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Winning the laminate flooring commodity competition

by Matthew Spieler

As a retailer, I focused on getting to know the leaders in flooring to learn as much as possible about the industry. Markets are the best venue for doing this. Most industry executives show up for these events. At one time there were several shows twice a year. Today there is but one giant market, Surfaces, which is not to be missed. In addition, there are dozens of regional markets, meetings and conventions that are important to attend.

Since the day laminate flooring first came to the U.S. in the mid 1990s, there has been chatter how it will eventually become just a commodity product. And while there has been a race toward the bottom in terms of pricing, there are specialty retailers who still make a profit selling laminate. Continue reading Winning the laminate flooring commodity competition

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Defining quality to consumers

by Matthew Spieler

In recent years, manufacturing has gotten to the point where some low-end products have a high-end look and feel. This is especially true in laminate. In fact, there are products that if brought back in time to just 10 years ago, they would qualify as mid- to high-end goods. So what’s a retailer to do to show consumers the differences between a quality product and one constructed not to perform very well? Continue reading Defining quality to consumers