Carpet: In commoditized market, better goods still thrive

July 12, 2019 | Comments Off on Carpet: In commoditized market, better goods still thrive

July 8/15, 2019: Volume 35, Issue 2 By Ken Ryan   At a time when the residential carpet market is flat to slightly down in both sales and unit volume (FCNews, June 24/July 1), the notion that a segment within carpet could be growing might seem improbable. And yet, a strong economy—plus advances in tufting technology and, ironically, the explosion of LVT-driven hard surfaces—has spurred higher-end carpet sales. Some mill executives suggest the economy and...

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Carpet: Dominance of LVT stifles soft surface growth

July 1, 2019 | Comments Off on Carpet: Dominance of LVT stifles soft surface growth

June 24/July 1, 2019: Volume 35, Issue 1 By Ken Ryan   Constrained by multiple interest rate hikes, carpet price increases and the continued onslaught of the LVT segment, the carpet industry experienced deficits across residential sales/volume and commercial sales/volume in 2018, marking the first time since 2010 that the segment finished in the red in sales and volume. FCNews research showed overall carpet sales fell 0.5% in 2018 to $8.785 billion, while volume (including...

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Area rug: State of the industry—Rise of e-commerce, pricing pressures constrain growth

June 13, 2019 | Comments Off on Area rug: State of the industry—Rise of e-commerce, pricing pressures constrain growth

June 10/17, 2019: Volume 34, Issue 26 By Ken Ryan   If you are just returning from a five-year sabbatical from the flooring industry you might not recognize the area rug business circa 2019. Dwindling are the days when the average specialty flooring retailer devoted racks of handmade, high-end Persian and Oriental rugs for discerning customers. E-commerce has changed the way consumers shop for rugs, and as a result the market has become more fragmented...

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Carpet: Fiber report—Latest soft intros take cues from hard surfaces

May 20, 2019 | Comments Off on Carpet: Fiber report—Latest soft intros take cues from hard surfaces

May 13/20, 2019: Volume 34, Issue 25 By Ken Ryan   The growth of hard surfaces is viewed in some circles as an impediment to the health of the broadloom industry. And yet, mill executives say it is hard surfaces that are influencing some of today’s positive trends in soft surface fiber. Indeed, there are many fiber technologies in play today that enable multi-color dyes and tonal carpets to complement hard surfaces to create a...

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A look back at 2018’s top introductions

May 6, 2019 | Comments Off on A look back at 2018’s top introductions

April 29/May 6, 2019: Volume 34, Issue 24 By Lindsay Baillie and Ken Ryan   In a marketplace plagued by “me-too” products, it is up to manufacturers to develop standout flooring. Whether it’s carpet, hardwood, laminate, tile or resilient, suppliers have had to step up their game in style, design and performance to excite flooring dealers and customers alike. In 2018, the industry saw a plethora of new products enter the scene. Following is an...

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Carpet: Suppliers extol soft surfaces’ healthy attributes

April 22, 2019 | Comments Off on Carpet: Suppliers extol soft surfaces’ healthy attributes

April 15/22, 2019: Volume 34, Issue 23 By Ken Ryan   Google the question “Is carpet healthy?” and one of the first entries is attributed to the American Lung Association, which states: “Carpets may trap pollutants like dust mites, pet dander, cockroach allergens, particle pollution, lead, mold spores, pesticides, dirt and dust. Chemicals used in some new carpets, carpet pads and the adhesives used to install them can harm your health.” This is not the...

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Carpet: Patterns take on whole new dimension

March 27, 2019 | Comments Off on Carpet: Patterns take on whole new dimension

March 18/25, 2019: Volume 34, Issue 21 By Ken Ryan   As consumers increasingly move toward single-room installation for their broadloom needs, they are opting for bolder, edgier looks in patterns and prints. More importantly, they are willing to open up their pocketbooks for the right visuals. These new looks in patterns and prints run the gamut from small to medium-scale design and organic patterns based on linen and weave looks to distressed and rustic...

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Carpet: Retailers explore ways to keep category relevant

March 11, 2019 | Comments Off on Carpet: Retailers explore ways to keep category relevant

March 4/11, 2019: Volume 34, Issue 20 By Ken Ryan   As the industry knows all too well, the replacement cycle for carpet is many years earlier than that of hard surfaces, which translates to more transactions—and higher margins—for specialty dealers. Conversely, a customer who buys a rigid vinyl floor today may not need another floor for a generation. For the long-term health of the specialty flooring channel, dealers agree, carpet needs to remain vibrant...

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Southwind dealers sing the company’s praises

February 22, 2019 | Comments Off on Southwind dealers sing the company’s praises

February 18/25, 2019: Volume 34, Issue 19 By Ken Ryan   Among mid-sized carpet mills, Southwind stands out for the way it has aggressively expanded into the hard surfaces arena. In three years, hard surface—LVT, WPC and hardwood—has gone from zero to an estimated 60% of Southwind’s overall business, and flooring dealers are quick to praise the Dalton-based company on the merits of product innovation, unwavering service and promptness. Specialty dealers who spoke with FCNews were...

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Carpet: Mills aim to please pet owners

February 22, 2019 | Comments Off on Carpet: Mills aim to please pet owners

February 18/25, 2019: Volume 34, Issue 19 By Ken Ryan   The broadloom industry has gone to the dogs—quite literally. Pet-friendly flooring is helping to drive the carpet segment, according to executives, as mills jostle for the lead position in this burgeoning subsegment with the newest in stain- and soil-resistant offerings aimed at pet owners. “When Stainmaster launched the PetProtect campaign at the beginning of 2014, it really struck a chord with consumers,” said T.M....

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