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Power of brands: Quality products, service stand out in a crowd

August 14/21: Volume 32, Issue 5

By Lindsay Baillie

Screen Shot 2017-08-22 at 3.51.42 PMA well-known brand has great influence in the mind of the consumer; it can affect her positively or negatively, research shows. According to Latham & Co., a brand consultancy, a strong brand contains incredible power—not just how it is perceived in the world, but also how it redefines the competitive landscape, connects with prospects and influencers, creates memorable experiences, builds lasting relationships and helps leaders better manage people, resources and profits.

For many flooring dealers, brands matter, especially when products and services are backed by the companies they represent. “A strong brand brings awareness of mind,” said Kevin Rose, president and owner, Carpetland Color Tile, Rockford, Ill. “This is good for all flooring retailers as we battle for the consumer’s disposable income.”

A strong brand can also draw attention to a particular flooring store. As Mary Ann Gore, office manager, Bridgeport Carpets, Alpharetta, Ga., explains: “For example, if a customer is new to an area and does an Internet search on local retailers, she is typically going to look for a product that is familiar to her.”

While name recognition holds a certain importance for flooring brands, dealers can also benefit from established name recognition. Case in point is Ted’s Abbey Carpet & Floor, with multiple locations in Alabama. “We have really tried to market our store’s names to the consumers in our market area,” said Ted Gregerson, president and owner, “We feel like we have done a really good job of it, because consumers in our market refer to us as simply ‘Abbey.’ We feel if our consumers trust us and our own Abbey brand, then they will have confidence in all the products we sell.”

The strength inside the original COREtec floors
Screen Shot 2017-08-22 at 3.39.29 PMUSFloors is regarded as the originator of the WPC category—true disruptors and innovators in the industry. It is committed to providing beautiful and durable floors at an excellent value while minimizing the impact on the environment whenever possible. The COREtec brand is focused on providing an exceptional customer experience throughout the new flooring purchase.

USFloors knows today’s consumers value authenticity over perfection—from brands, experiences and daily life. They seek to engage with brands that mirror that authenticity—brands that stand up for what they believe and deliver upon it. Expectations of a brand’s intuitive nature drive their interest. When it comes to purchasing a new floor, they want to make a smart, practical choice—one that reflects their originality and can be enjoyed for years to come. USFloors addresses these consumer needs in a way that satisfies and delights them from initial inspiration to final installation. COREtec is perfect for expressing the originality and creativity that lives within them. USFloors provides an ever-evolving portfolio of waterproof floors that embody style and strength that can withstand whatever real life has in store for the consumer.

In addition to authenticity, consumers share a common driving need for simplicity in this era of ever-expanding choices. The number of flooring options has expanded dramatically, leaving today’s consumers feeling overwhelmed and under extreme pressure to make the right purchase decisions. With the average floor shopping process lasting more than five months, consumers will reward easy, simple and trustworthy brands. They seek out brands that receive high accolades on style and performance and are recommended by peers with real world experiences.

The entrepreneurial passion that lives within the core of USFloors drives the company to redefine the way consumers discover COREtec floors. Consumers are drawn to attributes that inspire them and shopping experiences that match the high standards they set for the products themselves. Today’s consumer can identify an original, and USFloors believes they applaud an approachable brand that is smart, modern and bold. They can feel the commitment of style and performance and appreciate the result of the American dream. They recognize products that are unique and sustainable and want to be loyal to the brands that deliver on a promise. As the original COREtec floors, USFloors is rewarded by their sense of style and practical purchases.

USFloors is thrilled to be at the helm of this young industry brand. The company sets no boundaries and has an endless future of solutions ahead. COREtec will erupt into 2018 with vigor to share its successful innovations and leadership with consumers nationwide. Throughout it all, USFloors will continue to create value and a healthy platform for growth for its retail partners.

USFloors and COREtec—authentic to the core.

 

The power in the family of brands
Screen Shot 2017-08-22 at 3.39.39 PMMohawk enjoys global brand recognition as the world’s largest flooring manufacturer. With facilities and manufacturing operations across the nation, Mohawk is committed to American-made manufacturing and the communities and families it impacts on a daily basis. From product conception to the manufacturing process to the transportation of products, Mohawk employees are providing the foundations for homes and businesses around the world.
The power of brand and its attributes is vastly important for infrequent purchase categories such as flooring. Strong branding gives consumers peace of mind, allowing them to feel confident about their investment. Retailers–both large and small–leverage the power of the Mohawk brand around the world each and every day.

Mohawk and its family of brands are among the most well known in the flooring industry. These include: Aladdin, American Olean, American Rug Craftsmen, Century, Columbia, Daltile, Durkan, IVC, Karastan, Marazzi, Moduleo, Mohawk Group, Mohawk Home, Pergo, Q-Wood, Quick-Step, Ragno and SolidTech. The company’s vertically integrated manufacturing and distribution processes provide competitive advantages in the production of carpet, carpet tile, rugs, ceramic tile, laminate, hardwood, stone and luxury vinyl flooring. The enterprise-wide innovations yield products and technologies that are differentiated in the marketplace.

The organization invests heavily in the Mohawk brand by way of lead generation, advertising, digital marketing, public relations, merchandising, point-of-sale, innovative products and national promotions, just to name a few. These efforts result in high consumer recognition and increased profit margins for Mohawk’s retailers.

The primary reason Mohawk invests in its family of brands is to deliver qualified consumer leads to its valued retail partners. The current pace of change in the flooring industry requires new programs that give its retailers the inside track to stay ahead of the competition.

 

A brand built on service, innovation and progress
Screen Shot 2017-08-22 at 3.39.44 PMHonesty, integrity and passion set the stage 50 years ago and have served as the foundation from which Shaw Floors was established. Since that time, the company’s values remain true while Shaw Floors has transformed from a single category producer to a leading, total flooring brand with a forward-focused dedication to servicing our customers and the end-user consumer. Shaw is proud of its heritage and grateful for the confidence retailers have demonstrated over the years.

The celebration of Shaw’s 50th anniversary this year is marked by its corporate vision of creating a better future: for its customers, its people and the communities it serves. As Shaw reflects on the important milestones of its past, it is reminded that progress isn’t achieved by resting on previous successes, but by looking to the future and empowering its associates to lead the company into a new era of innovation.

One thing that remains constant is the Shaw Floors brand is synonymous with flooring expertise. The company prides itself on being pioneers of design and innovation and won’t settle for anything less than exceptional service. All of these elements are trademarks of the Shaw brand, reinforced each year through the many surveys and rankings voted on by its valued retail partners. Shaw Floors feels honored that the breadth of its product portfolio earns the company the unique ability to provide consumers with flooring that makes sense for their space. Through our products and services, the consumer’s design vision comes to life.

Shaw Floors has demonstrated continuous leadership not only through its company values but also through cutting-edge innovations such as: its patent-pending Floorté PRO collection, offering the industry’s first direct-glue rigid core products; its completely redesigned EPIC Plus engineered hardwood line featuring the Extreme Nature collection, which boasts the longest, widest hardwood planks made in the USA; its revolutionary LifeGuard waterproof carpet backing technology protecting against life’s mishaps to give consumers the cleanest carpet for healthy living; and its exclusive sound-abatement research and proprietary intelligence depicting a comprehensive landscape of today’s consumer. These products and services, plus many others, provide retailers with solutions that ultimately give consumers confidence in their investment. Shaw Floors will continue heavily investing in its shared industry in an effort to drive market understanding, demand and brand preference, and it appreciate the partnership with retailers.

 

A name synonymous with unique style, fashion and design
Screen Shot 2017-08-22 at 3.39.51 PMDealers and distributors who carry the Provenza brand attest to its association with high style and design. After all, according to Ron Sadri, president, it was Provenza who helped usher in the handscraped trend about 20 years ago. The company said it was also responsible for innovations such as custom-infused colors, oil finishes and other creative surface treatments such as reactive staining—a technique that’s common across the industry today.

“Our focus on setting the trend for fashion and design in hardwood flooring makes us truly unique,” Sadri said. “Our distributors and retail partners see us as the leader in our market while others are followers.”

That industry recognition was demonstrated at Surfaces 2017 earlier this year, when Provenza walked away with a Best of Show award in the category of style and design for its Colour Nation Lighthouse Cove collection, a line of wide-plank flooring featuring multiple stains, colors and surface treatments. “It was a confirmation from the judges and the dealers that our products stand out from everyone else,” Sadri said. “People really understand Provenza and they appreciate the creativity we put behind every line we produce.”

But for Provenza, high style and design doesn’t necessarily have to translate into products that exceed the reach of mainstream consumers. “We always try to make products that are affordable to the consumer,” Sadri said. “That makes it easier for dealers to go to our products and pick everything from good quality and moderate pricing all the way up to a designer look.”

 

A leader in private labeling
Screen Shot 2017-08-22 at 3.39.56 PMBBOSS is a true industry leader when it comes to the specialty of private labeling. Established in 2008, this fast-growing company is intent on raising the bar for private label and providing its clients with new ways to sustain long-term growth in today’s highly competitive wood flooring market.

The BBOSS approach begins with a factory direct relationship and eliminating unnecessary costs. Dealing direct with the manufacturer and U.S. supporting offices gives clients peace of mind that they have both local and international support.

BBOSS attributes its tremendous success to providing clients with a unique partnership, which helps them drive business while reducing their costs. Additionally, BBOSS offers a full breadth of products, from entry level to multiple upgraded visuals, all from one mill, with the flexibility to mix on any order as needed.

With one of the most knowledgeable and experienced teams in the industry, BBOSS stays on top of ever-changing market trends related to engineered and solid hardwood flooring. The team partners with each private label client, guiding them through the process of developing and growing their own brand and designs products that meet consumer trends and are tailored to their specific market. BBOSS provides a high level of customer service, thanks in part to the company’s award-winning education and training programs.

But perhaps the best advantage of all is BBOSS offers differentiation in all facets of private label, which is a unique way for a retailer’s brand to stand out in an otherwise crowded market.

To learn more about private labeling, contact BBOSS at bbossinc.com or call 855-442-2677.

 

Better together
Screen Shot 2017-08-22 at 3.40.01 PMFor more than 130 years, Tarkett has been at the foundation of creating more beautiful spaces and unlocking the infinite possibilities that happen when people come together.

Tarkett is creating together, honoring its values of collaboration to create something worth more than the sum of its parts. The company is building brands together by uniting its family of brands—Tandus Centiva, Johnsonite and Desso—to ensure they are designed to work together.

Tarkett is designing together, working with designers inside and outside the industry to challenge the way floor coverings can be used.
It is also working together to deliver products and ideas that anticipate where the workplace is headed.

Tarkett is inspiring together, pushing the boundaries of design and using its flooring in bold new ways. More importantly, Tarkett is doing good together, leading sustainable business practices and prioritizing the health of people and the planet.

At Tarkett, together is simply better.

 

Providing quality, service and coordinating products for every hardwood floor
Screen Shot 2017-08-22 at 3.40.06 PMPennwood continuously pursues high standards in manufacturing and marketing of flooring transitions, stair products and vents. The Pennwood staff studies and researches trends in design, color and finish.

The company currently matches 6,000 different hardwood floors, ranging in color, style and textures with standard boards all held in the Pennwood Color Library. Pennwood employees take pride in their craftsmanship and as long as the company has the color standard, it can custom produce a retailer’s stair treads or flooring transition with a normal turnaround time of two to three weeks.

Pennwood believes in partnering and can customize a program for a retailer’s specific needs. The company can produce various fixed lengths in moldings and stair treads. It also offers random length flooring transitions up to 12 feet, which is increasingly popular in the builder and multi-family market segments.

Today the Pennwood brand means uncompromising value, known for innovation and a driving force within the industry. Pennwood is synonymous with a “we can do” attitude.

 

A brand is best built in person
Screen Shot 2017-08-22 at 3.40.10 PMA brand is a company’s biggest asset, according to Thomas Trissl, principal, HPS Schönox. Furthermore, cultivating relationships is a crucial part of building a company’s brand.

“All the advertising and marketing we do is important, but nothing replaces the value of face-to-face conversations like those we have on a daily basis on the jobsite with installers, in an office with architects/designers or in the warehouse with our distributors,” Trissl explained. “A brand mirrors the expectation of prospective customers and the experience of existing customers.”

Schönox, HPS North America has developed a promotional strategy of combining multimedia, product education and exceptional customer support while maintaining communication to strengthen existing relationships and establish new ones.

With these relationships, the Schönox brand can grow and build a legacy that presents key qualities in the market.

Exceptional quality, service and knowledge
Screen Shot 2017-08-22 at 3.44.13 PMThe two factors that consistently and unequivocally set a brand apart from others in its category are quality and service, and Bamboo Hardwoods does just that.

From the company’s humble beginnings growing bamboo and innovating products from its own groves to becoming an industry powerhouse, Bamboo Hardwoods’ foundation of bamboo knowledge has always given it a competitive edge. Every product made is done so with meticulous quality and care using premium adhesives, finishes and modern technologies, while taking time to produce the perfect product. In addition, Bamboo Hardwoods has revolutionized bamboo flooring by focusing on what consumers demand most: trendsetting style and design. The emphasis on aesthetics elevated bamboo flooring from a niche product to being regarded as another attractive choice in the hardwood flooring category.

When it comes to customer service, Bamboo Hardwoods transcends the business-client relationship by focusing on establishing rapport and sincere connections with its customers. With multiple warehouse locations across the United States and fully stocked East and West coast warehouses, customers can rest assured knowing they will promptly receive the product desired.

Bamboo Hardwoods is dedicated to continuing its reigning status as a pioneer of the specialty flooring industry.

 

A brand with a vision
Screen Shot 2017-08-22 at 3.44.20 PMThe Novalis Innovative Flooring brand was started in 1984 and began actual production of product in 1986–the first luxury vinyl flooring facility built by anyone in China.

Since that time, Novalis has accomplished a record of other “firsts”: Novalis was the first Chinese LVT manufacturer to achieve ISO 9001 certification. Novalis was the first with an ISO 14001 environmental certificate. And Novalis is the first and only Chinese LVT brand certified with OHSAS 18001. Novalis was very happy to be the first Chinese LVT manufacturer with a fully localized Environmental Product Declaration, Health Product Declaration and Declare labeling, all being introduced in 2015.

On this foundation of sustainable, quality design and engineering accomplishments, Novalis launched its NovaFloor brand in North America over five years ago. NovaFloor is made primarily for the American floor covering retail channel, and is sold through distributors and their dealers for the residential and Main Street commercial markets.

At NeoCon East 2015, Novalis officially unveiled its new commercial LVT brand for North America called “AVA.” AVA stands for Advanced Vinyl Artistry and is made for the commercial specified market. Capri Cork manages the AVA brand in the U.S. and Canada through its extensive list of dedicated commercial agents.

Always guiding the brand’s development is its “vision” that encompasses three key principles: art, quality and nature.

When it comes to LVT, Novalis views “art” as the authentic reproductions of natural elements to create imaginative, inspiring spaces.

Novalis “quality” means an investment in the research and performance to make the best LVT possible.

And the Novalis vision for “nature” is all about producing its product responsibly while conserving energy and resources.

Learn more at novalisinnovativeflooring.com.

 

Innovative brand spread its wings
Screen Shot 2017-08-22 at 3.45.39 PMEngineered Floors, the third-largest carpet company in the world, has continued its singular mission to be the flooring brand of choice. This year Engineered Floors revamped its digital presence with a new website to align its family of brands under a common theme: “We have one mission. Make the best carpet in the world.” The new site (engineeredfloors.com) showcases Engineered Floors’ complete family of brands and its drive to “intersect” with customers’ desires for style, durability, comfort, quality and tradition. It combines new room scene photography, links to the company’s varied social media platforms and advanced functionality to make it easier and more engaging to use.

The company’s new website, along with the new signature for its advertising, reinforces the strength of Engineered Floors in its collection of brands, each aimed at a specific flooring segment. The Engineered Floors family of brands consists of: Dream Weaver for residential replacement; Pentz Commercial Flooring Solutions for Main Street; DWellings for new home construction; and Engineered Floors Multifamily.

The company is also bringing to market new innovations including a commercial polyester fiber, advanced polyester extrusion (Apex SDP) under the Pentz Commercial Solutions brand. The offering includes the styles Revival and Revolution, which join the widely successful original Apex SDP styles Quicksilver and Fast Break.

In addition, Engineered Floors is rapidly completing a new, state-of-the-art carpet tile manufacturing facility in Dalton. The move is in response to the growing demand for modular carpet tile for Main Street applications.

The initial phase of the plant, expected to open in January 2018, will total 520,000 square feet. This will be the fourth new facility the company has built in northwest Georgia since 2009.

 

The power of a strong brand partnership
Screen Shot 2017-08-22 at 3.45.43 PMWith more than 65 years of proven innovation, market leadership and dedication to quality, Scotchgard has the protective products and brand strength to help make our partners successful. A brand partnership with Scotchgard Protector strengthens the value of the host brand and creates opportunities that can:

•Increase edge over competition
•Build brand equity in new markets
•Increase sales
•Grow market penetration
•Expand credibility to both brands

The Scotchgard brand name has been synonymous with protection for multiple generations. Invented in the 1950s and protecting floors from their owners since the 1970s, Scotchgard Protector has become one of the leading brands of stain, spill and soil protection in markets around the world.

When companies have a history of selling products that are dependable, reliable and in line with consumer needs, consumers begin to develop trust in the product and loyalty to the brand. The real power in the Scotchgard Brand is that it represents that one last thing consumers want when they purchase a product—peace of mind. It can close the sale.

 

Where innovation is a way of life
Screen Shot 2017-08-22 at 3.45.48 PMPhenix Flooring is more than just another manufacturer—it’s a flooring experience. From designing and developing premium products to its commitment to advancing research, development and production through the latest state-of-the-art technologies, Phenix makes innovation a way of life. Through this commitment, Phenix continues to grow and serve its customers with passion, values and an unwavering dedication to the production of quality products.

With the launch of the Cleaner Home collection, Phenix delivers on this mantra by offering a line rich in color and design with proactive technologies such as Microban, Opulance HD and Surefresh that provide optimal antimicrobial protection, stain resistance and prolonged beauty at an affordable price.

Above all, Phenix strives to deliver the highest standard of service to its clients. As a Pharr Family company, Phenix is backed by generations of manufacturing genius, flanked by supportive brands.

 

Powered by quality and service for more than 30 years
Screen Shot 2017-08-22 at 3.45.57 PMOffering superior quality products has always been Mirage’s No. 1 priority. Maintaining this quality consistency is the daily challenge and a goal that each employee strives to attain. This commitment to excellence speaks to the dedication, devotion and knowledge of Mirage’s people—from the worker in the plant to the sales representatives in the field.

That quality extends to the service it provides. For more than 30 years the staff at Mirage has pursued a common goal: To go above and beyond customer expectations and adapt to her needs. This is what Mirage’s legacy is built on.

The numerous quality awards Mirage has received in the last decade—more than 30—is a testament to the company’s unwavering efforts. Indeed, quality has powered the Mirage brand for more than 30 years and will continue to for another 30 years. This success does not mean Mirage can rest on its laurels; quality is a journey, not a destination.

 

Steeped in tradition
Screen Shot 2017-08-22 at 3.46.02 PMFor over 60 years, DriTac Flooring Products has manufactured premium-grade adhesives and installation solutions for the wood and resilient floor covering markets.

DriTac was established in 1956, offering one product—DriTac 6200—that continues to stand the test of time several decades later. Since then, DriTac, via its state-of-the-art laboratory and research facility in the U.S., has expanded its product line and is currently one of a few adhesive manufacturers to offer all the major technologies: urethane, MS polymer, pressure sensitive, acrylic and more. DriTac has become a leader in developing wood flooring adhesives that offer sound and moisture control with a single-component, one-step application.

A trailblazer in cultivating environmentally friendly flooring adhesives and installation products, DriTac offers a full line of zero VOC, zero solvent and independently tested products that have been certified by the Carpet and Rug Institute’s Green Label Plus Program for Indoor Air Quality.

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Wood: Category finds a new home—on the walls

Vertical applications coordinate, contrast with floors 

May 8/15, 2017: Volume 31, Issue 24

By Reginald Tucker

 

Screen Shot 2017-05-15 at 2.38.08 PMUsing flooring materials on the walls is by no means a new concept. Tile manufacturers have been doing it for years, and laminate flooring suppliers have also recently started to get in on the act. Now hardwood flooring producers are having success by finding multiple uses for their products by dressing vertical surfaces to either complement a particular commercial or residential interior, or to better coordinate with a given hardwood flooring collection or pattern.

“Wood on the walls is a trend that will continue and grow as it is a way to get color and texture on the walls while maintaining a monochromatic look,” said David Holt, senior vice president, Mohawk. “Also, it is much easier to change wood and laminate walls than ceramic walls.”

But the best part about using existing hardwood planks or strips on the walls is you don’t have to necessarily redesign the product. “All of our hardwood collections are perfect for vertical applications,” Holt explained.

In that same vein, engineered wood floors from Shaw are also approved for wall installations. “Coveted wood visuals offer a rustic, natural charm in these non-traditional applications,” said Natalie Cady, hardwood category manager.

Other major manufacturers are encouraging retailers and designers to utilize hardwood flooring in unconventional ways. At USFloors, for instance, the company’s popular Castle Combe line of handcrafted floors is suitable for both horizontal and vertical installations. The natural oil finishes provide the look and feel of an ancient reclaimed floor and combines it with the modern performance features of a 21st century engineered floor. According to Jamann Stepp, director of marketing and product management, the wide portfolio of products allows customers to make a bold design statement when installed on vertical surfaces. “This allows the designer or homeowner to make a personal statement or add a customized element to the home.”

The operative word here being “custom” when it comes to wall installations. So says Ron Sadri, principal owner of Provenza Floors, which specializes in unique, one-of-a-kind hardwood floors in colors, patterns and designs that can’t be easily shopped. The company, he said, extends that design capability to that area of its business that produces wall coverings.

Customers looking to coordinate their hardwood flooring installations with accents walls have no shortage of options. The Cabin Pine series from Mercier, for example, matches well with the company’s long-plank, rough-textured boards. “Whether the consumer is looking to add to the rustic charm of her home, or simply give a bit of pop to an otherwise bland space, she will find the perfect look and feel in one of the six featured colors that will harmonize beautifully with the rest of the decor,” said Michel Colin, director of marketing. “You can’t ignore the lightness of pine boards when looking for a quick and easy install, as they can simply be glued to the wall.”

Screen Shot 2017-05-15 at 2.38.01 PMBelieving this is a trend that’s going to have legs, several manufacturers that have developed specific programs and collections for wall applications are putting significant marketing, promotional and product development resources behind those collections. Case in point is DuChâteau, which presents an exclusive line of wall coverings and doors by architect, builder and entrepreneur Joe Langenauer, who has been creating artistic interior wall coverings and doors since DuChâteau’s inception. The combination of the designer’s vision, style and experience with DuChâteau’s innovative finishing techniques paved the way for the official launch of DuChâteau wall coverings and doors divisions in 2013. According to Jose Alonso, creative director, each product Langenauer designs is infused with his cosmopolitan Mexican roots and heavily influenced by modern European trends. “His door designs are all created within the precepts of modern design, contemporary architectural lines, combining woods, leathers, fabrics, metals and other materials usually found in European luxury sports cars.”

Coming from an architectural background, Langenauer notes, “You learn to understand and appreciate the power of a proud line or the delicate nature of a well-planned curve.”

DuChâteau is not the only company putting a major thrust behind its wood-for-walls program. Via the launch of its Rowlock Plus wall coverings line in 2016, Johnson Hardwood Floors is looking to leverage the still-strong consumer demand for hardwood in general. Rowlock Plus wood wall panels are constructed from all natural wood materials. Each undressed wood piece is sanded and stained by hand to preserve the native design and characteristics of the wood species. Species include acacia, hickory, oak and walnut; a plantation pine backer layer provides additional durability.

Screen Shot 2017-05-15 at 2.38.18 PM“Johnson Hardwood’s Rowlock Plus is the newest transformation from its predecessor, Rowlock,” said Silver Pae, director of marketing. “Maintaining the elegance of all natural wood, we’ve also created a variety of styles to suit the tastes of our ever-changing generations. From vintage to modern and even eclectic, Rowlock Plus provides a diverse approach for those who want to have a unique design to their home while bringing out their own personal vision.”

While installers are already familiar with common methods of installing wood flooring, manufacturers provide in-depth instructions to make sure the job goes smoothly. For instance, Johnson Hardwood provides specific instructions covering virtually every facet of the installation, from calculating materials, locating the wall studs and spreading the glue to installing the panels and end caps.

Johnson Hardwood’s Rowlock Plus line was a big draw at its Surfaces booth in 2016—the year in which the company earned an award in the “Best Booth over 1,200 square feet” category. The 3,500-square-foot booth was the brainchild of Yuying Chiu, a design consultant for the company. According to Bill Schollmeyer, CEO of Johnson Hardwood Floors, the objective was to achieve an easy flow that encouraged customers to browse through the different areas. “We focused on vignettes that highlighted our Rowlock product to show some creative settings, both residential and commercial,” Schollmeyer said. “We wanted to showcase a mix of current products that are strong sellers—like English pub and Alehouse—innovative new products like Rowlock, and concept products like many of the oil finish colors that we showcased.”

Cabin Pine wall accents from Mercier's Nature Collection.
Cabin Pine wall accents from Mercier’s Nature Collection.

 

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Provenza Floors excels at the ‘innovation’ game

May 9/16, 2016; Volume 30, Number 23

By Reginald Tucker

Screen Shot 2016-05-17 at 11.29.44 AMLong before the popularity of Old World European-style wood floors began to spike in the U.S., Provenza Floors had a hunch that it would be a design trend that would stand the test of time. The same knack for being on the leading edge of design and style trends was evident in the company’s early innovations in wood staining technologies. It was Provenza Floors, in fact, that began commercially applying an innovative acrylic color impregnation process that expanded the options in stains for hardwood flooring.

“Infusion was developed more than 10 years ago, but is still our signature product,” said Ron Sadri, principal/owner of Provenza Floors. The inspiration, he noted, was derived from the color application process used on wooden musical instruments such as guitars.

Now the company is back at the innovation game, busy at work expanding its offering of specialty hardwood flooring collections while at the same time branching out into other hard surface categories. “Much of our focus right now is on being a pioneer in all types of reactive stains and finishes on very unique species,” Sadri explained. “Before Provenza existed our focus was on the retail side of the business, so over the years we’ve done a lot of finishing, sanding and creating custom floors for homeowners. Our knowledge and experience in working with different finishes is vast.”

That wealth of experience is evident in the company’s expanding product portfolio, which runs the gamut from rich, warm tones to bright pops of vibrant colors. These products include handcrafted floors that feature detailed edge treatments to more clean, natural looks. Standouts include the new Studio Moderno Collection, a rustic narrow plank with a wire brush style available in seven modern colors, as well as the popular Museum and New York Loft hardwood flooring lines.

“We think of ourselves as a trendsetter and the pioneer in flooring, and the products we come out with are always on the cutting edge of the industry,” Sadri said. “This is what sets us apart from the competitors.”

Sadri’s customers tend to agree. “Provenza is definitely a leader in style and design,” said Alan Gage, president of Tri-West, ranked No. 10 on the industry’s top 20 wholesaler list and a partner for 16 years. “They work very hard at what they do and they have a good eye for product. They work very closely at the manufacturing level to make sure the designs come out the way they envisioned.”

Another point of differentiation for Provenza, Sadri notes, is the fact that the company chooses not to swim in the commodity end of the pool. Instead, the focus is on the mid to high end—a strategy that benefits vendor and retailer customer alike. “The product is very unique and it’s something they can make some money on,” he said, citing prices that fall in the $5 to $12 per-square-foot range.

 

Next steps

Provenza is looking ahead to growth opportunities. Beyond expanding its hardwood lineup (three new wood offerings are set to debut this summer) an embossed in register WPC launch is in the works as well. Also on tap is a “luxury laminate” collection featuring wide widths and random lengths as well as wall panels that match its floors. “These will be custom made in the U.S. on a special order basis,” Sadri stated.

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Wood: Technology helps drive category to recovery

David Shaoulpour of Horizon with Laurel, one of the new lines constructed with FSC-certified wood.

By Matthew Spieler

Volume 26/Number 20; February 18/25, 2013

(Second of two parts)

Las Vegas—As illustrated in Part I of this feature (FCNews, Feb. 4/11), wood manufacturers are using technology to help the category recover from the housing collapse. This technology is allowing new ways of presenting classic species by merchandising exotic looks without the matching price tag. Following is more of what attendees witnessed last month on the Surfaces show floor. Continue reading Wood: Technology helps drive category to recovery