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Shaw Floors opens registration to aligned retailers for fall sales event

shaw_corporate_logo_2015_highresDalton–Shaw Floors has opened registration for its fall national promotion, the Shaw Friends and Family sales event, to Shaw Flooring Network aligned retailers who participate in the company’s consumer financing program. Registration must be completed by Aug. 25 and the promotion, which includes a broad assortment of Shaw, Anderson and Tuftex styles, will run from Oct. 1 to Nov. 11.

Specific details of the promotion may be found online at ShawNow.com and benefits include a downloadable coupon of up to $1,000 dollars in savings and 24 months special financing. Shaw Floors’ Spring Anniversary Sale saw record retailer engagement and aligned retailers who took advantage of the special financing option reported increased average ticket sales and enhanced customer retention.

“The coupon was the primary trigger in this offer and had a big impact with consumers,” said John Staff, owner of Staff Carpets. “The sale helped us exceed daily sales goals and our business is currently up 40% compared to last year.”

Shaw’s consumer concierge team also reported feedback from consumers that indicated the special financing offer was the “determining factor” in their decision to purchase flooring, even convincing many to upgrade to the flooring styles they wanted most, during the promotional period.

“The Shaw Friends and Family Sales Event is one of the many ways we support our aligned retailers,” said Adam Ellis, residential marketing programs and communications manager. “We listen to our retail partners and value their input and opinions. When something works, we try to do more of it. And if something isn’t as successful as we’d hoped, we glean improvement insights from our partnerships to enhance the promotional mix for future events. We work together–it’s what being part of the Shaw Flooring Network is all about.”

For details on registering for Shaw Floors’ Friends and Family Sales Event, visit ShawNow.com and sign up by Aug. 25, 2017. For more information on Shaw’s financing program, contact the Synchrony Enrollment Center at 866.209.4457.

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Shaw announces Houzz marketing program for retail partners

Shaw Floors is participating in a program on Houzz, the leading platform for home renovation and design, to help retailers connect with the 40 million-plus people who use Houzz every month to renovate and design their homes.

The program, called Houzz Pro+, offers participating Shaw retailers a number of promotional benefits designed to attract consumers, including local photo stream exposure and enhanced placement in the Houzz professional directory under targeted categories and locations. Retailers will be able to co-brand their businesses to enhance their local market presence and pay for 100 percent of this program using their Shaw Floors co-op dollars.

ShawFloors_logo_276“This is a wonderful opportunity for our retailers to promote their businesses on one of the most prominent home remodeling and design websites in the country,” said Aaron John, director of Shaw Flooring Network and retail programs. “Millions of consumers use Houzz for inspiration and advice relating to their home improvement plans, and we are happy to help connect those in-market consumers to our valued retail partners.”

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Liza Hausman, vice president of industry marketing at Houzz, said, “Pro+ is a powerful marketing tool designed to help local businesses reach homeowners in their market, and the co-op program helps brands use Pro+ to support their retail networks at scale. Through this program, Shaw Floors is providing their retailers with a powerful vehicle to build name recognition and drive homeowners looking for flooring into their stores.”

Retailers who would like to participate in the Shaw program should contact their current Houzz account manager, call Houzz at 619-255-1514 or email houzzcop@houzz.com.

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Shaw Flooring Network: Introductions fuel member enthusiasm

Hard and soft surface, technology are show highlights

February 2/9, 2015; Volume 28/Number 16

By Jenna Lippin

Screen Shot 2015-02-09 at 2.06.09 PMOrlando, Fla.—The biennial Shaw Flooring Network (SFN) convention, held here Jan. 18-21, brings together not only Shaw aligned dealers, but their spouses and children as well, making this a truly unique industry event. Aside from valuable networking opportunities, members were exposed to new technology, tools and products to help make them increase profitability as the economy continues to gain steam.

According to Randy Merritt, Shaw’s president, 2015 is showing more signs of “real improvement” than at this time last year. With customers already busy, he projects the industry will be up 6% to 7% this year with Shaw outpacing the market. “I think this could be a solid year across the board, and it’s starting out strong.”

On the hard surface side Shaw’s big story for 2015 is Floorté, an enhanced vinyl plank (EVP) that serves as the company’s answer to the increasingly popular wood composite category (FCNews, Jan. 5/12). Floorté consists of two collections, Classico and Premio, creating a better/best program.

While Floorté has been developed to fit into Shaw’s resilient portfolio, many SFN members anticipate EVP taking market share from laminate, particularly because of its water resistance.

“My market has a lot of senior citizens, and they want to mop their floors,” said Ken Patel, owner of Carpet and Tile Junction in Apache Junction, Ariz. “We’ve had to explain that you can’t do that on laminate, you can’t do that on wood—with Floorté you can. You want to mop it? Go ahead.”

Wayne Staley, co-owner of Potomac Tile & Carpet in Frederick, Md., said upon seeing Floorté for the first time his initial thought was that it will replace laminate. “The big issue with laminate is moisture resistance. If you’ve got a dog in the kitchen making a big mess laminate will swell at the seams. [Floorté] is a perfect product.”

Floorté rounds out Shaw’s resilient offering, a category in which Shaw has been involved for the last five years, now with support from the company’s repurposed Ringgold, Ga., facility. With that, Shaw unveiled its Resilient Solutions Center, which brings all resilient styles and designs together for display on the retailer’s show floor. Because resilient has reinvented itself with the growing popularity of LVT, the Solutions Center is set to display the breadth of products Shaw carries via a comprehensive system.

“The idea is to give Shaw a resilient footprint in the retailer showroom for many years to come,” said Clark Hodgkins, resilient category manager. The Solutions Center is customizable, both with configuration and product. “It could be in [various shapes]. It could be in the center of the showroom or against a wall.” The four parts of the display include 5th and Main, the Main Street commercial sheet and LVT line launched last year; Quarry, a groutable tile; Array, which includes standard LVT click and loose lay, and Floorté.

Staley ordered the complete display upon seeing it on the expo floor. “There was a display issue in the past. This ties all [resilient] products together and has an attractive, complete system.”

According to Scott Sandlin, vice president, business development, hard surface, Shaw’s goal is to be its customers’ first choice in resilient and hardwood. “It took us awhile to get our wheels under us, but we have become really good nationally in hard surface; now we need to be great locally.”

Hardwood

Screen Shot 2015-02-09 at 2.05.58 PMThe hardwood story centers around two products: Epic, the single largest engineered hardwood collection in the U.S., and a new, 48-SKU solid line called Smokey Mountain, which Sandlin described as “the best assortment of solid hardwood you can buy.” The idea behind Smokey Mountain is that the majority of solids offer similar widths and colors; Smokey Mountain adds style, design and fashion to create excitement.

“We have a lot of assets tied up in solid,” said Drew Hash, vice president, hardwood. “For the most part, we have been making our living on two products: commodity and one step above. We have the capacity to come out with better styled products that the consumer wants to buy and the retailer wants to sell.”

Among the products within Smokey Mountain are Homestead and Rolling Hills, a pair of 4-inch-wide oaks in wire-brushed and handscraped textures, respectively. A third product within Smokey Mountain is Rio Grande, which draws inspiration from a successful 8-inch-wide product Shaw introduced eight years ago called Grand Canyon.

On the engineered side, Shaw is in the process of doubling the size of its Epic Hardwood operation. The Epic intros focus on maple and hickory, an aggressive scrape and four trendy colors.

Under the Anderson brand, the biggest highlight falls within the Virginia Vintage collection, where a new maple product called Churchill utilizes a proprietary surface treatment called “etching.” It offers a linear visual where the amount of etching from plank to plank varies.

Soft ‘happenings’

While Shaw has re-launched its Anso Color Wall with 70 colors and a new layout to appeal to market trends, in addition to unveiling Simply Yours PET (FCNews, Jan. 5/12), the company’s major move in soft came via Life Happens, a new product made of Anso nylon that stops seepage and leaking thanks to proprietary LifeGuard backing. With R2X, Life Happens features exceptional stain and soil repellence treatment on the surface, “but the real challenge was to keep moisture from getting below the fiber to the cushion and to the subfloor,” said Steve Sieracki, vice president, residential sales.

Is Life Happens a game changer? Many seem to think so. Merritt said the new product has the potential to make a major splash because it’s “real innovation and addresses a problem. In a store, it’s a tool that will help a retail salesperson close a deal and solve a problem. It’s easy to demonstrate.”

According to Shaw dealer members in the expo hall, the demonstrations did spark interest and prove that Life Happens certainly has a story to tell. “Shaw does a good job with its product, and they showed us this morning that this product holds up well,” said Bill Johnson, owner of Colonial Interiors in Elizabethtown, Ky. “We have so many customers that have pets, and they want something pet proof. I would think this could be a solution for those customers.”

When Patel of Carpet and Tile Junction was asked which product at the Shaw expo would make the greatest impact in his store, he responded, “Where I’m standing right now” as he watched a live demonstration of the durability of Life Happens.

The buzz around Floorvana

Screen Shot 2015-02-09 at 2.05.48 PMShaw’s introductions extend beyond products. On the technology side, its new Floorvana app allows consumers to choose flooring based on colors from a palette created by photos of their choosing. In store, retail salespeople can use Floorvana with customers, immersing themselves into the process on the spot and building trust with clients. With that, shoppers will want to share the experience and product selections with friends and family, both via word of mouth and social media.

“I will probably use Floorvana on the showroom floor,” said Jennifer Johnson, owner of Marshall Lumber Co. in Marshall, Minn. “I’ll show customers how to download the app and how to use it. Then we can try to match some flooring to the things they like. Usually when people buy flooring they come into the store a few times, so probably in the first contact I will introduce Floorvana, then in the second or third they can come back with color options.”

Misty Sorenson, president of Freedom Carpeting and Countertops in Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., anticipates a similar strategy with Floorvana, helping customers use it with coordinating room elements they often bring to her store to assist in finding flooring. However, she thinks the most value will come from Floorvana once a room visualizer is included in the app, which is anticipated in impending updates.

“I plan to show customers the app in store, then encouraging them to use it as they continue the purchase process.”

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Shaw Flooring Network partners with Surya and MSi Lighting

Screen Shot 2014-12-10 at 2.01.07 PMDalton—Shaw Floors offered exclusive cost saving benefits and new products to Shaw Flooring Network (SFN) members for 2015 through new vendor partnerships. Effective Dec. 1, Surya and MSi Lighting offered their expert products and services to Shaw’s aligned flooring retailers in the SFN channel across the United States.

Surya made available its extensive area rug offering which includes more than 5,500 rug designs. Additionally, network members have access to more than 3,500 coordinating home accessories.

“We are excited to join forces with Shaw Floors and its prestigious network of flooring retailers,” said Satya Tiwari, president, Surya. “Surya products will enable SFN retailers to expand their reach to an even wider customer base and, at the same time, build awareness for the Surya brand within the flooring channel. This is a great synergy and we look forward to building a strong and lasting partnership with Shaw.”

MSi Lighting provided a “national upgrade to LED” program for the network, which can dramatically improve the quality of light in the showroom, while reducing retailer’s energy consumption.

“Many retailers are a little concerned about the initial investment of converting to LED lighting,” said John Burke, MSi president. “However, switching over can produce an amazing return on their investment.”

“Partnerships like this will take SFN retailers to a whole new level in the marketplace,” said Aaron John, director of SFN at Shaw Floors. “We’ve taken the guess work out of lighting issues with MSi Lighting expert service and free energy consultation. Additionally, we can bring in lighting architects that will help retailers redesign their entire showroom to ensure the best and latest lighting technology for products and displays. Further, with luxury accessories from Surya, retailers can lead their local market in design trends and on-cue fashion show rooms. These exclusive partnerships will guarantee retailers a huge difference in their sales and customer satisfaction.”

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The most overlooked economic stat is poised for a comeback

I know our 16,000-plus subscribers read Floor Covering News, but I’ve always wondered exactly how they read this publication. Do they read it cover to cover, do they just read headlines, or do they simply read the features that most interest them?

Those readers who do not peruse every article may have missed something in our last issue (Feb. 4/11) in which they should be most interested. I’m referring to our coverage of the Shaw Flooring Network convention. I accept the possibility that those who are not part of SFN glanced over the article. But there was something there that every single person in our industry needs to understand. Continue reading The most overlooked economic stat is poised for a comeback

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Shaw Flooring Network: Members given ‘Insight’ to success

Randy Merritt, center, Shaw’s president, chats with Paul and Amy Imwalle of J&J Carpets in Bend, Ore.

More than 1,000 dealers, 3,600 people attend biennial event

By Matthew Spieler

Volume 26/Number 19; February 4/11, 2013

Orlando, Fla.—With a record crowd of more than 3,600 people—including 1,000-plus individual dealers—on hand for its biennial Shaw Flooring Network convention, Shaw Industries gave attendees plenty of reasons to feel good about the coming year—from new, innovative products across all categories to why the industry will see growth over the next few years.

“The last six years have been tough,” said Randy Merritt, Shaw’s president. “And each year we’ve started by saying it will be better. It’s been more a projection of hope. But this year we have more than hope; we are convinced the industry is in store for not just a better 2013 but beyond.” Continue reading Shaw Flooring Network: Members given ‘Insight’ to success

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Providing help to retailers: who’s doing what

By  Matthew Spieler

(First of two parts)

When it comes to giving retailers the necessary ammunition to succeed, there are plenty of options from which to choose as just about every segment of the industry provides some type of resource or tool for dealers to allow customers to prosper and grow their business.

These tools are numerous—from educational training to professional marketing services to social media and more. In many cases most are offered at no charge. Even when there is a charge to improve oneself, there are ways for retailers to offset some or all of it depending on their affiliation with an association, buying group or manufacturer. Continue reading Providing help to retailers: who’s doing what

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Al's column

by FCNews staff

WE ARE FAMILY: When executives at Shaw say they want their retail customers to feel part of the family, it’s no joke. At its SFN convention in Orlando, Fla., the mill not only hosted dealers from more than 830 retail stores, there were over 725 children in attendance, making it one of the largest of its kind the industry has seen. While the company certainly catered to the needs of its retailers, it looked like executives were having more fun watching the kids run around the exhibit hall and evening receptions interacting with all games and activities set up specifically for their entertainment. As Randy Merritt, president, said, “We loving having the children here. SFN is 14 years old and many of the people now working the floor were once doing the playing. We’ve watched them grow up and get involved in the family business.” Continue reading Al's column

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Giving credit to credit: Private label availability can draw consumers to your store

In the current economy, people are doing a lot more with a lot less, but this seems to be good news for the credit industry. Despite some widely held, pessimistic assumptions, there is still plenty of credit to go around. With consumer confidence on the rise, mirrored by a cautious increase in spending, enough time has passed since the implementation of the CARD Act to assess its affect on the buying climate. Continue reading Giving credit to credit: Private label availability can draw consumers to your store