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Carpet: State of the industry—Higher-end goods boost residential end of the market

August 28/September 4: Volume 32, Issue 6

By Ken Ryan

 

Screen Shot 2017-09-05 at 11.43.04 AMAfter a slow start to 2017, the residential carpet category gained some traction in the second quarter, resulting in a 2% rise in sales over the year-ago period, with units up 0.5% overall in the first half. Executives cited sales of better goods, an uptick in consumer confidence and price increases that have firmed up the marketplace.

The U.S. carpet category continues its ever-so-slight recovery from the Great Recession, its growth held in check by hard surfaces. “We have seen patterns, loops and differentiated product at the upper end doing disproportionately well and outperforming the medium end of the market,” said Tom Lape, president of Mohawk Residential.

T.M. Nuckols, executive vice president of residential business for the Dixie Group, which oversees the Dixie Home, Masland and Fabrica brands, agreed that better goods at the higher end of the spectrum and well-styled products are seeing the greatest activity in the residential market these days. If the products offer soil and pet stain protection—as many of them do—it’s a plus.

The 2% growth in residential carpet is a welcome sign for a category that has shown little to no growth in the last three years. In 2016, for example, FCNews’ research showed carpet sales down 1% to $8.7813 billion while total volume—which includes carpet and area rugs—gained 1.2% to 11.22 billion square feet.

There are some positive signs in housing that should favor a boost in carpet sales going forward. Between July 2016 and July 2017, U.S. home values increased 6.8%, according to Zillow, the online real estate database interest. That number is expected to rise another 2.7% within the next year, the company said. This uptick in home prices has helped boost consumer confidence among homeowners, which has increased two months in a row. As a consequence, the residential replacement market has experienced growth as spending on remodeling projects has moved higher. While most of that spending has been for hard surfaces, soft goods have not been shut out entirely.

However, rising home prices are a double-edge sword because it prevents many would-be buyers, especially older millennials, from entering the market. The flip side is that has resulted in a more robust multi-family segment. The multi-family production index (MPI), which provides a composite measure of three key elements of that market—construction of low-rent units, market-rate rental units and “for-sale” units, or condominiums—jumped 8 points to 56 in the second quarter as all three components increased.

“Improved units can be attributed to a fairly good builder market in both multi-family and single family as well as the return of home equities in the retail remodel sector,” said Brad Christensen, vice president, soft surface portfolio management, Shaw Floors.

Screen Shot 2017-09-05 at 11.43.21 AMThe Main Street segment of the business continues to perform reasonably well, with carpet tile continuing to grow in both small, local businesses and specified commercial. Broadloom, however, continues to lose share in both sectors.

Market research has shown consumers desire the warmth and comfort of carpet in their homes. To meet that need manufacturers are focusing on the look and feel of carpet more so than fiber type. As Christensen explains: “Consumers want a stylish, high-performing carpet that complements their uniquely curated living spaces and demand both design and function in a variety of price points.”

Rodney Mauter, executive vice president of residential marketing for Lexmark, sees value and fashion, especially, as the primary inspiration for consumers. “She wants her bedrooms and family rooms to be just as much of a statement as the rest of her home. As carpet manufacturers we must continue to exceed performance standards while offering more color and fashion choices.”

The dwindling middle
Carpet continues to play well in certain regions, in particular the upper Midwest and Northeast, observers say. Meanwhile, both the low and upper ends of the market are showing fairly brisk activity. Engineered Floors, the No. 3 carpet company, is flourishing in the lower-end polyester market, which continues to be strong. The upper end, which counts Dixie, Shaw (Tuftex) and Mohawk (Karastan), continues to shine. However, the mid-range market—$8 to $13—is struggling. “Rather than building products that fit your assets, build products that fit your customers’ needs,” Lape explained. “We have to figure out a way to create compelling products for our retailers even if it is hard.”

Innovative offerings
Screen Shot 2017-09-05 at 11.43.26 AMMohawk’s SmartStrand is an example of a compelling product that has enjoyed tremendous reception at the retail level, with new iterations like SmartStrand Reserve giving dealers more profit potential. “SmartStrand Reserve has hit the market with very solid acceptance across our dealer base,” Lape said. “Our prior research told us consumers loved luxurious soft performance carpet, and since our launch earlier in 2017 our research has now been proven true with the introduction of SmartStrand Reserve.”

Several advancements in technology have driven today’s exceptional quality, performance and styling looks. Improved yarn systems offer softer hand along with a range of visual aesthetics coupled with enhanced performance and durability. According to Susan Curtis, senior vice president, product development for Phenix, developments in tufting technology continue to open new ways to design creative carpets. She said additional attributes are being engineered into carpet products that enhance the consumer’s use and experience with the product.

Mark Clayton, president of Phenix, said innovations in tufting technology have provided opportunities for manufacturers to create more compelling textures and color palettes for the consumer.

Technology’s contribution to carpet has kept it as a viable flooring solution especially in the areas of improved stain, soil, wear and fade resistance—in addition to affordable pricing. That’s according to James Lesslie, executive vice president at Engineered Floors, whose company introduced an advanced polyester extrusion process fiber system called Apex SD.

Screen Shot 2017-09-05 at 11.43.32 AMAt Shaw Floors, its LifeGuard waterproof backing system is now offered as a trade-up option for dealers. In 2017 Shaw added LifeGuard to its Anso Color Wall in a Titanium collection with 150 new SKUs. “We’re listening to consumers more than we ever have before and adapting our strategies to meet their needs,” Christensen said. “Making LifeGuard an optional upgrade on more styles is just one example of this new approach.”

Products that offer stain and soil protection continue to resonate with consumers, the majority of whom own pets, studies show. To that end, the Dixie Group introduced a significant number of new products under the Stainmaster PetProtect brand, including many new carpet styles under its Dixie Home and Masland lines.

Phenix’s Cleaner Home carpet, meanwhile, features built-in Microban antimicrobial technology to protect against the growth of stain- and odor-causing bacteria and mold. Recognizing consumers’ growing desire for a cleaner home without cleaning more, Phenix combined these three unique components—a new fiber with two proactive technologies—to create this new carpet collection.

In terms of innovation and initiatives perhaps no one has been as busy as Engineered Floors. “Our top innovations are hard to pinpoint because 2017 has been so busy for us,” Lesslie explained. “So far this year, we’ve launched a totally new website, expanded our social media, broken ground and are in the process of completing a new modular carpet manufacturing facility, added several new Main Street commercial products through our Pentz brand and introduced Apex SD. And we’ve got four more months to go.”

 

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Fiber report: Soft, durable and cleanability lead checklist

May 8/15, 2017: Volume 31, Issue 24

By Ken Ryan

Screen Shot 2017-05-15 at 2.06.57 PMAdvancements in technology and manufacturing have allowed carpet mills to make significant improvements in fiber construction. The result: carpets that are soft, durable and resistant to stains and soils. Mill executives say today’s demanding consumers are driving these innovative breakthroughs.

“Performance-based fibers seem to be a big trend,” said Ayme Sinclair, marketing director, Stanton. “The biggest influence is an increased need from a more informed consumer base on making sure they are selecting goods that will stand up to the challenges of their active lifestyles.”

Susan Curtis, senior vice president, product development for Phenix, agreed. “We are seeing demand for innovative fibers that provide a high degree of performance tied to active lifestyles and exhibit a diverse array of color and luster options.”

Increasingly these innovative fibers are found in polyester; executives say manufacturing techniques have fueled the PET market, which has overtaken nylon as the preferred carpet fiber. “Consumers are very happy with the quality and performance of PET and request it when choosing their new carpet,” said Brian Warren, senior vice president of sales and marketing, Foss.

Beyond fiber type, the macro trends that have driven the fiber market for years are still dominant today, according to Seth Arnold, vice president of residential marketing for Mohawk Industries. “What that means is consumers want carpet that is easy to clean and will last a long time. With carpet being an infrequent, high-end purchase, for consumers it often boils down to cleanability and durability. We don’t see that trend going away.”

Observers point to another trend that’s holding its own: the desire for luxurious soft carpet. “We thought we had seen the top of the mountain with premium soft,” Arnold said. “We spent a lot of time this past year on soft. We spoke to 300 consumers in 10 different markets and looked at seven different fiber types. Consumers voted for softer, which is what led to SmartStrand Silk Reserve. We are raising the bar again in soft.”

Active segments
The dominance of hard surfaces in the home has opened the door for innovative ways to use carpet. Curtis noted that since the consumer is now using carpet in selected areas of her home, she often chooses multiple styles with specific features and benefits that fit the intended use of a room. “Traditionally, consumers may have chosen a solid or more generic aesthetic but are now seeking unique textures and colors they can mix and match with other flooring materials. A soft touch and comfort are still important attributes, but we have seen the need for products with unique patterns and colorations grow significantly.”

Screen Shot 2017-05-15 at 2.07.10 PMThe multifamily segment remains carpet’s greatest salvation within residential. That’s partly due to the fall in homeownership rates (which are at their lowest level since 1965, according to the U.S. Census Bureau), which means more people—especially millennials—are renting. Executives note that builders and property managers are increasingly looking to carpet as a way to combat sound issues associated with hard surfaces. “The shift towards hard surfaces remains a continued trend across all business segments, particularly multifamily,” said Brad Christensen, vice president-soft surface portfolio management, Shaw Floors. “However, we are seeing more consumers looking to incorporate higher quality soft surfaces with bolder patterns and styles in bedrooms and other specialty areas of the home, making residential an opportunity for growth in carpet sales.”

Residential retail remains steady, executives say, and with the influx of higher end, luxurious soft products hitting the market, dealers have more opportunities to trade up consumers. “We encourage our retailers to ‘X plus’ every customer,” Mohawk’s Arnold said. “Our premium soft products give them reasons to upsell.”

Product initiatives
In response to consumers’ insights for stylish, high-performing carpet that complements their living spaces, Shaw created the TruAccents display. This new compact, rotating display houses both nylon and PET carpet styles and pairs them with hard surface products for easier consumer shopping and convenient retail selling options. “For those consumers who prefer to purchase strictly nylon, we’ve also expanded our LifeGuard technology to the Anso Color Wall in our Titanium platinum product collection,” Christensen said.

Phenix recently introduced its Opulence HD solution-dyed PET polyester fiber featuring a finer denier yarn that is low luster with well-defined tips that give off a suede-like finish. “We developed this new fiber from the ground up by working with our extrusion division to create a yarn that provides great bulk with a soft very luxurious hand,” Curtis explained.

Stanton recently launched a line with Scotchgard 3M, pairing high style with high performance, Sinclair said. “This new line gives consumers assurance when they see a name they recognize, so it makes perfect sense for us to partner with them.”

Screen Shot 2017-05-15 at 2.07.18 PMAmong Mohawk’s biggest initiatives in 2017 is Airo, made of 100% premium PET fiber. As Arnold explained, “Airo is really our attempt to say, ‘What if we completely started from scratch; what would we come up with?’ This innovation is less about enhancing an existing fiber and more about looking at a fiber to create a construction advantage. Airo was a completely new way to approach product development.”

In the same vein as completely new is Foss’ Cashmere, which the company touts as a new category of affordable wall-to-wall carpet that looks and feels like wool but has the durability of commercial tiles and indoor/outdoor broadloom products. Warren said “the secrets” behind the carpet’s style and performance are its exclusive NaturalTouch fiber that can create a wool-like softness using PET and the company’s DuraKnit technology that prevents fraying, unraveling or zippering.

Engineered Floors has enjoyed big success with its PureColor Fiber system and its family of brands, especially within its residential PureColor Nylon collection—Your Retreat. “It features our PureColor Soft Nylon with Cationic technology,” said Mike Sanderson, vice president of product marketing. “We are essentially offering what is widely recognized as a premium fiber system in a collection of stylish yet affordable products.”

The residential division of Dixie has been an active partner with Invista/Stainmaster. In 2017, Dixie is launching six new styles as part of the Stainmaster LiveWell program. T.M. Nuckols, the new executive vice president of Dixie Residential, noted, “We have a good mix of styles in the solution-dyed nylon PetProtect program as well as many piece-dyed products.”

 

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Dixie unveils supporting brands to meet consumer, retailer needs

January 19/26, 2015; Volume 28/Number 15

By K.J. Quinn

Screen Shot 2015-01-19 at 3.30.04 PMIn today’s connected world, flooring suppliers realize they not only need great products to help retailers make money; they also must provide consistent and timely information. Starting in early 2015, the Dixie Group will unveil products across its residential portfolio and introduce the first of several tools that will make it easier to conduct business with its three carpet brands.

“With all brands within the Dixie Group we try to provide differentiated styling to appeal to to the fashion-conscious customer and add diversity to the retailer’s assortment,” said Paul Comiskey, president of residential sales. “We do not see carpet as a construction material, but rather as a design element.”

The new products and tools set for dealers—which will roll out at Surfaces 2015—are part of a branding strategy aimed at meeting customer needs and providing dealers with the necessary support for boosting sales of Dixie’s Masland, Fabrica and Dixie Home brands.

“We have had quite a bit of success with all three brands,” reported Phil Koufidakis, president, Baker Bros., with seven locations in the Phoenix area. “Our business with them has grown substantially over the past few years.”

While details about the launch were not available at press time, some line extensions will be introduced in early 2015 while others will be unveiled by the second quarter.

“We have a history of investing in new technology and a willingness to mix yarns,” Comiskey said. “This allows us to create new looks that mainstream mills have a hard time emulating.”

Investments in product development is nothing new at Dixie, which reports having grown its residential business 88% from 2009 to 2013 with sales up about 10% in 2014. Dixie’s manufacturing scale gives it the flexibility to respond quickly to new trends, keeping the latest patterns and colors within reach of a wide spectrum of consumers.

“Dixie has less distribution than most [mills], and its products can be sold as a fashion item rather than a commodity,” Koufidakis explained. “Everyone knows it is difficult to make money in a commodity.”

Targeting customer needs

Screen Shot 2015-01-19 at 3.30.37 PMAs business conditions improve within the flooring industry, Dixie’s three brands are well positioned to meet pent-up demand. “Value can be found at every price point, and aesthetics are just as important a factor in determining and appreciating value as face weight and/or price per ounce,” said Sam Roberts, owner, Roberts Carpet & Fine Floors, Houston. “They consistently have the most beautiful, comprehensive line in the industry.”

While each label targets different customers, they share a common theme: All brands use predominantly Stainmaster fiber and wool, which Dixie believes are fibers that provide superior performance. As well, with Stainmaster, the variety of lusters and dye levels provides Dixie with styling tools not available in other fibers, the company said.

“The Dixie Group’s relationship with Stainmaster and its continued dedication to stay cutting edge yet sellable completely separates it from most,” Koufidakis said. “Plus, with its three brands they can do that in a good/better/best scenario.”

Dixie will soon introduce patterns in both pre-dyed yarns as well as new Stainmaster fibers, TruSoft and Pet Protect. “The advent of ‘soft’ carpets upgraded many consumers into price points that are the strength of our assortment,” Comiskey said. “With Stainmaster Pet Protect, we took advantage of a performance story that has been quickly endorsed by the retail community.”

Select retailers sell Dixie Home carpet, a brand that experienced rapid growth and enthusiastic market acceptance since it was founded in 2003. Renowned for stylish tufted broadloom carpets that fall within more moderately priced segments of the high-end broadloom market, Dixie Home designs are made from premium-branded yarns and include traditional velvets, contemporary patterns and a wide range of textures in fashion-forward colors.

“With Dixie Home you will see an expansion of our Stainmaster Pet Protect as we look to take that [line] into more fashion-focused categories,” Comiskey said.

The design strategy at Dixie Home focuses on fresh, easy-care designs that meet the needs of active lifestyles and creates an ambience of simple, casual elegance. “Our tag line is ‘affordable fashion,’” Comiskey noted. “Using technology similar to what we use in our higher-end brands, we work to give the retailer different textures than he is accustomed to seeing in price points between $1.99 and $3.99 per square foot (uninstalled).”

Coming off its 40th anniversary year, Fabrica remains a fixture in the high-end residential arena, where the brand is renowned for its distinctive styles, colors and high performance in broadloom carpet, and custom and hand-tufted rugs. Fabrica offers a color assortment unmatched in the residential carpet business, Comiskey said, including the ability to customize the colors of the vast majority of its products. New patterns to debut at Surfaces will be an expansion of new technologies displayed last year.

“We believe pattern is evolving past solid color cut and loop,” Comiskey noted. “You will see us addressing this in both nylon and wool.” Color will continue to be a big part of the Fabrica story, he added, through the expansion of Dixie’s Permaset technology.

Most Fabrica products are sold through the decorator/design trade, with remaining sales coming from specialty segments such as high-end retailers, luxury yachts, furniture stores and the upscale home building market. “We provide product to retailers and designers in retail price points from $4.99 to $8.99 (per square foot uninstalled),” Comiskey noted. “We continually invest in new tufting technologies, so we can lead the way in innovative patterns and textures.”

Masland celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2015 and, similar to Fabrica, has been long recognized for its styling and design. A major expansion of Masland’s wool and pattern assortments is in the works for 2015.

“We will be at market with 10 introductions for our Masland Avenue collection,” Comiskey said. “Additionally, we will continue our expansion of Masland wools utilizing the assets from our Robertex purchase.” In nylon carpets, there will be an emphasis on patterns both in pre-dyed yarns as well as new Stainmaster fibers, he added.

Although there is some overlap, Masland fits between the Dixie Home and Fabrica brands, with the strength of the line sold from $2.99 to $6.99 per square foot uninstalled at retail.

“We do very well with all Dixie brands, with the largest success coming with Masland,” Roberts said. “All three are primarily better goods lines, with Dixie being basic, upper-middle to better-end goods; Masland being the high-end product and Fabrica being more of an elite line.”

Merchandising and marketing

To better showcase Dixie’s new lines, the company will introduce a number of updated displays. “With many dealers freshening their showroom spaces, sightlines and product category anchor points have become more refined,” explained Dan Phelan, Dixie’s vice president of marketing. “By offering furniture-quality displays that properly showcase the breadth of each brand, it not only gives the consumer a better shopping experience, but a path forward and space to continue our investment in product differentiation.”

Many of Dixie’s partners display products from all three brands in a gallery setting. In doing so, there is a starting point on the selling floor where retail salespeople can show products that set the store apart from local competition.

“They are positioned as key items in our Stainmaster Flooring Center displays, as well as having separate/additional footprints in the showrooms,” Koufidakis said. “These brands can fill a style and design option for most customers at a wide variety of prices. They also have some great ‘vanilla’ textures that are category winners.”

Dixie also works closely with dealers to consistently plan sale events in the peak spring and fall selling seasons. “Over the last several years, as our product lines have grown, so has our in-store position and the expectation of more marketing tools for the sale events,” Phelan explained. “We have invested in visual tools that help create a sense of urgency as well as lead the customer.”

For example, Dixie’s new web-based portal, DixieGroupOnline, allow dealers to access all sorts of information—from simply checking stock on a daily basis to reviewing live order information. “We are excited to begin the process of simplification and become more information centric for our partners,” Phelan said. The user-friendly site is considered a critical tool for helping retailers succeed in an increasingly competitive business environment.

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Fiber update: Nylon remains the major player

Volume 27/Number 24; March 31/April 7, 2014

By Louis Iannaco

Screen Shot 2014-04-22 at 11.03.03 AMThe last few years have seen words like PET, polyester and triexta dominating the fiber headlines. But that does not mean nylon is any less relevant. In fact, as the economy continues to improve, more manufacturers are stepping up their nylon introductions.

The consensus among carpet mill executives is that nylon’s most dominant value proposition continues to be its durability. And with the trend toward soft carpet showing no signs of slowing down, nylon’s attributes offer a strong selling story. Continue reading Fiber update: Nylon remains the major player

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Just because it's soft doesn't mean it's not durable

Feb. 17/24 2014, Volume 27/number 21

By Louis Iannaco

During the last few years, soft fiber has been all the rage in the carpet segment. Ever since Invista’s launch of Tactesse, a growing number of players have thrown their hats into the soft fiber arena. However, the one constant during this time of “softer is better” has been the perception that softer means less durable.

Long before the soft movement reached the homes of consumers, carpet manufacturers knew they would have to provide soft products that wouldn’t crush or matte. Whether it was testing their products via in–house or third-party foot traffic, using higher yarn twists or changing fiber’s molecular structure, mills continue to make durability a top priority.

Screen Shot 2014-02-24 at 1.55.53 PMAt Shaw, where its Caress carpet features the mill’s Anso nylon, Trey Thames, vice president of residential marketing and product management, said Shaw spent a great deal of time researching, testing and modifying its “super soft fibers” before launching them. “Caress was subjected to walk tests rather than a traditional mechanical (Hexapod) test. Having people walk all our styles and measuring their actual foot traffic gave us confidence Caress would perform in consumers’ homes.”

James Lesslie, assistant to the chairman at Engineered Floors, said to ensure its Puresoft Cashmere carpets perform, the company inserted 20% additional twist levels in its soft carpet fiber versus its traditional fiber, giving the mill one of the highest twist levels in the industry in both its traditional Puresoft fiber and Puresoft Cashmere fiber.

In addition to the higher twist, Engineered Floors also has its Puresoft Cashmere styles undergo a battery of walk tests. This takes place at an independent lab using people, not machines. “Carpets aren’t tested with machines in the real world; they’re tested by people walking on them,” Lesslie explained. “For us, the way to ensure our performance is to rely on ‘real world’ testing on all our soft styles.”

At Beaulieu America, the idea behind its latest soft offering, Perfection, is to provide the perfect balance between softness and durability. As Matt Johnson, senior director of product management, said, the mill does just that with its Nyluxe fiber. “Every time you go down in denier per filament, you have a trade off in durability, so you get softer and a little less durable. We believe Nyluxe has that sweet spot.”

In addition, in order to have that durability, Beaulieu, like Engineered, has twisted its yarn very tight, keeping a narrow gauge and fairly low pile height.

According to Johnson, there is a lot of high pile height that feels like cotton in the industry. “That’s why we’ve pulled ours down, like a commercial carpet, and made it all 1⁄10-gauge. We’ve over-twisted and over-engineered it to make sure any soft nylon product you get from Beaulieu performs like anything else we have.”

Danny Wade, Beaulieu’s executive vice president of research and development, explained the reason behind the fiber’s strength is because Nyluxe 8dpf luxury nylon has 275 individual filaments in each fiber bundle. “And when combined with a twist of 6.6 turns per inch, you get not only softness but durability.” Like Shaw and Engineered, Beaulieu also walk tests its Nyluxe products for appearance retention. “On a rating scale of one to five,” he said, “with five being no change, Nyluxe products rate 4 to 4.5.”

Technology deliversScreen Shot 2014-02-24 at 1.57.49 PM

Seth Arnold, Mohawk’s residential brand director, said from the start, SmartStrand had a “different” molecular structure and was a fiber that would perform “remarkably well. It can absorb and deflect the crushing/matting other fibers had and can do it at the level of softness well beyond what we’d seen in polyester and nylon.”

Even though the industry, including Mohawk, has brought soft nylon and polyester to market, neither of those “holds a candle” to the durability of SmartStrand Silk, Arnold noted. And when it comes to nylon, Mohawk is using the same type of technology it used to create Silk. “We use our Wear-Dated fiber and have two times the fiber of an ordinary soft carpet. The yarn’s density is wearing better than some unbranded nylons.”

With Mohawk’s new Continuum process, Arnold said the mill has been able to get a higher grade PET polymer because of the bottle resins that have to be built at certain FDA-approved standards. The mill had noticed a greater tensile strength in these fibers that it could build through its Continuum process.

“We have a big advantage with polyester with Continuum as it provides the guarantee that you’re going to get the highest performing soft polyester available,” he explained.

Invista engineers a unique fiber “cross section” in its soft Stainmaster products, according to Gary Johnston, senior marketing manager. “Cross section is the shape of the fiber. We’ve patented the fiber shapes we engineer specifically for each particular fiber application. For example, our soft products utilize a unique cross section so they’re able to deliver and perform well when tufted into a soft carpet.”

Johnston noted while the company has a specific denier it uses to provide soft shape and feel, it also contributes to the carpet’s ability to maintain its original shape. “Much of that stems from the original Tactesse fiber cross section we used early on. In fact, with Tactesse, we were the first to introduce a true soft fiber in the market.”

Since then, in order to enhance its product, the company has gone through many different processes and revolutions of fiber technology. As a result, Invista’s TruSoft carpet is “fantastic when it comes to touch and hand,” he noted, “but what’s most exciting is its durability and ability to stand up to household use/family activity.”

At Dixie, where the mill uses TruSoft fiber in its soft products, Dan Phelan, vice president of marketing, residential, said the company starts with premium type 6,6 nylons from Stainmaster then adds its own tufting and finishing expertise. “It’s our experience,” he concluded, “using higher stitch rates provides not only a better finish, but also better performance.”

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Mills unfurl new products, enthusiasm for 2013

By Louis Iannaco

Volume 26/Number 20; February 18/25, 2013

(Second of two parts)

Carpet mills exhibiting at Surfaces 2013 witnessed genuine excitement from attendees resulting from the many new products that were offered as well as their own expectations toward what the rest of the year may bring regarding sales and profits. Attendees found carpet mills offering bolder colors, more textures and patterns, three-dimensional looks and an ever-increasing number of soft products. Continue reading Mills unfurl new products, enthusiasm for 2013

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What happens in Vegas shouldn’t stay in Vegas

by Celia Payne

Las Vegas—Surfaces 2012 presented the opportunity to shine—even brighter than the Vegas strip. The successful protagonists at the show know you must set yourself apart among a sea of introductions. Continue reading What happens in Vegas shouldn’t stay in Vegas

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Specialty vendor, Stainmaster roll buy in spotlight

Las Vegas—When the National Floorcovering Alliance (NFA) meets here each year on the morning prior to Surfaces, one of the primary goals is to expose its members to vendors not present at the group’s two major gatherings in the spring and fall. Referred to as tier 2 suppliers, members have the opportunity to spend three hours with “specialty vendors” in a table-top trade show format, allowing them to fill in gaps and/or further differentiate their product lineup from their competition. Continue reading Specialty vendor, Stainmaster roll buy in spotlight

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Optimism, steady traffic take center stage

Improving economy gives show best feeling in years

by FCNews staff

Las Vegas—Immediately after the curtain was raised on the stage that was Surfaces 2012, it was apparent to everyone from manufacturers to contractors to retailers that something was different in the air at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center. Continue reading Optimism, steady traffic take center stage

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Spring introductions: New products, innovations blossoming

Much of the U.S. may still be struggling to escape winter temperatures but the calendar says it’s officially spring. A time of rebirth and hope, not just in nature, spring is when consumers air out their homes and take a look at how to get the glum out of the house. One historical way has been to redecorate, with new floors and furniture and a fresh coat of paint. Spring traditionally marks one of the industry’s busiest selling times. Continue reading Spring introductions: New products, innovations blossoming