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My take: Random ramblings from NeoCon

July 3/10: Volume 32, Issue 2

By Steven Feldman

 

Screen Shot 2016-07-15 at 3.46.11 PMHow can 2017 have less than half of it remaining? Time really does fly. Walking around NeoCon last month made me realize just that. There was no way we could be five months removed from Surfaces. Then again, show management is probably saying there is no way it’s been five years since they changed the name to TISE, or The International Surface Event, and I still refer to it as Surfaces. (That’s because most of you do, too.)

Anyway, as the ADD kicks into high gear as the years go by and my brain goes in 100 different directions, here was what I was thinking about on the plane ride home from NeoCon:

If only I booked the 1:30 or 4:30 and not the 2:30, we wouldn’t have been stranded an extra day in Chicago… Kudos to Metroflor for going the extra mile in creating awareness for its Aspecta brand with a public area on the first floor of the Merchandise Mart where attendees could stop in and get a smoothie. This in addition to a well-attended party at the Godfrey… Encryption, the subway tile-looking carpet tile planks from Milliken, is an innovative design… Does anyone know how to fold a fitted sheet?… Great to see old friend and former Bentley boss Anthony Minite heading up the U.S. operations for Denmark-based Fletco. There’s a good story there…

Impressed with the huge Tarkett/Tandus Centiva/Johnsonite/ Desso space on the third floor. Bringing everything together makes all the sense in the world…Speaking of the third floor, there may be more attendees per square foot in the Mohawk space than anywhere else… And speaking of Mohawk, Gavin DeGraw headlined its annual NeoCon soiree. Great performance, but would have preferred Earth Wind & Fire… I think Aquafil is one of the best-kept secrets in this industry. What they do with fiber from a color and sustainability standpoint is unmatched…

Always love the Bentley showroom design on the 10th floor… Speaking of high floors, no more elevator waits for me. Take a non-NeoCon elevator to a non-NeoCon floor, like 12 or 13, and walk down. I should have thought of that 20 years ago… They may not be a household name, but Taj Flooring has some innovative designs. With the right exposure they could make some noise in the next few years… I miss not seeing Don Miller at the Roppe booth. Hopefully next year… I love the sense of camaraderie when an entire line of cars teams up to prevent an idiot from cutting in at the front…

The Raskin purchase of To Market is sure to pay dividends… I like what companies like Gerflor and American Biltrite are doing in the U.S…. Gibson’s vs. Mastro’s vs. Gene & Georgetti. Who wins?… I am expecting Atlas to be more visible going forward with rumors of some new branding on the horizon… While carbon neutral is the buzzword for many, Interface is moving forward with the first carbon negative carpet tile a few years down the road… Noticed more companies with Declare labels than years past…

At the end of the day, though, one of my favorite aspects of NeoCon is seeing executives of competing manufacturers visiting each other’s showrooms and spaces. There is a certain camaraderie unseen at other events. It’s more than just checking out the competition. There is a palpable level of respect and friendship. I like that.

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News: Fletco taps carpet industry veteran

Anthony Minite to lead Denmark mill’s North American expansion

October 24/31, 2016: Volume 31, Number 10
By Reginald Tucker

anthony_minite1Fletco, one of Denmark’s leading carpet manufacturers, has named industry veteran Anthony Minite managing director of its new United States and Canadian operations. Minite, who successfully ran Bentley Prince Street for 11 years and ultimately was part of the team that purchased the company from its parent, Interface, in 2012, will lead a strategic plan to expand into the U.S. and Canada.

“We have been wanting to expand into the U.S. and Canada for some time, and we knew we needed someone with proven success in this market to lead us,” said Brian Jensen, president, Fletco. “Anthony has a reputation as a leader and his strengths and values align perfectly with those of Fletco. We believe this expansion, under his leadership, will be a tremendous success.”

Minite cited Fletco’s rich history and legacy of product development as a key draw. In particular, he cited the potential of the Fletco’s flat weave products—which have been a staple in Europe for many years. “For me this represents an opportunity to get back into an industry I love with a solid, forward-thinking company that has been a leader of flat woven products in Denmark. The company has been operating for 70 years in Europe, but it has only tip-toed in the United States and Canada.”

Minite has long been intrigued by the quality, style and design of the flat woven style product. “It’s something that you don’t really see in the U.S., not in significant quantities anyway. I truly believe our product offerings will invigorate this marketplace.”

Utilizing his 25 years of industry experience, Minite plans to leverage his skills in relationship building to create alliances with key distributors in the market. To that end, Fletco plans to partner with Spartan Surfaces and Sustainable Surfaces to expedite its expansion in North America. That expansion, which is already under way, is being executed simultaneously throughout the United States and Canada starting with Spartan Surfaces on the East Coast, Southeast and part of the Midwest and Sustainable Surfaces on the West Coast.

“We have aligned with really good strategic partners that have been known to focus on the dealer side as well as the architect and designer side,” Minite said. “We’ve already started that process of getting the product into a multitude of segments such as corporate, retail and hospitality.”

At the same time, Minite is mindful of the challenges of building a brand in a new market halfway around the world. “Anytime you’re trying to establish something new and compete with long-standing companies here in the States inevitably there are going to be some challenges. But I do think the uniqueness of this product will open new doors and opportunities. All of the major players are using the same solution-dyed nylons and everybody is purchasing ColorPoint machines. Although there are great designs out there, they are limited in terms of technology. Clearly, as we evolve and get some of the new designs out there, we will overcome that challenge.”

In the meantime, Minite is staying focused on the job at hand. “Fletco is allowing me to strategically build what that company looks like in North America. That’s the exciting part.”

Fletco Carpets will officially launch at NeoCon East in Philadelphia this month.

 

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Fletco taps Anthony Minite to spearhead North American expansion

anthony_minite1Los Angeles—Fletco, one of Denmark’s leading carpet manufacturers, has named industry veteran Anthony Minite managing director of its new United States and Canadian operations. Minite, who successfully ran Bentley Prince Street for 11 years and ultimately was part of the team that purchased the company from its parent, Interface, in 2012, will lead a strategic plan to expand into the U.S. and Canada.

“We have been wanting to expand into the U.S. and Canada for some time, and we knew we needed someone with proven success in this market to lead us,” said Brian Jensen, president, Fletco. “Anthony has a reputation as a leader and his strengths and values align perfectly with those of Fletco. We believe this expansion, under his leadership, will be a tremendous success.”

Minite cited Fletco’s rich history and legacy of products as a key draw. “The company is forward thinking with a commitment to innovation and responsible manufacturing, and I truly believe our product offerings will invigorate this marketplace. Together with our strategic partners, we have the passion and ability to design innovative products to meet the demand of our end users and exceed expectations.”

Fletco plans to partner with Spartan Surfaces and Sustainable Surfaces to expedite its expansion in the marketplace. Fletco Carpets will officially launch at NeoCon East in Philadelphia next month. The expansion will begin simultaneously throughout the United States and Canada starting with Spartan Surfaces on the East Coast, Southeast and part of the Midwest and Sustainable Surfaces on the West Coast. Both partners have extensive experience and success in their respective markets.