HICKSVILLE, N.Y.—There may be signs of life in the economy, at least on the residential side, but the overall pace remains slow. Add to that a drastic drop in wood prices—especially from imports—the continued surge in popularity of luxury vinyl tile (LVT) and an overcapacity problem, and the laminate category continues to struggle to regain the momentum it had just before the financial and housing crises hit.
Research conducted by Floor Covering News to see how the category has fared over the first four months of 2010 compared to the same period last year has rendered mix results. On one hand, product is starting to move through the channel as more consumers break from their shells and once again begin to shop for home improvement items. On the other hand, dollar volumes and profits remain sluggish as the post-recession consumer searches for products that will give her the most performance at the lowest price. Continue reading Laminate state of the industry: Units pick up but sales struggle in face of increasing competition, economy