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NAFCD: Mood, attendance on the rise as business rebounds

Speakers, revamped structure lend to event success

Nov. 18/25 2013, Volume 27/number 15

By Jenna Lippin

Screen Shot 2013-11-25 at 11.04.42 AMChicago—The mood through-out the 2013 annual convention of the North American Association of Floor Covering Distributors (NAFCD) + North American Building Materials Distribution Association (NBMDA) held here Nov. 12-14 represented a new phase of the flooring industry, one that many members have been awaiting. Optimism is spreading, business is better and as one attendee said, “These things are fun again.” Continue reading NAFCD: Mood, attendance on the rise as business rebounds

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FCNews’ annual top 20 flooring distributors

 Distributors emerging from economic stronger, more relevant than ever

By Ken Ryan

Oct. 21/28 2013; Volume 27/number 13

Screen Shot 2013-10-25 at 4.47.45 PMDistributors. They are the backbone of the industry, the group on which manufacturers rely for moving their products to the point of sale. It is a segment that faces as many challenges as any and works on razor-thin margins.

Still, the good ones have not only succeeded but thrived. In fact, most project growth of 5% to 15% in 2013, driven in part by a housing comeback, both remodeling and new construction.

FCNews’ annual top 20 distributor listing not only looks at the industry’s leaders but also reveals the 10 highest-volume wholesalers in the resilient, wood and laminate categories. In most cases, the information was obtained from the respective high-level executives. Continue reading FCNews’ annual top 20 flooring distributors

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May 2012: CMH acquires Bayard

Volume 26/Number 16; Dec. 17/24, 2012

CMH Space Flooring Products has acquired “certain select assets” from Bayard Sales Corp., expanding its territory throughout the Mid-Atlantic states and doubling its population base. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

As part of the deal, Bayard’s owners Don Wohlfarth, Sr., and Don Wohlfarth, Jr. will stay with the company in “top leadership roles” in the newly named Bayard Region “to help grow the business,” noted Hoy Lanning, CMH’s CEO. Continue reading May 2012: CMH acquires Bayard

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Distributors tighten credit standards; stay committed to supporting retailers

By K.J. Quinn

The job of a flooring wholesaler has never been easy, and today is vastly more complex than it was several years ago. While distributors have essentially morphed from selling agents to service companies, one critical core function which remains constant is serving as a source of credit for customers to help finance their businesses.

“Well-capitalized wholesalers provide an often overlooked or underappreciated service to the channel,” said Scott Rozmus, president, FlorStar Sales, Romeoville, Ill., and a member of the North American Association of Floor Covering Distributors’ (NAFCD) board of directors. “They help the engine go.” Continue reading Distributors tighten credit standards; stay committed to supporting retailers

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First and foremost, it’s all about logistics

By Matthew Spieler

A distributor may carry the best possible products available; a distributor may have the very best employees; a distributor may offer the best tools and resources—from expert training to terms even the local bank cannot match—but none of it matters if the distributor cannot deliver those products and services in a timely, consistent manner. Continue reading First and foremost, it’s all about logistics

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Claims resolution: Distributors ramp up efforts to aid dealers

By Ken Ryan

Flooring distributors are uniquely positioned to facilitate claims for their retailer partners, and that success often hinges on “the three things that matter most.” So said Jeff Jaeckle, president of Madison, Wis.-based Jaeckle Distributors.

That trio includes:

1. A mindset of claims-handling as a valuable service rather than a necessary evil.

2. Streamlining the process to involve as few steps as possible.

3. Getting manufacturers to operate with the same degree of urgency as their customers. Continue reading Claims resolution: Distributors ramp up efforts to aid dealers

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Flooring distribution: Change is the one constant, but some things remain the same

Every business sector faces its own unique set of challenges, and distribution is no different. Yes, wholesalers have to deal with a changing economy and be on top of industry and consumer trends like everyone else, but as the proverbial middle man, they must react to being pushed and pulled by their suppliers and retail customers alike while also being proactive in advancing their place as a valuable and necessary cog in the industry. Continue reading Flooring distribution: Change is the one constant, but some things remain the same

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Distribution: Top wholesalers revealed in FCNews' survey

It has certainly been a rough ride for the industry the last four to five years, with sales off anywhere from 25% to 40% depending on the area of the country and the product category. Caught in the middle of all this are flooring distribu- tors who have had to reinvent their businesses in order to remain relevant to both their suppliers and retail customers. FCNews’ annual survey of the distribution channel reveals how industry distributors have done over the last 12 months. While most of the top players continued in their role, there was quite a bit of shuffling in the order in which they are now ranked. And, when broken down by resilient, hardwood and laminate distribution, there was more than just shuffling as a number of new names appear on this year’s listings. Continue reading Distribution: Top wholesalers revealed in FCNews' survey

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Distribution: Laminate woes may be coming to an end

The great squeeze on laminate flooring—from hardwood flooring on the high end to vinyl on the lower end— has forced many flooring distributors to decrease their dependence on the product. In some cases, wholesalers have reduced their laminate mix by more than 10%, and as much as 25% in the last three years.

Clearly, these have not been good times for laminate flooring, which is not to say that distributors are throwing in the towel. Indeed, the future looks promising, which is being buoyed by new, high-definition technology to create ever-realistic looks. Continue reading Distribution: Laminate woes may be coming to an end

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Distribution: No stopping resilient’s momentum

In a black universe, vinyl is the shining star. That was the assessment of Elias Wilf president Jeff Striegel, who like many of his brethren sees resilient products as the beacon of light amid the darkness. In recent years, many of the leading flooring distributors have increased their percentage of resilient offerings, from the high single digits to low double-digits.

New construction and printing technology continues to elevate the category. “Vinyl has always been a value product, and today’s product, with the new technology, is better than ever,” said Jeff Garber, vice president of sales and marketing at Ohio Valley Flooring, Cincinnati. Continue reading Distribution: No stopping resilient’s momentum