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Mannington in lockstep with design trends

Product development process feeds off cues in fashion, home decor

February 5/12, 2018: Volume 33, Issue 17

By Reginald Tucker

 

Salem, N.J.—At Mannington no product is brought to market without the requisite research, forethought and consideration of retailer needs and consumer trends and designs. FCNews got a glimpse of that extensive creative design and development process at work at the company’s in-house design showroom at its facilities here during a special Surfaces product preview event.

Presented here are some of the highlights across several product categories.

Adura Apex
Rooms that are prone to spills and wet messes can still have the look of wood (plus the exceptional performance of a luxury vinyl tile) with Mannington’s new Adura Max Apex. “Our Adura Max Apex floors deliver the look of real wood with formats that include wide widths and long lengths as well as variable widths and lengths,” said Joe Amato, vice president of residential styling. “This mix of renewed classic and on-trend designs capture the essence of real wood in ways we once could only imagine.”

Apex Adura debuts in six new colors: Aspen, a rich, refined European Oak design; Chart House, which conveys a shiplap design; Hilltop, a traditional reclaimed hickory look; Hudson, an urban chic visual; Napa, a character oak design with a classic European ceruse finish; and Spalted Wych Elm, a versatile design in 8 x 72-inch planks that easily transitions from traditional to contemporary settings.

Luxury vinyl sheet (LVS)
What’s old is new again, so the expression goes. Mannington’s Revive LVS collection gets three new looks that feature updated spins on classic and vintage looks, including floors with highly decorative surfaces.

“Mannington floors are designed to be lived on,” said Terry Marchetta, director, residential styling. “Our new sheet vinyl collection reflects that philosophy by marrying style with easy maintenance in our interpretations of on-trend looks in home design.”

Designs include: Oceana, a modern spin on classic Carrara marble; revive tapestry, a fresh take on classic decorative tile; Versailles, inspired by the well-traveled pathways of the iconic French palace for which it is named; Millcreek, inspired by reclaimed timber found in an old grain mill; and Patina, which delivers the authentic look of naturally aged concrete in easy-care LVS style.

Laminate
Mannington’s confidence in the mature but still relevant laminate category is reflected by its commitment to bringing retailers products that provide trade-up opportunities. The company aims to do just that with the latest additions to its Restoration Collection.

Highlights include: Hillside Hickory; already one of Mannington’s best-selling hickory plank designs, this line spins contemporary, creating a floor that works well in modern farmhouse and neutral Scandinavian settings, according to Cristen Del Bove, senior stylist. Then there’s Palace Plank, which combines the timeless beauty of wide plank European white oak with state-of-the art technology for a floor infused with authentic color, texture. Lastly, Palace Chevron is a look that dates back to 17th century France.

Hardwood
Mannington’s already extensive hardwood lineup gets a quintet new designs this spring. Additions include Carriage Oak, which captures the essence of worn painted wood from vintage carriage houses but in an updated, contemporary color palette; Foundry Hickory, which features subtle wire brushing enhanced by a triple-stained effect; Tribeca Oak, which offers a refined urban look with subtle wire brushing and multiple stain layers; Cider Mill Hickory, which combines the charm and nostalgia found in a vintage cider mill. A unique hand staining technique showcases the natural color variation, ranging from light to dark, on each plank; and Cider Mill Oak, which captures the spirit a of wood found in old mills.

 

 

 

 

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Aspecta by Metroflor partners with Spartan Surfaces

Norwalk, Conn.—Aspecta by Metroflor has appointed Spartan Surfaces as its new distributor for New York City and Long Island, Washington, D.C., and the mid-Atlantic and Southeastern states, effective Jan. 1.

The Bel Air, Maryland–based sales and consulting group is well positioned to represent the flagship Aspecta contract LVT brand, said Paul Eanes, vice president of sales, Metroflor.  “Spartan Surfaces’ unique business model places heavy focus on the contract market, ideally suiting them to carry the Aspecta brand,” Eanes said. “Selling and specifying Aspecta requires a highly technical, commercially focused sales organization, and that is exactly what we have in Spartan Surfaces. To team up with such a powerful distributor-partner is a big win for both companies.”

Kevin Jablon, Spartan Surfaces president, sees many cultural similarities between Spartan and Aspecta by Metroflor.

“Our core values are the same: hard work and integrity. Employees come first and everyone has a voice,” Jablon said. “We look forward to embracing Aspecta into what we call the Spartan Experience: driven by passionate people building longstanding relationships through a collaborative approach, leading with innovative flooring designs and creating successful experiences in everything we do.”

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Marquis: The best is yet to come in hard surfaces

November 6/13, 2017: Volume 32, Issue 11

By Ken Ryan

 

Screen Shot 2017-11-13 at 10.11.22 AMIt is not uncommon these days for a mid-sized carpet mill to get involved in hard surfaces and try to catch the wave that is the LVT/WPC/rigid core movement. What is uncommon is for that mill to have genuine success to the tune of double-digit growth year over year.

Marquis Industries made the leap into the luxury vinyl world nine years ago. Rather than dabbling in it, the company went full-court press, expanding its product portfolio every year as it continued to grow. In fact, 2016 was a record year for Marquis Industries in hard surface products, fueled by its LVT collections—LVP, WPC and SPC (rigid core products). This year, Marquis has introduced new constructions, specifications and visuals to position the company as a premier source of waterproof vinyl flooring in residential and commercial.

“We’ve been extremely fortunate and have had phenomenal growth over the past year and expect it to continue into 2018 and beyond,” said Kevin Howell, vice president, hard surface division. “Our intention is to win, to deliver unparalleled support to our partners in the industry and continue to develop and deliver products of value to our loyal customer base.”

Marquis is winning with products like Williamsburg, one of the hot new looks introduced at Surfaces 2017. This multi-width pattern WPC is designed with the latest in grays and tan/browns, and measures 7 x 48 with a 20 mil, ceramic bead finish and an IXPE attached cushion. Customers have been impressed with the company’s transformation from carpet mill to full-line hard surface source. One flooring dealer who had carried Marquis carpet but no hard surfaces bought a container.

Roy Rueb, general manager at Vrooman Carpet, a Golden Valley, Minn., wholesaler, said he has worked with Marquis for 25 years, primarily on the carpet side; he added hard surfaces roughly five years ago, starting with a Marquis luxury vinyl line called Country Home. “They’ve always been a stand-up company, always good to work with, so I had no concerns taking on their hard surface products. And when they did come to us it was obvious they had done their homework. They had gone to China and did their research, so I felt comfortable taking it on. In fact, we have actually done quite well with it, starting with Country Home; we now have four collections.”

Rueb said the company is doing quite well with Marquis WPC and will add rigid core when the product comes online soon. “We should have everything covered in that category by then. In hard surface, [Marquis] luxury vinyl hands-down has been phenomenal.”

Vrooman doubled its business with Marquis last year, mostly on the LVT side. “The carpet side stayed consistent but hard surface was significantly more. It is up again this year although not double, maybe 20% up. It’s been a good partnership.”

Likewise, Rob Quinn, owner of Quinn Distributors in Milwaukee, has been doing business with Marquis for 20-plus years, and until recently was a soft surface wholesaler only. “We both saw the writing on the wall that hard surface was coming. We got into it together.”

Although initially hesitant to go to market in hard surfaces with a carpet mill, Quinn said he was duly impressed with Marquis’ offerings, which he said are well engineered and thicker than most; the results bear that out. In 2017, Quinn estimates he will do between $1 million and $1.5 million in business with Marquis, and two-thirds of that will come in hard surface. Quinn represents three LVT suppliers; however, 80% of that business comes from Marquis. He particularly likes the visuals found in the Montana and Granite Falls SKUs. “Marquis does a fantastic job with styling, color and pricing; they have expertise in how to price things,” he said. “What I like is that they don’t have too many SKUs in any one category. We’re not the kind of distributor that’s going to stock 25 shades of green, so this works out well for us.”

According to Marquis’ Howell, the manufacturer will be introducing style and performance with the new designs in 2018 as the company expands the breadth of its product offerings.

 

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Stanton Carpet launches new B2B site

October 23/30, 2017: Volume 32, Issue 10

By Lindsay Baillie

 

Screen Shot 2017-10-27 at 12.27.40 PMStanton Carpet is looking to simplify the way it transacts with retail customers via a new B2B website—stantonb2b.com. The site makes it easier for retailers to find products, submit requests to create a rug, view dropped products and order swatches, among other features.

The new B2B site, which launched Oct. 9, is something Stanton has been working on for approximately two years. “A lot of what we’ve incorporated in this first phase comes from feedback we received from the retailers, because ultimately we are creating the site for them to use,” said Chad Johnfroe, director of information systems, Stanton Carpet.

With the development of this site the company has created what Jonathan Cohen, president and CEO of Stanton Carpet, calls “the Amazon of B2B. This is another way we can provide retailers with really great service aside from our other areas of service in the organization. While they are not required to do business with us online, there are so many more things available on the site. It’s better, faster, easier. We feel like we have the best of both with this new B2B system.”

On the company’s previous site, which Stanton refers to as its customer service interface, retailers could place orders. However, it was static and more of a utilitarian site. Retailers who were using the old system are now automatically enrolled in the new site.

With the B2B site, retailers can seamlessly navigate through different menus to view multiple accounts, custom rug jobs, reservations, helpful links regarding topics such as display and installation guides, promotional items, dropped products, new product introductions and more. Dealers can also create a rug as well as order swatches and stock. The create-a-rug feature was developed to help retailers save time when placing a custom rug order. The new site provides brief explanations for finish options, attached backing/padding as well as quarter-turn options. The create-a-rug section also includes a visualizer box that allows the user to zoom in on the product.

Other enhancements include greater access to customer service reps. Through the new site the customer service support desk is now available 24 hours a day and seven days a week. This is a dramatic change from its previous hours of operations which ended at 6 p.m. EST. The site also contains quick links for dealers with autofill, a mark-up tool and the option to view retailer vs. consumer pricing.

A key element to the creation of the new B2B site is it reinforces Stanton Carpet’s commitment to sell only to the flooring retailer. While certain features, such as the create-a-rug option, will soon be available on an updated consumer website, customers will not be able to purchase products directly from Stanton. If a consumer chooses to create a rug, they will only be able to submit a rug design, which then goes to the nearest retailer who can follow up about the desired product.

Stanton has scheduled a few webinars to help walk retailers through the new site. The company has also alerted dealers of the updated site through email and a “Top Five Reasons Why” campaign. The company also plans on showcasing the website at Surfaces 2018.

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Technology: Xintory.com 2.0—More products, improved functionality

October 9/16, 2017: Volume 32, Issue 9

By Reginald Tucker

 

Screen Shot 2017-10-17 at 10.29.06 AMEarlier this year the flooring industry got its first look at Xintory.com, a web-based B2B portal designed strictly for manufacturers, distributors, dealers and installers to sell and buy overstocks, drops and specials (FCNews, Feb. 27/ March 6, 2017). The objective, according to Larry Feldman, the 30-year floor covering industry veteran who founded the company, was to provide a marketplace where sellers and buyers in the trade can reliably and securely get together to solve an issue that impacts virtually everyone across the supply chain—what to do with excess, discontinued inventory.

Nearly a year after the program’s first beta test, the company reports not only a significant increase in usage among both buyers and sellers but also a host of improvements and upgrades. These enhancements, which have resulted in what Feldman refers to as “Xintory.com 2.0,” are designed to improve the program’s overall functionality for all parties involved.

Among the most notable improvements and changes: a continually expanding online inventory; door-to-door delivery service; a new “Buyer’s Alert”; a “Make-an-Offer” feature; and a new product pricing function that reflects the true scale of the discounted product offerings.

“People who may have visited the site a few months ago but not lately will be very surprised,” Feldman stated.

Following is a closer look at the upgrades and what they mean for users:

Expanded inventory. New products are listed on Xintory.com every single day. To put things in perspective, this translates into many millions of dollars worth of product featured on the site since last December. Categories currently offered on Xintory.com run a wide gamut—resilient flooring, carpet/area rugs, ceramic and stone, hardwood and laminate, as well as subfloor prep materials and accessories. Virtually every product category is represented.

“We have a lot of product here and some amazing bargains on different products,” Feldman explained. “If buyers are looking for a significant amount of product for their stores—or if they just want several hundred feet for a small job—they can frequently find what they’re looking for on Xintory.com. It’s important that buyers keep coming back to see what’s new.”

Door-to-door delivery. Buyers can now arrange for their own shipping or have Xintory do it. Users can simply click a button and Xintory will provide a freight quote, add it to a buyer’s cart and provide door-to-door delivery service, thereby simplifying shipping logistics.

New “buyer’s alert” feature. In the event a retailer or distributor can’t find what they’re looking for on Xintory.com, the buyer can sign up for customized product alerts by literally clicking a button. As Feldman explains: “Let’s say a buyer is looking for 650 square yards of carpet tile in a particular color, but she doesn’t want to pay any more than $10 a square yard. When she clicks the ‘add alert’ button, we can tell her when it becomes available. At the same time, we can contact all of our sellers to try to find the material for that buyer. In short, buyers can leverage our floor covering network to help them find the materials they are looking for.”

Counter-offer functionality. Xintory employs technology that lets buyers make an offer and negotiate their own price. It not only provides shoppers with more purchasing flexibility, but it also boosts engagement between buyers and sellers. “Looking at the transaction patterns, we can see many sales go through this negotiation process,” Feldman explained.

More transparent pricing. When registered sellers list the prices of their products on the site, Xintory asks manufacturers and distributors for their regular list price and dealers their original cost. “This way, the buyer knows Xintory is actually selling the products at a significant savings—which means 50%-90% off, in some cases,” Feldman said. (He cited one case where a buyer saved more than $9,000 on a small order of 502 square yards of carpet tile.) Note: Registered/verified users cannot see any prices unless they are signed in. This prevents non-trade consumers from price shopping. Accounts can be set up for free; no fees are charged unless a purchase is completed.

Other key features of Xintory.com include hyperlinks to manufacturer websites, which allows potential buyers to obtain more detailed information such as product specifications, features, etc. “Everything about the new Xintory 2.0 portal is designed to drive more buyers to the site,” Feldman explained.

One such buyer is Lois Hatton, purchasing and inventory clerk for Re:Source New Jersey in Budd Lake. Her first go-round interfacing with a particular seller using the system was a little tricky, but she said the second experience with Xintory.com was much smoother. “It’s probably better for the big mills or retailers that have a lot of inventory; we’re a smaller installation contracting company. But overall I think it’s a good program. And the prices are attractive.”

Those observations are in line with others who have used the system. “It’s a cool website and a useful tool,” said Tom Cooper, vice president of dealer development, Tandus Centiva, which currently features select overstock products on Xintory.com. “I think it’s a great program.”

Several months ago, Xintory conducted several focus groups with buyers to get their feedback on the system and to explore ways to improve functionality. “After making these changes and getting back to the buyers in the focus group, they feel we answered their concerns,” Feldman noted.

A new feature that Xintory buyers really like is the shipping tool. “Xintory has added a freight option that makes it easier to get a better handle on the delivery costs,” said Jerry Jennings, owner of a Floor Trader store in Lawrence, Kan. The ability to order samples quickly and efficiently is also a draw. “The site gives us access to inventory that we wouldn’t otherwise have. Larry [Feldman] has really done a nice job with the site. It’s been working out fine for us.”

Fine, indeed. According to Feldman, Xintory.com has seen both its transactional volume and the amount of users increase every week. “We’re still a start-up and we’ve got a ways to go, but we’re getting great feedback and it’s good to see people are using the site. It takes a lot of persistence to get people comfortable using the system, but the trends we’re seeing are very encouraging.”

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Manufacturer spotlight: Uniboard striving to become retailers’ go-to supplier

October 9/16, 2017: Volume 32, Issue 9

By Reginald Tucker

 

Screen Shot 2017-10-17 at 9.55.42 AMLaval, Quebec, Canada—Uniboard is working hard to dispel the outdated notion that it is just a laminate flooring producer. With its recent foray into the engineered hardwood flooring sector and, now, the rigid core arena, the quality-minded manufacturer is seeking to establish itself as the go-to source for retailers and distributors seeking an array of well-made, hard surface products.

James Hogg, Uniboard’s president and CEO, sees it as a rebirth of the brand and a recommitment to flooring across several categories. “We were originally a laminate flooring company, but we have repositioned ourselves to become a flooring solutions company.”

Truth be told, Uniboard was indeed a laminate powerhouse during laminate flooring’s heyday in North America circa 1996–2000. During that time, Uniboard operated a manufacturing facility in North Carolina that produced products for Perstorp Flooring, which marketed the Pergo brand—the market leader at the time. At full capacity the laminate plant cranked out about 15 million square feet. But following a split with Pergo, Uniboard sold off its U.S. manufacturing assets and exited the American market. The company turned its attention to the U.S. market once again in 2012 after surveying the landscape for new opportunities.

“But we knew being in laminate was not enough,” Hogg recalled. “We knew we had to expand our offering to include other hard surface categories.”

Uniboard discovered it was in a unique position to do just that. With roughly 90% of its business focused on producing HDF panels for furniture producers and cabinet manufacturers, there was a tremendous opportunity to leverage its strengths and expand the flooring side of the business. Founded in 1992 and privately owned, the company operates five plants: one flooring facility, three panel operations and one binding facility—a chemical plant the company employs to develop products that bind the panels and boards together.

“We are the leader in thermal-fused melamine in the Canadian market,” Hogg said. “In fact, we are the No. 1 supplier of cabinet panels for all Ikea locations across North America and we sell laminate flooring to many of the home centers in Canada. We also sell our boards to other flooring manufacturers on a private-label basis.”

Screen Shot 2017-10-17 at 9.55.49 AMSo what does all this scale and manufacturing expertise mean for Uniboard’s customers and partners on the flooring side? Uniboard is looking to leverage that expertise to create innovative, high-performing products tailored to each regional and end-use market it serves for each of the different categories in which the company participates. The goal is to raise the flooring portion of its business—which accounts for roughly 10% of its sales today—to 25% over the next few years.

“The key is to leverage our core competencies in HDF coreboard manufacturing,” Hogg explained. “Not only are we one of the biggest producers of panels in North America, but we control the fiber species and the resin recipe of the boards—which helps prevent swelling and adds dimensional stability to the panels. This is a huge advantage we have over other board manufacturers.”

This manufacturing prowess is readily evident in Uniboard’s new engineered wood flooring offerings. The product is built on an HDF core platform but features a real wood veneer. The line is manufactured via a series of steps the company calls the Uni-Process method, a five-step proprietary process specifically developed for the engineered wood line. How it works: The process begins with its Unicore high-density fiberboard core, which is made from 100% pre-consumer, reclaimed wood fibers. Next comes the Uni-Bond process, which uses an exclusive thermally fused dry glue application that, according to the company, significantly reduces cracking and checking on the surface of the planks. The third step, Uni-Veneer, entails the hand selection of the top layer to ensure non-repetitive wood patterns. The engineered wood manufacturing process is capped off with the Uni-Finish process, which incorporates a non-toxic, hypoallergenic coating featuring antimicrobial additives along with an anti-yellowing UV inhibitor. All these layers are combined together, resulting in an ultra-high performance engineered wood flooring product.

“We are an integrated company, so we manufacture the core to our specifications,” said Don Raymond, vice president, sales and marketing. “Other boards swell and pull apart; our boards have stronger integrity. We’ve designed the core to meet the highest specification in the marketplace in terms of swelling, moisture resistance and performance. Other companies can’t do that. They have to buy some of the technology on the open market.”

Into the rigid core ring
Screen Shot 2017-10-17 at 9.55.54 AMAs Uniboard researched the U.S. market to scout out additional opportunities beyond laminate flooring and engineered wood, it took a close look at the burgeoning rigid core sector. Given the company’s established expertise in coreboard technology, it saw yet another opportunity to leverage its scale and strengths.

Enter Geonyx, a new line of waterproof, rigid core flooring featuring a laminate veneer over a stone-plastic core (SPC). According to Uniboard, this combination surpasses the density and rigidity of both LVT and WPC, and boasts resistance to both heat and indentation.

“The goal was to create excitement around the Uniboard brand,” Raymond said. “We have essentially reset and repositioned the business in terms of what sectors we want to participate in the market. Our engineered wood flooring line was the catapult, followed by Geonyx with the SPC core. We want people to come to Surfaces and say, ‘Wow, look at what they have. It’s not just laminate; it’s a variety of products and it’s not just me-too products.’ ”

Early indications suggest Uniboard’s customers will be pleased. Tapis Beaver, a Uniboard distributor based in Montreal, recently previewed the new engineered line and has high hopes for its potential in the marketplace. Already a longtime distributor of Uniboard’s laminate lines, Tapis Beaver is quite familiar with the manufacturer’s overall approach to product quality, high standards and service.

“We work more on the laminate side than any other product,” said Stephane Leveille, president, Tapis Beaver. “We placed around 150 displays since last December, and we sold about $1 million or more worth of product. We don’t have any complaints about the product. The quality is very good.”

Citing Uniboard’s innovative approach to manufacturing—as well as the proximity to its operations and customer base—Leveille hinted that there may be an opportunity to take on the new engineered hardwood line down the road.

Les Bois de Plancher PG, another Uniboard wholesaler, also sees the potential of the new engineered wood line. “We position the product for projects such as new high-rise apartments or contract commercial projects,” said Martin Emery, vice president. “It seems to fit the needs and requests for Canadian-quality made products as an entry-level hardwood product. We have a good feeling as to where they are going with it.”

As it refocuses on the U.S. market, Uniboard is working to shore up distribution. To that end, the company has tapped Gilles de Beaumont, a 40-year industry veteran, to spearhead efforts to get top U.S. wholesalers on board with the Uniboard brand. Given his stellar reputation throughout the industry, in addition to his expertise in strategic planning, operations and product management, he has the formula, and the pedigree, to help Uniboard accomplish its goals.

“Due to my relationships in the industry, I can help Uniboard determine the best channels to focus on,” de Beaumont said. “We have approached about one dozen distributors in the U.S., and we hope to have 10 lined up by Surfaces 2018.”

 

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Shaw opens commercial Create Centre

Shaw Create Centre DSC_4059Cartersville, Ga.—Shaw Industries has opened its commercial Create Centre here. The three-story, 67,000-square-foot Centre houses the commercial division’s marketing, design and innovation associates, including its Patcraft and Shaw Contract teams.

Designed by integrated architecture, design, planning and consulting firm Gensler, the Create Centre offers a stimulating storytelling environment that is a catalyst for growth and innovation across Shaw’s commercial business units. Supporting Shaw’s client-centric approach, the new workspace provides a collaborative environment that facilitates the sharing of ideas, ignites fresh thinking, fosters Shaw’s culture of innovation, diversity and inclusion, and showcases Shaw Contract and Patcraft’s design and performance leadership.

“Innovation doesn’t just happen,” said Vance Bell, Shaw chairman and CEO. “It’s a process of consistently and intentionally reaching beyond what we’ve done before. The Create Centre is an exciting and stimulating new work environment that was designed to foster collaboration, cross-pollination of ideas across teams and departments, and greater engagement with our customers as we focus even more keenly on customer experience.”

The Create Centre is an important tool in supporting Shaw’s vision of growth for our commercial business, including global expansion and domestic market leadership. It is a physical symbol of the company’s commitment to think differently and to strategically invest in continued growth and innovation.

“The Create Centre will provide the ideal setting for our talented team members to create, dream, collaborate and solve challenges,” said Brenda Knowles, vice president of marketing, Shaw commercial division. “It’s a space where our customer obsession can come to life. Similar to the approach we take in developing our flooring products, this space is where form and function, beauty and performance come together.”

The Create Centre is expected to be USGBC LEED certified and features ample daylight and open collaborative spaces. The new building consists of a variety of public and private areas to support different work styles across the organization, with prominent design features such as the central staircase that encourages activity and the orange louver wall that runs along the facade of the building, allowing ample daylight into the building. With an abundance of features focused on staff wellbeing, the Create Centre’s design seeks to enable a culture of sustainability. Envisioned to inspire Shaw’s talented professionals, the Create Centre also serves as a tool in recruiting new talent as the company continues to grow.

This new facility represents Shaw’s ongoing investment in its commercial business. In the past few years, Shaw has significantly grown its commercial sales team, opened new showrooms throughout the world and invested more than $275 million in new facilities, including the Create Centre, carpet tile manufacturing in Nantong, China and Adairsville, Ga. and resilient manufacturing in Ringgold, Ga.

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Shamrock names new plant manager

Terence BittmannMemphis, Tenn.—Shamrock Plank Flooring has named Terence Bittmann plant manager. In this position Bittmann will collaborate with Jack Shannon, Jr., president, and Jeremy Keel, director of operations, on improving Shamrock’s operations to meet the demands of today’s customers while looking to accommodate future business growth.

Prior to Shamrock, Bittmann was a production supervisor at Gibson Brands. Bittmann has brought a wealth of leadership experience and an emphasis on precision quality to Shamrock’s manufacturing and production processes. He respects the time honored craftsmanship involved in the flooring manufacturing and is committed to producing quality hardwood flooring that meets or exceeds NWFA standards.

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EGGER to build its first U.S. manufacturing facility

36155828165_f14f48593f_zLexington, N.C.—EGGER, a wood-based materials suppliers for the furniture, wood construction and flooring industries, will build its first U.S. manufacturing plant in Davidson County, N.C. Over the next 15 years, EGGER will invest $700 million in the new state-of-the-art facility, which is projected to create 770 jobs. The first phase of the development—taking place over the next six years—will create 400 of these jobs with an initial $300 million investment.

The North Carolina facility will be an ultramodern particleboard manufacturing plant, enabling EGGER to better serve its customers in North America and improve access for architects, designers, wholesalers and furniture industry customers to EGGER’s wide range of wood-based products and designs. EGGER’s goal is to replicate its leading market position in Europe and become the leading brand for wood-based solutions in North America.

“This facility will play a critical role in growing EGGER’s presence in the North American market for wood-based materials and ensuring product availability and speed of delivery for our customers here,” said Walter Schiegl, EGGER Group CTO and member of the executive board. “Davidson County is the heart of the furniture industry, and we are looking forward to leveraging the skills and knowledge of the workforce here to create a workplace that the local community and state will be proud of.”

The facility will benefit the greater Piedmont Triad region by working with local wood suppliers, acquiring wood byproducts from regional sawmills and working with a wide range of suppliers for additional services. Construction on the multi-phased project is expected to start at the end of 2018, subject to various approvals and permits, and production is slated to begin in 2020.

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Beaulieu Group files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection

Beaulieu-AmericaDalton—Beaulieu Group LLC announced that it has filed voluntary petitions under Chapter 11 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Rome Division.

According to Beaulieu, the company’s existing lenders have agreed to continue to support the company by providing debtor-in-possession (DIP) financing that will be combined with its cash from operations to ensure and support continued business operations.

“Beaulieu family members and our board of managers believe pursuing a restructuring through Chapter 11 is the best path forward at this time,” said Michael Pollard, president of Beaulieu Group. “We have evaluated alternatives to address Beaulieu’s capital structure, and believe that restructuring through the Chapter 11 process will best position all of Beaulieu Group LLC’s businesses for future success.”

Pollard continued, “this is a necessary process as we continue to execute our long-term strategic plans for the business. Our business model has changed with the industry and our client base since our current capital structure was put into place. This restructuring will allow us to invest in the business going forward and emerge a stronger organization. We remain steadfast in our commitment to our customers and employees throughout this process. I am confident that we have the talented and committed team capable of executing the reorganization plan. We appreciate the support of our vendors and customers as we move through this process.”