Posted on

My take: Another visit from St. Nicholas

December 18/25, 2017: Volume 32, Issue 14

By Steven Feldman


Back by popular demand, round 2 …

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
We were praising our advertisers – not FloorFolio or Kraus.
Almost all our accounts had stepped up their game;
Those who did not we will not mention by name.

For most in our industry 2017 was strong;
Those who struggled may have done something wrong.
So many manufacturers kept selling more,
Especially those who market rigid core.

Tucker, Baillie and Ryan all snug in their beds,
While visions of Christmas bonuses danced in their heads.
Nadia Ramlakhan in her kerchief, and I in my cap,
Dustin Aaronson quite busy with boxes and bubble wrap.

When out on the lawn there arose such a noise,
Was expecting a jolly old man carrying loads of toys.
But away to the window I ran real quick,
To see many from our industry, like Tarkett’s Jeff Fenwick.

Through the darkness I could see someone approach;
When he got real close I knew it was Piet Dossche.
Enjoying his millions which came in scores,
All from the sale of USFloors.

He was with three men, all dressed to the nines
Happy to own all the COREtec lines.
Of course it was Vance Bell and retiring Randy Merritt,
And good ol’ Tim Baucom, Merritt’s presidency to inherit.

Then what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer,
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.

With the moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Came the man to my door not just to say hello.
He wanted to know who was naughty and nice;
Why was I the one whom he was seeking advice?

“You’re the publisher of the industry’s top magazine;
You know all that’s happening on the flooring scene.”
I said in my position I’m not one to judge
Nor do I know who exactly to begrudge.

Instead, I said, I’ll recap the year in flooring,
A year in which WPC went soaring.
So as to 2017 we bid adieu,
What follows here is the year in review.

We started with Surfaces, still in its own league,
Thanks to people like Gilmore, Swayze and Teague.
Mandalay Bay is where the show now stands;
I hope someday it returns to the Sands.

Mannington came to Vegas with plenty of sizzle,
Much to the delight of Campbell and Grizzle.
On the show floor they received great placement,
The highlight of which was Jay’s Bargain Basement.

Mohawk showed dealers how they could make some dinero
With Unified Soft Flooring, which goes by Air.o.
With features and benefits that can alter the landscape,
A real game changer, according to Tom Lape.

Whether we’re talking LVT, WPC or rigid core,
Those in that game continued to sell more.
Everyone seems to be getting in the mix
With products like Sono, CoreLoc and Acrylx.

Armstrong bought Mannington’s vinyl composition tile,
Its leadership position now extends to a mile.
Residentially the focus was on innovation again
With technology they are calling Diamond 10.

In the fall the NFA took issue with two firms
That actually attempted to do away with terms.
These top dealers wield a powerful stick;
Guys like Roberts, Koufidakis, Longwill and Flick.

Harvey and Irma hit Houston and Florida pretty hard;
Hurricanes that were felt in many retailers’ backyard.
But the industry came together, as you knew it would;
In desperate times we all do good.

After year-long rumors Beaulieu finally shut its doors;
It assets absorbed by Engineered Floors.
Bob Shaw stands tall in all his glory;
What he’s done in seven years is an amazing story.

We said good-bye to the man from Abbey,
Sometimes nice and sometimes crabby.
I liked the guy when he wasn’t a grump
Or when his ego wasn’t the size of President Trump.

Anderson-Tuftex became a high-end brand;
Carrie Edwards Isaac, Katie Ford have big things planned.
The Anderson products are the best in forever,
Or at least since Shaw undertook this endeavor.

We saw a deal between Belknap and Haines;
This alliance should produce its share of gains.
What happens going forward is anyone’s guess;
It’s not something you can expect Ray Mancini to address.

St. Nick then thanked me and said with a smile,
“This is all a lot to compile.
So what is that you want in 2018?
Don’t you think it’s time you found your queen?”

I said I’ve kinda given up on finding the next Mrs. Steve
What they say is true about the tangled webs we all weave.
But there is one thing to which I constantly aspire
And I will explain that to you since you just did inquire.

You see, for all our readers I wish continued health,
And anything we can do to improve their wealth.
Whether it’s a manufacturer or those with stores,
All we want to do is help them sell more floors.

This is what separates us from all the rest;
We wake up every day striving to be the best.
You know we couldn’t do this without your support
I hope and pray we never fall short.

And with that St. Nick sprang to his sleigh,
And away he flew to be on his way.
But I heard him exclaim, as he drove out of sight,
Merry Christmas, Happy New Year – 2018 will be bright.

Happy holidays to everyone, thanks for reading all year and our heartfelt appreciation for all your support.


Posted on

Lisbiz strategies: Make your store rock over the holidays

November 27-December 11, 2017: Volume 32, Issue 13

By Lisbeth Calandrino


November and December are often the slowest months for flooring dealers. If you’re a salesperson, they can also be the most depressing. While everyone else is partying and rushing around, you’re waiting for customers to come in and buy flooring.

Here’s a list of things you can do to draw customers and bring cheer to your store.

Have “dress up” days. Put on your “Sunday best” and throw a party. There’s no limit to what you can serve, but how about hot chocolate, apple cider or blood orange Italian soda? Play holiday music and enjoy the day. Have your staff make their favorite holiday cookies and invite your customers. Post an event on Facebook and invite all your friends.

Create your own events. If there isn’t anything going on in your area, start something. Your store can be the center of the fun. Not sure what to do? Ask yourself, “What would I need to come downtown?”

Decorate your store so it becomes the focal point of the block. Look up all of the holidays and decorate for all of them. If it were my store, I would have vendors outside selling green wreaths, Christmas trees, holly balls and holiday scents such as cinnamon and cloves.

Give out an extra gift with every installation or large flooring purchase. In November, we gave out turkeys or gift certificates to the supermarket. Whatever you give out should be wrapped in holiday paper.

You can get free perfume gifts from Macy’s, coffees, mugs from Big Lots. How about having a makeup artist from MAC or Sephora come in and do free makeovers through the holidays? How about free manicures? It’s likely you will get plenty of customers to sign up.

Take photos for your social media promos. Use Twitter and Instagram and blog about your holiday fun. This is the time for an email newsletter filled with cheer and specials for or after the holidays. Fill it with photos from events through the year.

Hire masseuses to give free massages in your store if customers buy something. Market these ideas on your social media platforms. It works in the airports; I’m sure it will work in your store.

Hold a New Year’s Day party. This is a perfect day to serve lunch, bring in a piano and have someone play holiday music.

Buddy up with other retailers. How about doing the 12 days of Christmas and give away gifts every day? Bring in a florist, have festive wrapping paper and holiday cards. Offer to wrap presents.

Go high end with your store decorations. Customers should see a shop that looks elegant and up to date, even if they don’t buy. If you want to sell better merchandise, the holiday season is a good time to show your customers what they can look forward to for the new year.

Start showcasing products for the new year.  How about highlighting some of your best sellers for the holiday season? Bring in drapes, paint samples and quilts. This is the year of fleece, so why not have your store decorated accordingly? You can give them away with a sale or as gifts. Fluffy robes and slippers are inexpensive and fun to give away.

Don’t forget our pet friends. You can give away toys, bowls, catnip, cat and dog coats and treats. Have a contest for the best-dressed pet.

Whatever you do, enjoy the holidays and plan for a profitable new year.


Lisbeth Calandrino has been promoting retail strategies for the last 20 years. To have her speak at your business or to schedule a consultation, contact her at