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Bruce Hardwood, Derr Flooring celebrate a 100-year partnership

Lancaster, Pa.—For 100 years, Derr Flooring and Armstrong Flooring have partnered to bring quality, innovative Bruce hardwood products to retailers in New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania and Maryland.

“We take great pride in being Armstrong Flooring’s longest tenured wood distributor,” said Chester Derr Jr., Derr. “With new and exciting products being introduced this year, we are confident that Bruce Hardwood Floors will remain a dominant brand for years to come.”

As a large U.S. manufacturer of hardwood floors, Armstrong Flooring is able to provide a broad array of products that appeal to consumers’ tastes, décors and budgets under the Bruce brand. Most of these offerings are immediately available from Derr’s vast inventory, thereby assuring the retailer that their choice can arrive at their store or jobsite within a few days.

“This partnership has withstood the test of time and flourished thanks to Derr’s thoughtful leadership and a willingness to adapt in an ever-changing marketplace,” said Vincent Calabrese, sales manager for Armstrong Flooring. “I have been working with the Derr organization for 15 years and know them to be true professionals who work with integrity and value their customers.”

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Spotlight: Nature Flooring focuses on the fundamentals

December 5/12, 2016; Volume 31, Number 13         

By Reginald Tucker

 

screen-shot-2016-12-16-at-10-32-26-amNature Flooring isn’t one of the largest players on the market, but it’s certainly looking to become one of the most exciting and dynamic players. The strategy, according to the company, is to continue to build on its growing distribution network while offering innovative products designed to pique retailer interest.

“Our strategy for next year is to try to fully stock all of our SKUs,” said Luxia Hong, director of operations. “We are also bringing new products such as WPC, laminate—which we haven’t carried in the past 10 years—and LVT. We are also working on a 7-inch-wide engineered product, which is trendy right now. It’s a distressed, wire-brushed look.”

Up to this point, Nature Flooring predominantly focused on solid and engineered hardwood offerings. Some of its staple collections include: World of Exotics, which entail exotic species such as Peruvian tigerwood, Brazilian walnut and tigerwood, acacia, Brazilian cherry and teak; the Americana Collection, which spans several varieties of oak—including tobacco, whiskey and caramel, to name a few; and the World of Woods line, which features variations of Pacific mahogany, birch and hickory. The lineup has been expanded to include the WPC collection, which includes “hand-scraped looking” products in several decors.

One new product Nature is particularly excited about is a Peruvian Pecan species available in a 5-inch-wide, hand scraped format. As Hong describes it, “It is very similar to Brazilian pecan, which is dark brown in tone. We are also trying to make a couple of stains for that product so our customers can distinguish them from different products.”

According to Hong, its WPC and laminate flooring products are made in China. With respect to wood, the company operates its own factory in Peru. Down the road, the company plans to bring in some product from Cambodia. “We’re currently working with our distributors to find out what’s trending in their markets to meet their needs,” she said.

That takes care of the product side of the equation. In terms of distribution, Nature Flooring is busy shoring up its coverage of the U.S. market as well. “We are absolutely committed to growing the U.S. market by servicing our distributors; we have 10 distributor partners today and we are in the middle of hiring five more regional sales managers to cover the Midwest and Southeast areas,” Hong explained, adding the sales reps will only be calling on distributors, not retailers direct. “Before we only serviced the distributors on the East Coast and Mid-Atlantic.”

One of Nature Flooring’s distributor partners that saw the potential in the company’s product offerings early was Derr Flooring, based in Willow Grove, Pa. “We brought on the Nature Flooring line in 2008-09, right at the point during the downturn in the economy,” said Rick Holden, chief operating officer. “We’ve had a very good relationship over that time period.”

Derr Flooring positions the Nature Flooring line in what Holden calls the “mid range,” which makes sense given the clientele it serves across its most active end-use markets. “Most of our business with the Nature Flooring line is residential, but there’s some new home construction as well,” he explained. “The product mix that we’re involved with is not really oriented toward commercial at this point, mostly due to the construction of the product. What we sell is mostly solid wood, so it’s not really something that’s designed for slab construction.”

Another key distributor partner in the region is Allstate Flooring Distributors, which services customers in the Mid-Atlantic area via its headquarters in New Jersey. Mike Corsetto, vice president of purchasing and operations, said the Nature Flooring line dovetails nicely with its expansive hard surface offering.

“We’ve been with Nature Flooring since its beginnings,” he said. “They work very hard at making sure they have the right colors and stains for our market.”

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Holden receives NWFA’s industry leadership award

2015 NWFA ExpoSt. Louis — The National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA) recognized Rick Holden, chief operating officer of Derr Flooring in Willow Grove, Pa., with its Industry Leadership Award during the Wood Flooring Expo, held here in late April.

The award recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to the wood flooring industry through service and leadership. Holden is a former NWFA chairman, and has served the association for most of its 30-year existence.

“Rick has given his time, expertise, and guidance to NWFA and the wood flooring industry for more than 20 years, 15 of which were on the board of directors,” said Jeff Fairbanks, NWFA chairman and vice president of Palo Duro Hardwoods. “He has exhibited integrity, professionalism, humor and humility. His dedication to the industry, and to the NWFA, is well above and beyond what is expected of any one person.”

Holden joins a select group in which only 11 others have previously received the Industry Leadership Award. They are as follows:

Christopher Hildreth, Tree Lovers Floors – 2001

Birger Juell, Birger Juell Ltd. – 2001

Pete Lanham, Lanham Hardwood Flooring Co. – 2001

Allan Pyne, Sunshine Flooring Co. – 2001

Warner Tweed, Georgia Oak Floor Distributors – 2001

South Lynn, Universal Floors – 2001

Joel Lefkowitz, Hoboken Wood Floors – 2002

Elizabeth Brown, French-Brown Floors – 2002

Neil Moss, Armstrong Wood Products – 2008

Ed Korczak, National Wood Flooring Association – 2011

Don Conner, National Wood Flooring Association – 2012

Holden said he was honored to receive the award. “It is very much appreciated. My years on the board and as chairman allowed me the opportunity to work with wonderful people including the NWFA staff, other board members and committee people. All of them are working to create a better industry and a dynamic association to serve the industry. I want to thank the NWFA for allowing me the opportunity to make a contribution to the industry. I am looking forward to seeing the NFWA continue to grow and prosper.”

 

 

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Derr Flooring rejoins Pinnacle’s distribution network

Screen Shot 2014-08-28 at 11.14.47 AMCarrollton, Texas – Pinnacle Interior Elements Ltd., a global hardwood flooring manufacturer, announced that Derr Flooring Co. has rejoined its family of national distributors.

As part of Pinnacle’s distribution family, Derr will showcase Pinnacle’s Portofino and Hearthstone Classics product lines—both available to Derr’s customers throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and the New York metropolitan area, including Long Island.

“Derr Flooring is excited about the opportunity to rekindle our relationship with Pinnacle Interior Elements,” said Rick Holden, chief operating officer for Derr. “Pinnacle was able to offer us products that fit some specific needs for style, design and value.”

Pinnacle’s Portofino line is a 100% full-face veneer made from character grade, rustic American hickory. This seven-ply, engineered flooring is 3/8-inch thick, with 5-inch wide planks, and has up to 48-inch lengths. Portofino features enhanced micro-beveled sides and chiseled ends.

Also available to Derr customers is Hearthstone Classics, featuring hand-scraped, 100% full-face veneer, seven-ply engineered flooring, with slightly pillowed edges and chiseled ends. Hearthstone is 3/8-inch thick, has up to 72-inch lengths available and comes in a random-width plank pattern that is 5-, 6- and 7-inches wide.

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Distribution: Wood

Leading the industry out of the woods

By Ken Ryan

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

No flooring product has benefited more from the uptick in new home construction and an improving economic picture than hardwood flooring. For some distributors, wood has risen 15% to 20% in 2013, after 2012 outperformed 2011.

“Wood has been the strongest category,” said Bruce Zwicker, president and CEO, J.J. Haines, the industry’s No. 1 distributor. According to Zwicker, the improvement started in late 2010 and slowly continued in 2011 and 2012, with 2013 the strongest of the three years. “The uptick in home building in 2013 helped sustain the momentum. It will be interesting to see how long such momentum continues as rising interest rates and other macroeconomic factors suggest a [slowdown],” he said. Continue reading Distribution: Wood

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Derr Flooring hosts a ‘wicked’ evening at the Kimmel Center

Screen Shot 2013-09-16 at 9.06.18 AMPhiladelphia—Derr Flooring Co. recently teamed with Armstrong Hardwood Flooring and PA Floors (a division of Re:Source), to sponsor a ‘Wicked Event’ at Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center, bringing together architects, designers and installers from more than 20 local firms to  learn about the latest trends in hardwood flooring. Continue reading Derr Flooring hosts a ‘wicked’ evening at the Kimmel Center

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Builders begin long climb back

By Ken Ryan

Volume 26/Number 17; January 7/14, 2013

The builder market appears to be stirring from its several-years-long slumber. Confidence among builders and, in turn, flooring manufacturers—along with tangible statistical evidence—are the latest signs that the market for remodeling and new home construction is trending upward for the first time in years.

December was the eighth straight month in which builder sentiment rose, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and Wells Fargo & Co., which gauges current and future sales expectations and buyer traffic. Continue reading Builders begin long climb back

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July 2012: Flooring associations, University of Pennsylvania partner for education

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

Recognizing there is a need to help their members, and ultimately the industry, improve their business management skills, four industry associations have partnered with one of the world’s leading business universities to create a customized program designed to provide participants with an opportunity to study the essentials of business management, develop new skills and strategies, and to grow their businesses. Continue reading July 2012: Flooring associations, University of Pennsylvania partner for education

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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