National Wood Flooring Association: Initiatives range from environmental to A&D

April 5, 2010 | Comments Off on National Wood Flooring Association: Initiatives range from environmental to A&D

NATIONAL HARBOR, MD.—Things are looking up for the hardwood flooring industry. So said Ed Korczak, CEO and executive director, National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA), at the group’s annual convention here two weeks ago. After a year in which the industry was down about 23% in dollars, Korczak said the association is seeing a 6% to 7% uptick in the first quarter of 2010 over the same year-ago period. “We attribute that to two things,” he...

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Retailers find profits popping with cork

April 5, 2010 | Comments Off on Retailers find profits popping with cork

Cork, in addition to being an environmentally friendly product, is quite popular right now. While it has been around for decades, in recent years applications for the product have soared, as have sales. How are retailers selling cork these days? The key seems to be education—not only about its green story but also its benefits once installed. “In today’s marketplace those who are looking for a floor are looking for a product that is kind...

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High end laminate products holding their own during tough times

April 2, 2010 | Comments Off on High end laminate products holding their own during tough times

Sales of high-end products may be coming back based on various corporate reports but in the laminate category they have remained constant as consumers do not want to sacrifice either looks or performance for price. “While it’s true consumers are searching for greater value,” explained George Kelley, CEO of Pergo, N.A., “it does not mean the majority of them are truly interested in sacrificing superior design and performance to buy a cheaply made product.” (more…)

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Customization and visual quality define high-end hardwood

April 2, 2010 | Comments Off on Customization and visual quality define high-end hardwood

Hardwood has long had a reputation for being higher-end, almost a symbol of status for the home. It raises the value of a home, and adds beauty and warmth. But when the economy crashed, so did hardwood prices. In order to capture margin sales, companies slashed prices so low that hardwood became accessible for nearly all types of buyers. However, a distinction still remains in higher end wood floors. Customization and visual options, sourcing and...

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Visuals drive high-end resilient products

April 2, 2010 | Comments Off on Visuals drive high-end resilient products

Though some buyers are looking for deals, choice flooring in the home adds a certain something beyond higher prices. That something is identified as the “wow” factor by Paul Mixon, manager of resilient business, Mannington. Beautiful floors that catch a visitor’s eye are not only good for the buyer, but ultimately for the retailer. A successful installation in the home is a great product display for new buyers. “This is the best kind of referral...

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State of the hardwood industry: Category sees light at the end of the tunnel

March 19, 2010 | Comments Off on State of the hardwood industry: Category sees light at the end of the tunnel

While manufacturers weren’t exactly eager to strip their poker faces, major hardwood players recently gave FCNews an exclusive perspective of the game. As if an economic recession wasn’t challenging enough, issues like recent legislation, a rise in material costs and the consumer’s visual market demands keep mills in a state of constant adaptation. Though the flooring industry was hit hard with the collapse of the home remodeling and new construction markets, companies have started digging...

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*Web exclusive* State of the hardwood industry

March 19, 2010 | Comments Off on *Web exclusive* State of the hardwood industry

Category’s future remains steady Cautious optimism is the buzz phrase here. With economists and officials telling everyone the worst of the recession is over, no one wants to jinx the good-but-not-great news. “We believe there will be continued improvement in 2010 driven by increases in the residential replacement market,” Buchanan said. “Our estimate is the wood market will be flat to slightly ahead of 2009.” (more…)

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FCICA convention: Organization puts emphasis on technology

March 19, 2010 | Comments Off on FCICA convention: Organization puts emphasis on technology

CHARLESTON, S.C.—Having started out almost three decades ago as an organization with an emphasis on teaching contractors how to install floor covering, the Flooring Contractors Association (FCICA), now 149 members strong, has expanded into all different aspects of running a commercial floor covering business, noted Christopher Capobianco, chairman. With “The Place to Be” as the theme for its 28th annual convention, it proved to be just that as the Francis Marion hotel here served as...

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Click systems help secure future position

March 10, 2010 | Comments Off on Click systems help secure future position

As the information age speeds up instant gratification for everything from product information to bus schedules, flooring takes a cue. Messy, time-consuming installation processes have become as easy as clicking a remote control with mechanical lock technology. Innovation captures market share, particularly in this economy, and companies like Välinge, Pergo, Unilin and Wilsonart are concentrating efforts to that end. From crossovers to other flooring categories to the development of commercial-grade products, laminate-minded companies are expanding...

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Alliance Flooring members urged to ‘leave their mark,’ control destiny

March 9, 2010 | Comments Off on Alliance Flooring members urged to ‘leave their mark,’ control destiny

KISSIMMEE, FLA.—While there are indications the worst is over and business is starting to grow for the first time in over three years, members belonging to the Alliance Flooring network of groups were urged to focus on controlling their destiny and leaving a positive mark for when things really do turn around for the better. (more…)

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