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Distribution: Carpet

Distributors see action in soft surface segment

By Ken Ryan

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

Screen Shot 2013-10-28 at 9.32.07 AMCMH Space Flooring, a top flooring distributor, is growing by double digits—primarily on the strength of its hard surfaces business. However, that didn’t prevent the Wadesboro, N.C., wholesaler from expanding into carpet when it had the opportunity.

“The carpet business was new to us in 2012, and each month it gets stronger,” said Hoy Lanning, president and CEO. “Carpet is still 50% of the flooring business; we feel we have a wonderful opportunity to add carpet to our shipments. This way our dealers can get all of their flooring products from one source.” Continue reading Distribution: Carpet

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NAFCD elects 2013 board

ORLANDO, FLA.—The North American Association of Floor Covering Distributors (NAFCD) has announced its 2013 slate of executive officers and directors.

Executive officers appointed for 2013 include incoming president, George Roth of Lockwood Flooring; vice president, Craig Folven of Herrigan Distributors; secretary, Rosana Chaidez of J.J. Haines, and treasurer, Chris O’Connor of CMH Space Flooring. Continue reading NAFCD elects 2013 board

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NAFCD announces 2013 officers and board members

Chicago– The North American Association of Floor Covering Distributors (NAFCD) announced its 2013 slate of executive officers and directors at the 2013 NAFCD Annual Member Business Meeting during the 2013 NAFCD Annual Convention and Executive Networking Forum, in Orlando, Fla., November 13-15.

Executive officers appointed for 2013 include: Continue reading NAFCD announces 2013 officers and board members

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Resilient: LVT innovations continue to drive category

By Ken Ryan

Luxury vinyl tile (LVT) continues to be the runaway success story of the flooring industry. LVT is such a big hit, in fact, some distributors consider it a category unto its own rather than a leading segment of resilient.

Indeed, as the flooring industry slowly recovers from the deepest trough many veterans can ever recall, distributors continue to add a greater percentage of LVT to their resilient mix. For example, resilient now makes up 65% of Cain & Bultman’s business, up from 60% two years ago. The Jacksonville, Fla.-based distributor has realized healthy double-digit gains thanks to LVT and sheet vinyl products like Armstrong’s StrataMax. Continue reading Resilient: LVT innovations continue to drive category

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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. Continue reading No stopping resilient's momentum

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Distribution: Hardwood squeezed by pricing, channels

Consumers have spoken loud and clear during this prolonged economic slump that flooring is a postponable purchase, and if they are going to use their disposable income on it, they want the best-looking product with the latest features at the lowest price.

This hard-bargain approach has affected the market for all principals. “There is tremendous downward pressure on pricing, more so than even last year,” said Rick Holden, executive vice president of Derr Flooring in Willow Grove, Pa. “It’s not just wood; it’s in VCT, adhesives, everything. It’s across the board, and driven by consumers. They want the best (lowest) pricing, and we’re all feeling it.” Continue reading Distribution: Hardwood squeezed by pricing, channels

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Floor covering distributors see 2010’s top sellers continuing to pay dividends in 2011

Today’s distributor is far more than the order taker and credit giver of its predecessors; it is a barometer for what is happening in a particular region.

This is true in multiple ways, from general business conditions to the latest in product trends and styles. In fact, when it comes to helping retailers decide which products make the most sense to carry, a distributor is a venerable weather bell of information. Continue reading Floor covering distributors see 2010’s top sellers continuing to pay dividends in 2011

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Distribution: Back to basics for hardwood

Following a weak business climate in 2009 and a 2010 first quarter adversely affected by snowy weather on the East Coast, J.J. Haines, Glen Burnie, Md., got an unexpectedly strong jolt from the government tax incentives for home buying.

“Our second quarter was extremely strong because of the tax credit incentives,” said Scott Roy, vice president of sales. “Our Bruce hardwood business benefited tremendously from it.”

It was short-lived, however. The New Year’s Eve party that was the tax credit incentives gave way to a New Year’s Day hangover that has reverberated throughout the industry. Continue reading Distribution: Back to basics for hardwood

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Distribution: Laminate continues to get squeezed out of share

A year ago, Cain & Bultman president Buddy Faircloth was singing the praises of his high-end laminate business, reporting double-digit increases from 2007 to 2008 and a slight increase in 2009. At the time, he said, “We have more displays out in the marketplace, more feet on the street. It’s all tied to higher-end business with the Armstrong and Bruce laminate lines.”

Fast forward to October 2010 and overall business conditions in Cain & Bultman’s market have grown more ominous. “Business in Florida is really tough,” he said. “We were the first in and will be the last state out of this major slowdown. We don’t see any real opportunity coming our way until the first quarter of 2012.” Continue reading Distribution: Laminate continues to get squeezed out of share

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Distribution: LVT serves as the beacon in resilient category

It has been called “the great energizer” and “the catalyst.” One thing is for sure: Luxury vinyl tile (LVT) has been a lifesaver for flooring distributors during these unforgiving times. In the resilient category there are some bright spots such as fiberglass-backed sheet vinyl, but LVT is the beacon for industry players.

“It’s the one product that doesn’t seem to recognize there is a recession going on,” said David Sheehan, vice president, resilient and laminate business, Mannington.

LVT is not the only product that has helped distributors post positive gains in resilient. Fiberglass—and to a lesser extent, felt-backed—sheet goods have fared well in many markets, too. “We have seen a general flattening out in LVT, which began in 2009, and have seen sheet vinyl trend up because it is a value product,” said Fred Reitz, vice president of operations at J.J. Haines, Glen Burnie, Md., which reported a 3% increase in resilient in ’09. “If a homeowner is going to trade down on a kitchen remodel from wood she is more likely putting down sheet.” Continue reading Distribution: LVT serves as the beacon in resilient category