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Emser Tile recognizes Baker Bros as 2017 Platinum Dealer of the Year

Los Angeles—Emser Tile named Baker Bros as the company’s Platinum Dealer of the Year for 2017. The award was announced during The International Surface Event in Las Vegas.

In its fourth year, the Emser Tile Platinum Dealer of the Year Award program celebrates premier tile retailers’ industry leadership, achievement and innovation. Platinum Dealer of the Year companies demonstrate a commitment to promoting Emser Tile products—driving sales and profits through expert marketing, merchandising and overall collaboration.

“Baker Bros is a family-owned company valuing personalized service, convenience and design-forward products—much like Emser Tile,” noted Patrick Warren, Emser Tile senior vice president of sales. “We are proud of this strong partnership that encouraged record growth in Arizona throughout 2017, and we look forward to what we will accomplish together in 2018.”

Since its founding in 1945, Baker Bros has grown to seven locations throughout the greater Phoenix metropolitan area—each offering a full range of floor, wall and surface coverings, window fashions, and expert cleaning and installation services.

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Armstrong Flooring, Houzz launch Premium Pro+ local marketing program

Armstrong Flooring BakerBros_Profile-HOUZZLancaster, Pa.—Armstrong Flooring and Houzz announced the launch of Houzz Pro+ for flooring retailers who are part of the company’s Elevate retail support program.

The Houzz Pro+ local marketing program allows Armstrong Flooring aligned retailers a unique opportunity to increase brand visibility among homeowners in their local areas seeking their products and services.

One of the major capabilities of Pro+ is geo-targeting, exposing a professional’s business profile and portfolio to homeowners in their local area. Retailers can specify what advertising messages reach the market and/or other geographic areas they wish to serve and are guaranteed to be exposed to the local target audience.

“Our goal with Pro+ is to deliver a service that helps professionals build their brands and increase their exposure to homeowners in their local area the way they want,” said Tom Cole, senior manager, Specialty Flooring Retail Strategy. “This gives them the ability to create a dynamic profile and take advantage of all the other wonderful benefits of Houzz.  We provide the tools our aligned retailers need to penetrate, and expand their reach more effectively within the target areas they want to service.”

“We jumped on the program immediately. Armstrong Flooring developed a great relationship with Houzz and has made it incredibly easy for us to join,” said Phil Koufidakis, president, Baker Brothers. “Houzz is a growing home improvement site, offering higher content than just contractor referrals.  It is very visual and very consumer friendly. Not only does it add greater visibility to our existing marketing efforts, but it also gives us the ability to tell customers to go to Houzz; select five rooms that they feel are fantastic so when we get together we can design their floor according to their tastes.”

Armstrong Flooring retailers move to the front when homeowners click the ‘Find the Local Pro’ tab on Houzz.  Houzz lists 20 pros on each results page; under Houzz Pro+, 10 of those spots are reserved for participating Armstrong Flooring retailers, and the retailer’s photos show up every fifth spot of a picture gallery.

“Say a potential customer is just browsing through the photo section to get ideas for their kitchen,” Cole said, “if you specified you want to be shown to people in that geographic area, Houzz will show your work in the photo stream just to those people looking at photos in your area. And, not only can you showcase one exceptional photo to attract a client, Pro+ allows you to have multiple photos of your portfolio displayed, which gives the viewer a more complete view of the work that you do.”

 

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Michelle Rice welcomed back to Invista Surfaces

Michelle Rice

Kennesaw, Ga. – Invista Surfaces, a division of Invista Performance Surfaces & Materials (PS&M) and maker of Stainmaster carpet fibers, is pleased to welcome Michelle Rice, an Invista leader, back to its Surfaces business team as vice president of the retail channel.

In her previous role within Surfaces, Rice was the western region marketing director for the company’s residential flooring business. Following that role, Rice was the marketing director for Invista intimate apparel and swimwear in Hong Kong—and then pursued an opportunity in Invista commercial development before she transferred to Shanghai, China, where she was the North Asia commercial director for Invista’s Lycra fiber. Continue reading Michelle Rice welcomed back to Invista Surfaces

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Baker Bros.’ Koufidakis elected president of NFA

 

By Steven Feldman

Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands—Phil Koufidakis, president of Phoenix area retailer Baker Bros., has been elected president of the National Floorcovering Alliance (NFA). He will succeed Jim Mudd, president of Sam Kinnairds in Louisville, Ky., at the end of the year. Continue reading Baker Bros.’ Koufidakis elected president of NFA

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Floating luxury vinyl category grows as market opportunities soar

Proliferation of new suppliers runs the risk of commoditization

Nebraska Furniture Mart is pleased with the top brands it carries in the floating luxury vinyl tile (LVT) category—among them Mannington, Armstrong and Karndean—but that hasn’t stopped manufacturers from contacting senior flooring buyer David Snedeker on a regular basis. “There seems to be someone new—or at least new to me—calling every week with versions of their latest and greatest LVT.”

During the long economic downturn, few, if any, hard surface categories demonstrated the promise and robustness as vinyl, with LVT the leader. The popularity of glueless LVT and its various click systems has produced a swath of new entrants, some with little or no flooring experience. “We’ve seen furniture manufacturers getting into the market,” said Yon Hinkle, product manager, residential tile, Armstrong. Continue reading Floating luxury vinyl category grows as market opportunities soar

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Credit: How to upsell the customer every time

by Ken Ryan

Ken Weisbacher, owner of Carpetland Carpet One in Cincinnati, remembers the time when five-year financing terms were the norm in the flooring industry and provided the impetus for dealers to upsell consumers.

That sweet spot has been reduced to 12 months (on average) or 18 months during the economic downturn, according to Weisbacher and others, who noted the use of financing is still very important, albeit less prevalent than a few years ago. Continue reading Credit: How to upsell the customer every time