May 22/29, 2017: Volume 31, Issue 25
By Ken Ryan
With the luxury vinyl tile market bursting at the seams with so many new products entering the fray, distributors are tasked with seeking out products that offer true differentiation.
In Raskin Industries’ FloorNation, wholesalers say they have found a winning combination—a line offering great style and design, coupled with a made-in-the-USA story. FloorNation is a phthalate-free, virgin vinyl flooring available in three collections: Freedom, Pride and Glory, all featuring the company’s G88 advanced coating system.
Although FloorNation has been out for more than a year, some locations are seeing it for the first time. Such is the case in the Rocky Mountain region, where Midwest Floors, a Salt Lake City-based distributor, just introduced the line. “It’s been a huge success,” said Eric Parrish, owner. “Our customer base is most excited to have a product that focuses on quality and service. We all want something unique and original, and that is what Michael Raskin has done. He has taken time to see the trends and color tones that influence our North American market and then made his own color offering to complement our wants and needs with the Raskin line. Add in the fact that it’s made in the USA and you have a story worth telling and then selling.”
Ted Rocha, director of sales for Raskin, has worked on expanding the company’s distribution network since joining the company in 2016. He was particularly impressed with Midwest Floors’ rollout. “Midwest has never launched an LVT line like ours; their eyes are wide open. They really got behind it and have gotten out of the gates very fast. They are in a small market but it is amazing how much they dominate their market.”
Gilford-Johnson Flooring, a top 20 distributor, has carried the FloorNation line for several months and reports brisk activity. “What makes FloorNation so attractive for Gilford-Johnson is you have a concise product offering in the hottest category in flooring,” said Jodie Doyle, vice president of product management. “When you add Michael’s ability to bring popular, cutting-edge decors to the product line and the made-in-the-USA story, that’s a really great combination for a distributor and a tremendous value proposition for our customers.”
Doyle said Gilford-Johnson retailers have “eaten up” the Glory product line, which boasts a 4mm thickness and 20-mil wear layer. The line also features an extra wide (9.25 x 59.25) extra long format available in five colors. “There are three great selling stories in the FloorNation line, but Glory has been an absolute home run with our customers.”
Distributors credited Michael Raskin and his team for their extensive LVT knowledge as well as their ability to listen to the challenges distributors face and focusing on bringing solutions to the market. “With quality, service and price you can only pick two—and we went with Raskin Industries and their call for quality and service,” Parrish said. “Too often price is the story that is sold, but as a homeowner or a business owner we would never put in the cheapest product if we were educated on what makes other products better. At the end of the day someone can disagree with my opinion, but the fact is design matters and Raskin is proving that with FloorNation.”
Parrish added that the made in America angle is a very big deal from a logistics standpoint and should not be discounted. “Managing inventory from containers is a constant juggling act and one that is never perfect. To take a 20-week lead time out of the equation is a solution that everyone is looking for.”
Scott Carson, director of products and marketing for T&L Distributing in Houston, said the domestic production of FloorNation has made a huge difference in his company’s ability to service customers on a timely basis. “The product is being built in Ohio, and they are carrying product in Ohio. I can have the product in one to two weeks as opposed to 8-10 weeks [if imported]. That is huge for my business.”