,...

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Checking in: A new perspective on the process

March 2, 2010 | Comments Off on Checking in: A new perspective on the process

by Steven Feldman It’s time for me to come clean. I’ve been doing this for more than 15 years, and I’ve visited my share of retailers. On each and every occasion, the purpose has been to write some sort of article. But I never walked into a retail floor covering store as an actual consumer. Until last week. It’s a bit ironic. We’re constantly writing about products, displays, showrooms, salesperson protocol, Web sites, etc.— all...

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