December 19/26, 2016; Volume 31, Number 14
By Lindsay Baillie
Dallas—If one thing was made clear at the Solutions convention here recently, it’s Mohawk’s unwavering commitment to the success of its retailer partners. From a bevy of new innovations spanning the entire soft and hard surface spectrum to refreshed displays and digital marketing tools, Mohawk is working hard to help retailers achieve their goals in 2017 and beyond.
The three-day event included extensive showroom hours, Mohawk University sessions, product demos and information sessions—all of which explored the company’s new solutions, products and tools.
To complement Mohawk’s new product introductions was a vast showroom highlighting the company’s latest displays. Showcasing both hard and soft surfaces, the displays are scaleable and interchangeable. “We have several different ways that we show product and for the first time, from what we’re hearing from our retailers, with not a tremendous amount of investment they’re going to be able to position their in-store retail environment in a really unified, consistent, one-notebook way across soft surfaces and hard surfaces,” said Karen Mendelsohn, senior vice president of marketing, Mohawk. In the past Mohawk has had bigger fixtures that made it look like the company was selling merchandising instead of flooring but with these new displays, “Product is hero,” she added.
Retailers have also picked up on this change. “I think [the new displays] will work well,” said Yolanda Donaldson of Donaldson Flooring, Solano County, Calif. “I like the way they look. They don’t take up a lot of room. I also like how they’re more streamlined so you can get more in your store.”
Looking at the hard surface displays in particular, Donaldson appreciates the new sample sizes. “I like that the boards are bigger so people can get more of a look at a big, long piece instead of a little square,” she explained.
Mohawk, known for its innovation in carpet, also introduced SmartStrand Silk Reserve, a product the company says has managed to make silk feel even softer. The new line comes in a better/ best solid offering with a 50-color palette, multi-color offering, tonal offering and different pattern constructions.
Dealers like what they’re seeing so far. “I’m really excited about the Silk Reserve, which is a little bit different as far as the denier of the yarn,” said Sandra Molski, owner, Flooring & More, Janesville, Wis. “It’s even softer, which is just completely incredible to me that they were able to make silk even softer. But I’m really excited about the loops because they’ve got a lot of [tones]; the colors really hit the mark with lots of gray which everyone is going for right now.”
In addition to the look and feel of SmartStrand Silk Reserve is the product’s marketable story. With the tagline “Durability to the Max” SmartStrand Silk Reserve features Max, a 5,400-pound rhino as its mascot and durability tester. Marketed as a product that can stand up to the messes of a rhino, this product has intrigued many retailers.
“They’ve done the rhino, they’ve done the elephant challenge and recently there was a Tough Mudder competition, so what the fiber offers is truly revolutionary,” said Michael Kundert, owner, The Pad Place, Sarasota, Fla. “Its ability to cleanup and its durability makes it definitely a winner. Everybody is looking for these pet-proof items. What could be more pet-proof than rhinos and elephants compared to dogs and cats? This type of marketing will drive sales towards it.”
In keeping with its strategy to present itself as a total flooring company, Mohawk introduced a full line-up of hard surfaces, including the company’s unique rigid core SolidTech line. Mohawk has placed this product in its own category, stating that it is different from LVT. SolidTech utilizes Mohawk’s uniclic multi-fit technology and is available in three collections: Galvyn, Revella and Vershire.
SolidTech and its marketing companion Doug the Pug excited many retailers with the product’s durability and waterproof capabilities. Donaldson, for instance, believes this product will help her business because customers seem to be interested in buying similar products. “I think it’s going to work out really well,” she said. “This seems more durable than the others.”
Other hard surface offerings of note include new ceramic tile and laminate offerings. There are five new ceramic tile collections including, Amelia Manor, Donovan Manor, Bartlett, Marianna and Accent Statements. These different styles incorporate wood, linear and marble looks.
From Mohawk’s new laminate offerings are four collections inspired by modern European palettes and reclaimed looks. These collections include Reclaimed Spirit, Wooded Vision, Artistic Creation and Painted Charm.
With respect to wood, Mohawk presented four new introductions. Weathered Vision, Modern Vision and Coastal Impressions are 9⁄16-inch thick x 7-inch-wide, three-ply core products made in the U.S. with Mohawk’s TruFinish 50-year warranty. Vintage Vintique is a ½-thich, 7-inch-wide product featuring TruFinish.
Lou Morano, president and owner, Capitol Carpet and Tile with six locations in Florida, summed it up this way: “I think the laminates and the hardwood are probably some of their best introductions from the new products that they’ve come out with. The longer planks, wider widths, styling and coloring altogether were some of the best they’ve had in years. I think we’re going to do really well with them and they’re priced right.”
In an effort to help retailers at all levels of business, Mohawk has introduced Omnify, a digital marketing product that creates what the company calls “simplified connected retail” and provides aligned retailers with brand integration (FCNews, Nov. 21/28).
The platform provides what Mendelsohn called “omnichannel solutions” for retailers, which will enhance the customer’s online, in-store and product experience. Through this platform content is automatically updated to a retailer’s website which allows for seamless transition of product and sales information between Mohawk and aligned retailers.
David Beebe, owner of Stoneridge Carpets in Reed Springs, Mo., embraced the concept. “We currently do everything that Omnify does, per say, through an advertising company. I think there’s a little savings for us and I think it’ll be done much better. It’ll consolidate what we’re doing and do it better.”