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Carpet: Playing at the high end pays big-time dividends

April 16/23, 2018: Volume 33, Issue 22

By Ken Ryan

Carpet mills are taking advantage of the new reality in flooring—with carpet relegated primarily to the bedroom, consumers are willing to spend more to make that soft surface area really stand out.

Indeed, carpet mills are finding that even in a shrinking market for soft surface, there is money to be made by playing at the high end. Some examples:

Anderson Tuftex

Anderson Tuftex had a strong showing at Surfaces. Since then, dealer reception to its new carpet products (Tavares, Tanzania and Heirloom) has been exceptional, according to Katie Ford, director of brand strategy. “The dealer base has been so supportive. If you are a dealer, and you want to make money, you have to have Tavares and Tanzania—and you probably need to have Heirloom, too. You need the whole line, really, because those three styles are distinctly different.”

Ford said there is nothing quite like Tavares in the market—a natural stone visual akin to a Venetian plaster. “It’s just beautiful. We have a rug version of it, too, and we had it installed at Surfaces; it’s everyone’s favorite.”

Tanzania, in denim blue, is offered in a broken Chevron pattern. Like fine wine, it is a product that gets better with age, Ford said. “Chevrons are showing up these days. These patterns are timeless and don’t go out of style.”

Another favorite is Heirloom, with a raised medallion within a small scale textural pattern. “It’s another timeless classic look,” Ford explained. “With AT, you know our products have that little extra craftsmanship to stand out.”

Dixie Group

By virtue of the fact that it is not a low-cost manufacturer, The Dixie Group must create differentiated products to be successful. That’s according to T.M. Nuckols, president, residential division, who cited two new PetProtect products for 2018—Signature and Trademark, which will be launched by Masland in the second quarter. “Also, Bombay Vibration is a remake of a classic Masland product and now made with PetProtect solution dyed nylon 6,6 fiber; it delivers great durability and stain resistance in a softer and more comfortable product.”

The Masland Energy line, coming in May, is a commercial segment offering with 20 well-styled products made with nylon 6,6 for durability and performance. Wholesale price points range from the low teens to mid 20s, “so we are not targeting the typical Main Street price points,” Nuckols said.

Foss Floors

Foss introduced its DuraKnit collection this year featuring a new construction technique for higher-end broadloom that enables the consumer to install an upscale look in tough traffic conditions. According to Brian Warren, executive vice president, sales and marketing, these products will never fray, zipper or unravel, nor will they fade. And while they are stain resistant and will never wrinkle, they still feature a soft hand and luxurious styling, he added.

In 2018, the company introduced its “Carpet Reinvented” DuraKnit display, which includes an interactive storyboard to highlight the line’s unique characteristics. “These innovations are helping the retailer achieve higher margins by providing a unique selling proposition,” Warren said.

Gulistan Floors

John Sheffield, vice president of sales and marketing, Gulistan, said the company is incorporating a very limited distribution strategy to allow dealer partners to maximize their sales and profits. “We have created a unique collection of patterns using our solution-dyed PET. With our Stainmaster offering, we are using the solution-dyed yarns and trying to fill product voids in the with new textures and yarn applications.”

Mohawk

When you talk high end, Karastan is arguably the first brand that comes to mind. Karastan has three premium yarn systems with which to work in developing products. “Having access to wool, SmartStrand Silk and Kashmere Nylon gives us the ability to develop unique looks and textures utilizing the attributes of these yarns,” said Bill Storey, senior vice president, Mohawk and Karastan. “In addition, we also have developed styles using a combination of two yarns. For example, Hampshire Bay has wool as the base yarn and SmartStrand Silk as the accent. The result is an elegant look that cannot be achieved with a single yarn system.”

Karastan’s new soft stone looks—Mackenzie and Berkeley —are standouts. “These styles create the look of natural stone in a luxurious, soft hand,” Storey explained. “This is achieved through our vintage weave process which utilizes SmartStrand Silk, space-dyed yarn.”

Phenix

The Cleaner Home collection is Phenix’s latest in innovative, trend-forward carpet designs. Refuge, Flourish and Well Being are a collection of three new multi-color patterned carpets that utilize innovative cut and loop technology which allows for varying amounts of cut vs. loop.

These products feature a unique combination of colors that become visible at varying points in the construction to create a unique sculpted look with their own dimensional pattern.

Phenix’s Stainmaster PetProtect Design Solutions collection helps sell higher-end products in multiple surfaces by removing one of the biggest pain points for consumers—coordinating their flooring without the help of an interior designer. “It also helps facilitate overall larger tickets and enhanced profit opportunities for the retailer,” said Mark Clayton, president of Phenix Flooring. “We’re bringing hard surface and carpet together in one display and making it easier than ever for a consumer to walk in, visualize her entire home and purchase on the spot.”

Shaw

Shaw Floors continues to burnish its reputation as a leader in innovation with Bellera, a high-performance carpet line. Bellera’s high-design, on-trend offerings include tonals, accents, loops and bold-colored patterns.

“We’ve put Bellera to the test and can say this carpet will look as good in five years as it does on day one,” said Teresa Tran, director of soft surface portfolio management.

Bellera features Shaw’s spill-proof LifeGuard backing, Endurance high-performance fiber and R2X soil and stain resistance. “We’ve listened to the consumer and are proud to offer them the softness of a residential carpet that is durable enough to withstand their active lifestyle.”

Stanton

Stanton’s premise is differentiation. Three brands of note are Antrim, Rosecore and Crescent, which feature unique styling and are merchandised in high-end display systems. Stanton’s Atelier collection offers cut/loop woven nylon patterns provide greater design and color flexibility than the traditional LCL.

“These introductions coupled with our unparalleled use of color, design and multiple yarn types in woven patterns has set new standards,” said Jonathan Cohen, CEO.

Stanton is introducing Stanton Street, Decorative Commercial this summer. This new collection encompasses a mix of carpet tile, planks and decorative commercial broadloom for Stanton’s first dedicated commercial offering.

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Resilient: The next evolution of Stainmaster—PetProtect LVT

July 3/10: Volume 32, Issue 2

By Ken Ryan

 

Screen Shot 2017-07-10 at 2.59.50 PMFor more than three decades, Invista’s Stainmaster has enjoyed the prestige of being arguably the most recognizable brand in flooring, a name synonymous with fiber durability and stain protection. In recent years, Invista has built on that heritage with the launch of PetProtect. Designed with pets in mind, the Stainmaster PetProtect carpet and cushion system resonated with consumers and pet owners for its ability to resist stains and odors.

Today, with hard surface growing exponentially, Invista executives decided the time was right to develop a hard surface product featuring Stainmaster PetProtect.

Nearly 20 months after the idea was conceived, Stainmaster PetProtect LVT was launched this spring with Dixie, Masland and Phenix as the first licensees. Despite being late to an already overpopulated LVT field, flooring dealers suggest Stainmaster PetProtect LVT most certainly will have a place in their showroom.

In preparation for this launch, Invista executives did their due diligence by drawing on consumer feedback and conducting their own R&D in developing this unique line. As with carpet, Stainmaster PetProtect LVT was created with the pet owner in mind (executives cite a statistic that claims 72% of U.S. households have at least one pet). To address that trend Stainmaster PetProtect LVT comes with two differentiating features—Claw Shield and Action Traction. Claw Shield provides a protective coating that helps resist claw scratches associated with pets. To complement the claw shield protective coating, the floors feature pet-action traction for pet paws. Both features include proprietary technology.

Claw Shield, for example, went through rigorous testing at Doguroo, a doggie day care in Atlanta, over the course of several weeks. Consumer feedback was also important in the technology’s development. Invista executives weighed both the good and negative feedback, made tweaks and delivered to the market what they deem to be a difference-making product.

“One of the key insights was our flooring reduced the slipping and sliding,” said Dana Wright, hard surface segment leader for Invista. “Claw Shield and Action Traction allow us to connect with the consumer base and helped us explore ways to solve problems and be able to deliver the benefits and make their lives better every day.”

Phenix, Dixie and Masland (Dixie and Masland are under the Dixie Home umbrella) are the first mills licensed to sell the Stainmaster PetProtect LVT line. These brands have had long histories with Invista and have embraced the Stainmaster story. Executives representing both Phenix and Dixie/Masland view the LVT launch as a brand extension, even though these companies are historically carpet mills. “The fact that we have already been participating in the PetProtect category has really made it quite easy for us to introduce this new product,” said Susan Curtis, senior vice president, product development, Phenix.

Screen Shot 2017-07-10 at 2.59.44 PMDan Phelan, vice president of marketing for Dixie/Masland, said the company’s entry into the tight LVT space would be far more difficult without the Stainmaster/PetProtect cache. “We go into this with a lot more ammunition at our disposal, and it’s not just blanks. When it comes to what makes you different, we had a simple choice—enter the market and sell LVT ourselves or enter and sell Stainmaster PetProtect LVT. Being a forerunner and early adopter of what PetProtect has meant on the carpet side—and what it could mean on the LVT/P side—will make the selling easier for the retail sales associate. It was an easy decision at the end of the day.”

Phenix created an entirely new merchandising display for its Stainmaster PetProtect LVT. Its Free Expression Loose Lay display consists of seven lifestyle boards, a collection of imagery of various geographic areas with which consumers can identify. The displays include both carpet samples and LVT as Phenix worked on a total coordination story. The displays feature an extended architectural folder that coordinates and ties in with each of the palettes. “The consumer who is looking for a well-curated and coordinated story will find this very easy to navigate,” Curtis explained.

Dixie/Masland first showed its Stainmaster PetProtect LVT display at Surfaces. Based on retailer feedback the display system was made smaller and more compact, using flip cards to maximize showroom space. There are 20 products in both the Dixie Home and Masland collections; however, each product is created to be unique. Dixie’s lineup includes 6mm and 7.5mm click offerings with a cork backing, each with different visuals and sizes. Masland is offering dryback SKUs including nine with a rigid-core construction; the sizes offered include 6 x 48 and 9 x 60 in rigid-core click in a heavy, 28 mil wear layer. “We are definitely in deep with this launch,” Phelan said.

Retailers react favorably
One potential challenge to the Stainmaster PetProtect LVT launch is the fact flooring dealers already have a well-stocked showroom containing LVT and its WPC and rigid-core offspring. However, in this case, they vowed to make room even if it means dropping another line or two.

Pierce Flooring/Carpet Mill outlets in Montana is carrying both Dixie and Masland. Greg Loeffler, vice president of sales and marketing, said the WPC/rigid-core/LVT segment has exploded in the last 24 months, albeit with very little separation among the competing players. “The products are quite similar even though everyone says theirs is the greatest. The fact is most are coming from a handful of factories in China and the differences are minimal. What’s different here is there is a unique selling proposition. Part of our thought process is to leverage the Stainmaster brand. It is still strong and valuable. We still have three design centers that are Stainmaster flooring stores, so Stainmaster sells well with our selling system and it is something our salespeople are very in tune with. This is a nice fit.”

Screen Shot 2017-07-10 at 3.00.01 PMLoeffler said the styling and construction of the Dixie/ Masland lines are very impactful and, most importantly, sellable. He especially liked Masland’s upgraded version with the heavier wear layer. “It gives us a premium option with added benefits along with the PetProtect name. Masland maybe over-engineered a bit and went on the high side of specifications, but it makes for a really high-quality product. The challenge we have today is we are competing in the weeds with all the discounters and low-cost offerings; it is a jump-ball situation with many of these products and often we don’t win because the margins are not there. We need to offer better quality and value to upsell our consumers. Masland certainly plays well into that. On our end we are going to put a lot of energy behind this.”

Amy Mitchell, sales manager for Britts Home Furnishings, with three stores in Georgia, reports that within one week of carrying Phenix Stainmaster PetProtect LVT she sold one job that comprised 1,100 square feet of LVT to cover virtually every room—except the bedroom. The buyers were a retired couple with a dog. Britts carries Mohawk, Shaw, USFloors, Mannington and Armstrong LVT, but she said there is room for Stainmaster PetProtect. “I am impressed with the visuals and the textures; it looks like wood and it has pretty patterns. PetProtect is really huge; it may seem silly to say but it is not. Dogs are going to ruin wood, period. This gives [the homeowner] peace of mind. Phenix did a great job putting together these displays and they did a really good job with the colors. I’m really excited about it. I think everyone else will be, too.”

The strong bond homeowners have with their pets has been an instrumental selling tool at Grigsby’s Carpet, Tile & Rug Gallery in Tulsa, Okla., which plans to carry both Dixie and Phenix. “It is such a good connection when you are asking about children and pets,” said Penny Carnino, vice president of operations. She called the move from PetProtect carpet to LVT a natural progression. “It’s another extension in carrying out the Stainmaster brand. If you have someone who in the past has had Stainmaster carpet, then she is much more inclined to buy a hard surface product with the Stainmaster name. If she had good results—and Stainmaster is great about taking care of any issues—she is going to feel that much more comfortable because she will have that assurance.”

Flooring dealers say Invista understands current customer mentality trends, and they responded in kind with an “all floors, all rooms” approach. By enhancing the Stainmaster PetProtect flooring portfolio, the company is able to tap into a broader consumer lifestyle approach. “It’s the No. 1 brand in flooring coupled with margin expansion opportunity for retailers,” Invista’s Wright said. “This new introduction allows us to cut through the sea of sameness.”

Invista is supporting the Stainmaster PetProtect LVT launch with national TV advertising, online videos and YouTube channel promotions. The TV campaign features a boy with his dog playing a game and includes the tagline: “Life should leave memories, not marks.” The spot began in March and runs through the end of July.

“As we have expanded our portfolios it gives us a chance to improve our messaging,” said Sakaait Mathur, senior brand manager for Invista. “Video advertising creates a bond between human and pet. This is kind of new to the market in terms of advertising and communication without mentioning the benefits of the product. Stainmaster PetProtect has solutions for the entirety of the home.”

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Fiber report: Soft, durable and cleanability lead checklist

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

By Ken Ryan

Screen Shot 2017-05-15 at 2.06.57 PMAdvancements in technology and manufacturing have allowed carpet mills to make significant improvements in fiber construction. The result: carpets that are soft, durable and resistant to stains and soils. Mill executives say today’s demanding consumers are driving these innovative breakthroughs.

“Performance-based fibers seem to be a big trend,” said Ayme Sinclair, marketing director, Stanton. “The biggest influence is an increased need from a more informed consumer base on making sure they are selecting goods that will stand up to the challenges of their active lifestyles.”

Susan Curtis, senior vice president, product development for Phenix, agreed. “We are seeing demand for innovative fibers that provide a high degree of performance tied to active lifestyles and exhibit a diverse array of color and luster options.”

Increasingly these innovative fibers are found in polyester; executives say manufacturing techniques have fueled the PET market, which has overtaken nylon as the preferred carpet fiber. “Consumers are very happy with the quality and performance of PET and request it when choosing their new carpet,” said Brian Warren, senior vice president of sales and marketing, Foss.

Beyond fiber type, the macro trends that have driven the fiber market for years are still dominant today, according to Seth Arnold, vice president of residential marketing for Mohawk Industries. “What that means is consumers want carpet that is easy to clean and will last a long time. With carpet being an infrequent, high-end purchase, for consumers it often boils down to cleanability and durability. We don’t see that trend going away.”

Observers point to another trend that’s holding its own: the desire for luxurious soft carpet. “We thought we had seen the top of the mountain with premium soft,” Arnold said. “We spent a lot of time this past year on soft. We spoke to 300 consumers in 10 different markets and looked at seven different fiber types. Consumers voted for softer, which is what led to SmartStrand Silk Reserve. We are raising the bar again in soft.”

Active segments
The dominance of hard surfaces in the home has opened the door for innovative ways to use carpet. Curtis noted that since the consumer is now using carpet in selected areas of her home, she often chooses multiple styles with specific features and benefits that fit the intended use of a room. “Traditionally, consumers may have chosen a solid or more generic aesthetic but are now seeking unique textures and colors they can mix and match with other flooring materials. A soft touch and comfort are still important attributes, but we have seen the need for products with unique patterns and colorations grow significantly.”

Screen Shot 2017-05-15 at 2.07.10 PMThe multifamily segment remains carpet’s greatest salvation within residential. That’s partly due to the fall in homeownership rates (which are at their lowest level since 1965, according to the U.S. Census Bureau), which means more people—especially millennials—are renting. Executives note that builders and property managers are increasingly looking to carpet as a way to combat sound issues associated with hard surfaces. “The shift towards hard surfaces remains a continued trend across all business segments, particularly multifamily,” said Brad Christensen, vice president-soft surface portfolio management, Shaw Floors. “However, we are seeing more consumers looking to incorporate higher quality soft surfaces with bolder patterns and styles in bedrooms and other specialty areas of the home, making residential an opportunity for growth in carpet sales.”

Residential retail remains steady, executives say, and with the influx of higher end, luxurious soft products hitting the market, dealers have more opportunities to trade up consumers. “We encourage our retailers to ‘X plus’ every customer,” Mohawk’s Arnold said. “Our premium soft products give them reasons to upsell.”

Product initiatives
In response to consumers’ insights for stylish, high-performing carpet that complements their living spaces, Shaw created the TruAccents display. This new compact, rotating display houses both nylon and PET carpet styles and pairs them with hard surface products for easier consumer shopping and convenient retail selling options. “For those consumers who prefer to purchase strictly nylon, we’ve also expanded our LifeGuard technology to the Anso Color Wall in our Titanium platinum product collection,” Christensen said.

Phenix recently introduced its Opulence HD solution-dyed PET polyester fiber featuring a finer denier yarn that is low luster with well-defined tips that give off a suede-like finish. “We developed this new fiber from the ground up by working with our extrusion division to create a yarn that provides great bulk with a soft very luxurious hand,” Curtis explained.

Stanton recently launched a line with Scotchgard 3M, pairing high style with high performance, Sinclair said. “This new line gives consumers assurance when they see a name they recognize, so it makes perfect sense for us to partner with them.”

Screen Shot 2017-05-15 at 2.07.18 PMAmong Mohawk’s biggest initiatives in 2017 is Airo, made of 100% premium PET fiber. As Arnold explained, “Airo is really our attempt to say, ‘What if we completely started from scratch; what would we come up with?’ This innovation is less about enhancing an existing fiber and more about looking at a fiber to create a construction advantage. Airo was a completely new way to approach product development.”

In the same vein as completely new is Foss’ Cashmere, which the company touts as a new category of affordable wall-to-wall carpet that looks and feels like wool but has the durability of commercial tiles and indoor/outdoor broadloom products. Warren said “the secrets” behind the carpet’s style and performance are its exclusive NaturalTouch fiber that can create a wool-like softness using PET and the company’s DuraKnit technology that prevents fraying, unraveling or zippering.

Engineered Floors has enjoyed big success with its PureColor Fiber system and its family of brands, especially within its residential PureColor Nylon collection—Your Retreat. “It features our PureColor Soft Nylon with Cationic technology,” said Mike Sanderson, vice president of product marketing. “We are essentially offering what is widely recognized as a premium fiber system in a collection of stylish yet affordable products.”

The residential division of Dixie has been an active partner with Invista/Stainmaster. In 2017, Dixie is launching six new styles as part of the Stainmaster LiveWell program. T.M. Nuckols, the new executive vice president of Dixie Residential, noted, “We have a good mix of styles in the solution-dyed nylon PetProtect program as well as many piece-dyed products.”

 

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Stainmaster’s LiveWell line engineered to repel allergens

February 13/20, 2017: Volume 31, Number 18

By Ken Ryan

Screen Shot 2017-02-20 at 3.51.57 PMIt is estimated that 50 million Americans suffer from airborne allergies, including pet dander and dust mites. Unfortunately, many of these allergens end up embedded in carpet.

To address what it deemed an obvious health need, Invista in 2012 began work on a carpet that would be easier to clean and allow for more thorough removal of allergens during vacuuming. At Surfaces 2017 the company introduced LiveWell, which it hopes will do for healthy homes what PetProtect did for stain and soil protection.

Stainmaster LiveWell carpet (Dixie Home and Shaw will be the first mills to sell it) will be available in the second quarter, initially in Stainmaster Flooring Center showrooms.

Tim Millsaps, channel marketing manager, Stainmaster brand, said LiveWell is being marketed as the first carpet and cushion system designed to reduce dust and allergen-particle buildup without adding steps to the cleaning routine. Made with kid- and pet-safe AllerShield technology, it helps reduce the bonding of allergy-aggravating particles to the carpet fibers. When allergen particles release easily from the carpet fibers, more of them end up in the vacuum.
“Consumers today are more educated on healthier products and looking for solutions in their own lives,” Millsaps said. “It made sense for us to develop a product that addresses those concerns.”

Millsaps cited consumer research showing more than 70% of homeowners identified comfort and minimizing exposure to chemicals and germs as very important to supporting overall heath, while 65% identified cleanliness. “The overall health concern is why we started the project years ago.”

Invista unveiled LiveWell prior to Surfaces. The event was attended by executives from large mills as well as a majority of National Floorcovering Alliance (NFA) dealers. At the kickoff event, Invista showed a video of two Stainmaster carpets—one with AllerShield, the other without—and the transformation that takes place after vacuuming. “The dealer likes a story to tell around a product,” Millsaps explained. “It makes it a lot more engaging for them and it helps the sale, especially when it is needs-based like this product and adds comfort to the home.”

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Carpet: Mills up the ante in the fight against spills

Stain protection update

February 13/20, 2017: Volume 31, Number 18

By Ken Ryan

 

What drives carpet purchases? If ongoing research is to be believed, it’s all about stain and soil protection. So if you want customers to spend more money, the carpet products retailers offer should incorporate such treatments.

Stainmaster PetProtect from Invista was a big hit in large part because it addressed a huge consumer need, executives say.

The American Pet Products Association (APPA) estimates 70 million to 80 million dogs and 74 million to 96 million cats are owned in the U.S. Approximately 37%-47% of all households have a dog, while 30%-37% have a cat.

“Our consumer research shows pets actually influence flooring purchasing behaviors even more than children in the home,” said Brad Christensen, vice president of soft surface category for Shaw Floors.

Soil and stain protection play a pivotal role in the growing trend of healthier floors and homes. Extensive research has been done on consumer preferences toward healthy homes and how pets are incorporated into the family environment. “Consumers are looking for products that can do more for them, passively keeping their homes cleaner, healthier and looking great,” said Susan Curtis, senior vice president, product development for Phenix.

Following is a look at some recent introductions featuring stain and pet protection carpets.

Screen Shot 2017-02-20 at 3.18.48 PMEngineered Floors
The company’s Lifetime Pet Warranty promises “complete relief for you and your pet,” according to Will Young, residential brand manager. “That means we will stand behind our carpet when it comes to dog and cat accidents in the home for the life of the product.” The warranty is available on most DreamWeaver styles, particularly those on its new Your Retreat 65-color wall display, which was introduced at Surfaces last month.

Screen Shot 2017-02-20 at 3.18.56 PMLexmark
All of Lexmark’s 2017 introductions feature 100% solution-dyed PET fiber that is inherently very stain resistant. What’s more, Lexmark added Scotchgard Protector by 3M to provide greater stain and soil protection. This one-step application process treats the entire carpet fiber. As a result, spills stay on top of the surface and dirt does not adhere to the floor.

Screen Shot 2017-02-20 at 3.19.01 PMMohawk
SmartStrand Forever Clean, installed in more than 7 million homes and heralded for its durability, stain resistance and comfort, has become an even smarter choice for active families with pets. Mohawk enhanced this popular carpet with All Pet Protection, a warranty and protection system that covers all pets, all accidents, all the time. SmartStrand Forever Clean comes with Nanoloc, an advanced nanotechnology that encapsulates the SmartStrand fiber to create a spill and soil barrier.

Screen Shot 2017-02-20 at 3.19.07 PMPhenix
Phenix’s major 2017 introductions address consumer needs related to pet protection and healthier homes. Cleaner Home, which comprises 10 new carpets with antimicrobial protection, was developed in an exclusive partnership with Microban, a leading producer of antimicrobial additives. As well, Cleaner Home was developed using a highly engineered PET polyester yarn called Opulence HD and includes SureFresh, an odor capture technology to provide a smarter soft surface flooring option.

Screen Shot 2017-02-20 at 3.19.13 PMScotchgard by 3M
When applied during the manufacturing process, Scotchgard by 3M-branded products provide a protective treatment by surrounding each individual carpet fiber with an invisible shield, making the carpet resistant to water- and oil-based stains as well as soiling from everyday use.

Screen Shot 2017-02-20 at 3.19.27 PMShaw
Shaw Floors continues investing in carpets made with its exclusive LifeGuard waterproof backing system, which provides an optimal carpet for pet owners. “Thanks to this industry-exclusive system, pet accidents stay on the surface longer for easier clean up,” Christensen said. “And for those accidents not discovered immediately, consumers now have the peace of mind knowing that pet urine and other liquids will never soak through the backing, into the cushion and onto the subfloor.” New for 2017, the LifeGuard waterproof backing system was added to Shaw’s popular Anso Color Wall in a product called Titanium, which offers 150 new SKUs.

Screen Shot 2017-02-20 at 3.19.33 PMStainmaster PetProtect
Invista’s Stainmaster PetProtect carpet and cushion system provides a breathable moisture barrier that helps prevent accidents from penetrating the padding and subfloor, which enables more thorough cleaning. As well, PetProtect also reduces the attraction between pet hair and carpet, allowing consumers to easily remove the hair with normal vacuuming.

Screen Shot 2017-02-20 at 3.19.42 PMStanton
Stanton announced a new partnership with 3M Scotchgard with the introduction of 15 products treated with Scotchgard Protector by 3M. The carpet introductions are made of nylon type 6 and type 6,6. Each of the new Stanton styles is treated with Scotchgard Protector 3M and is covered under a 10-year stain and soil protection warranty.

 

 

 

 

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Stainmaster releases first series of ‘Pami Talks’ retail videos

Screen Shot 2016-03-31 at 3.14.37 PMKennesaw, Ga.–Stainmaster has launched the first of its Pami Talks: Retail Wisdom Worth Sharing video series. Bhullar, the director of retail development for Invista, North America, is known as a retail guru who spends upwards of 250 days on the road each year visiting retailers and sharing practice advice on being better and more successful flooring dealers.

The company will be sending two videos every other week with companion guides for retailers to use in their stores. Bhullar told FCNews that between 3,000 and 4,000 people have viewed the videos in the first 10 days since it was launched.

Links to the first videos:

Lead the Change, https://player.vimeo.com/video/159943302?autoplay=1

Keys to Successful Sales, https://player.vimeo.com/video/159944838?autoplay=1

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Stainmaster ‘Top Dog Sales’ winners named

The Carpet Shoppe, HI
The Carpet Shoppe of Honolulu

Kennesaw, Ga.—Invista announced that Brentwood Carpets (Raleigh, N.C.), The Carpet Shoppe (Honolulu), Floors By Ray (Chico, Calif.), McSwain Carpet & Floor (Cincinnati), and Britt’s Home Furnishings (Lawrenceville, Ga.) as the five nationwide store winners in its “Stainmaster Carpet Top Dog Sales Competition.”

The competition, which ran from Sept. 1 to Oct. 31, encouraged retail carpet stores that carry Stainmaster increase total store sales during September and October

Based on previous sales history, each store that registered for the competition was assigned to one of five specific performance groups—the Great Danes, the Labradors, the Hounds, the Spaniels, and the Terriers. Each dealership that exceeded its previous year’s September and October sales by the greatest percentage was determined the winner. Double points were awarded for selling Stainmaster PetProtect carpet.

“As someone who has been in the carpet industry for a long time, I couldn’t be more proud of my team and their commitment in selling one of the most trusted, quality brands available in the market,” stated Ehron Hobbs, owner of Floors By Ray in Chico.

The “Top Dog” retail store winners:

  • The Great Danes McSwain Carpet & Floor
  • The Labradors Brentwood Carpets
  • The Hounds – Britt’s Home Furnishings
  • The Spaniels The Carpet Shoppe
  • The Terriers Floors By Ray

Associates crowned “Top Dog” selected one of three prizes—a Sharp 32-inch LED 1080p SmartTV, a Bose Sound Link Bluetooth Speaker III, and a Sony 1000W 5.1Ch HD Blu-ray Disc Home Theater System.

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Invista hosts ‘Why I Sell Stainmaster’ contest

STAINMASTER Facebook

Kennesaw, Ga.—Invista has launched its first “Why I Sell Stainmaster” contest, which engages RSAs via Facebook and encourages them to share what makes them passionate about selling the Stainmaster brand. The contest is meant to inspire other RSAs and provide helpful selling techniques and tools. To enter, RSAs should visit http://bit.ly/stainmastercontest and post either a comment or video submission that answers the question: Why do you sell Stainmaster?

The winner will be chosen based on which post receives the most “likes.” Tim Millsaps, channel marketing manager for Stainmaster, highly recommends video submissions as they are “more personable and much more engaging.”

The RSA Facebook page will serve as an informational resource in addition to the contest’s submission site. Millsaps said the company’s posts will contain relevant and technical product information. “Unlike the consumer web page on Facebook, we’re not going to be posting once or twice daily. What we’re trying to do is maintain focus on providing meaningful and useful information about Stainmaster to the RSA—a behind-the-scenes look, the technology involved to help build affinity for the brand—and to help educate the RSA more fully than the information they get from our consumer focused communication efforts.”

The company’s recent research found that 90% of all retail sales associates own a smartphone and nearly 50% of the RSA population matches closely with the current age group of Facebook users. The company recognizes that RSAs might have some down time during the day and will use this opportunity to connect with them through a popular digital platform they already like and use.

“If we are able to use Facebook as a communication method, it’s an extra platform we can use to educate RSAs on our products in addition to other methods including email campaigns and in-store sessions,” Millsaps said.

“We don’t want to pester RSAs,” said Gary Johnston, senior marketing manager for Invista. “We want to provide them the product knowledge and tools we offer that will help them be better at what they do.”

The contest runs through Sept. 30 and winners will be announced Oct. 21. The first place winner will receive an Amazon gift card for $3,000. Second and third place winners will each receive an Amazon gift card for $500.

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Novalis welcomes Longust Distributing to NovaFloor and Stainmaster

Screen Shot 2015-03-23 at 10.36.58 AMToronto—Longust Distributing, a hard surface distributor, has been added as a distributor for Novalis Innovative Flooring. Established in 1974, Longust will represent the NovaFloor and Stainmaster Luxury Vinyl lines (made by Novalis) in California, Arizona, Hawaii, Nevada, New Mexico and in parts of Western Texas and Southwestern Colorado.

“To be able to partner with one of the largest LVT manufacturers in the world fits right into our current and future marketing plans of offering quality products to our valued customers,” said Steve Wallace, president of Longust Distributing.

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Spring ahead with seasonal promotions

March 30/April 6, 2015; Volume 28/Number 19

By Nadia Ramlakhan

karastanpromoAfter weeks of below-freezing temperatures, snowstorms and icy roads, the floor covering industry is ready to make a comeback. Just in case the warmer weather isn’t enough incentive to get shoppers in the buying mood, both manufacturers and retailers are welcoming the season with sales in an effort to attract customers.

Couristan

Couristan’s annual Outdoor Living Merchandising promotion runs through June 30, offering deals on a number of outdoor and indoor area rugs. In addition, the promotion features two merchandising display options designed to help drive summer sales.

The Without Walls unit showcases all 13 of Couristan’s weather-resistant area rug collections and holds 40 2 x 4 area rugs, giving retailers the ability to customize their assortments while allowing consumers to browse easily. An optional base with wheels is also available for easy movement between outdoor and indoor retail spaces.

The Outdoor Living merchandising display box comes free with an order of 20 rugs from the Afuera, Monaco, Dolce, Five Season, Recife, Tides, Cape or Urbane collections.

Flooring America

Flooring America is holding its Hard to Beat Flooring Sale, featuring select hard surface products at a 30% discount until April 26. Consumers who spend $1,500 on hard surface products will receive a free iRobot Braava and 18-month financing.

“This promotion has caused an incredible amount of excitement throughout our membership,” said Keith Spano, president. “Our partnership with iRobot differentiates us from other retailers and clearly lets the consumer know that Flooring America and Flooring Canada are the destinations where fashion and technology come together.”

The Your Style, Your Way savings event will run during May and June, and offers up to 50% off on select Tigressa Softstyle, Tigressa Cherish and the new Tigressa H20 product lines. Consumers can also save up to $500 on an accompanying hard surface purchase, plus 18-month financing.

Karastan

The promotional period for the annual National Karastan Month will run from April 23 through June 8. The company is providing its retailers with extensive resources to showcase the brand’s signature styling and help attract customers, including national and retail advertising such as ready-to-use images, newspaper ads, magazine ads, direct mail inserts, radio scripts and web-based promotions. Also available are point-of-sale kits, finance offers, social media content, lead generation support and a cushion offer. In addition, the sale features manufacturer rebates for the consumer and product discounts on the season’s most popular trends.

Mirage

Mirage Promo PHOTOBeginning March 30, the Mirage Spring 2015 Rebate Sale will take place at nearly 2,000 retail locations throughout the U.S. and Canada through May 23. Consumers will receive a $0.50-per-square-foot rebate on all standard Mirage hardwood floors, including Mirage Classic, Mirage Engineered and Mirage Lock products regardless of species, color or width.

“Spring is the perfect time to begin remodel projects and new construction, so this event comes at a perfect time,” said Luc Robitaille, vice president of marketing for Boa-Franc, manufacturer of the Mirage brand. “Thanks to the rebate offered on all of our flooring during this sales event, it is the time to save big while enjoying the quality Mirage floors are known for.”

Mohawk

Mohawk’s annual Love Your Floor spring sale will run from March 27 through May 11 and is available exclusively for Floorscapes and ColorCenter retailers. The promotion offers product discounts and cushion options, cash-back incentives, consumer financing and enhanced Mohawk Infinite Reward points for RSAs. The company is also extending a full mix of national and local advertising support and updated point-of-sale kits to promote in-store.

According to Mike Zoellner, vice president of marketing services for Mohawk, stores that participate in Mohawk promotions historically show an increase in sales. “Retailers who participated in the fall Mohawk Anniversary Sale reported eight times the sales increase of non-participating retailers.”

Stainmaster/Invista

Invista has launched its 2015 Sit, Stay & Save Event for retail specialty stores. Until July 31, retail flooring specialty stores across North America can host this exclusive promotion designed to increase foot traffic and push sales, as well as generate community involvement. The event gives retailers the opportunity to hold a Stainmaster carpet sale in conjunction with a pet adoption event at their stores.

Invista will send participating stores a comprehensive merchandising kit containing POP and advertising materials, and will help them partner with a local ASPCA-affiliated pet shelter to host an adoption event on the day of the sale. Retailers can register online at stainmasterlink.com.

Shaw

Through its Capture the Spirit program, Shaw is offering its dealers and RSAs several roll and pallet promotions as well as extra earning incentives. Shaw’s spring promotions are designed to drive the sales of its new introductions and programs such as Caress Patterns, Anso Color Wall and Life Happens with LifeGuard backing.

“We want our dealers to take the spring promo opportunity to engage with those new introductions to help drive their businesses as well,” said Heather Yamada, director of consumer marketing and merchandising. “It’s our chance to teach and show the innovative design and technology that make this year’s intros so valuable for business.”

Deals for consumers

carpetlandusapromoWhile reaping the benefits from manufacturer promotions, retailers are also touting deals for their customers. For some, this season’s sales are a way to increase foot traffic after being forced to close due to snow days. “We’re hoping that everything is going to pan out,” said Gary Brown, owner of Carpet One Floor & Home in Springdale, Ark., whose spring promotions will focus on Relax It’s Lees carpet and Made in America hardwood. “We had a very strong January. February started really well, then the snow slowed things down a little bit. But I’m expecting a very strong first quarter.”

Brad Coty of Carpet Brokers of Missoula in Missoula, Mont., said after a long winter, people want to buy once the sun starts shining. “We always hold sales in the spring because it’s also tax return season, so if customers are thinking about doing something major in their homes it’s usually when they get that big check.” Coty makes spring cleaning easier for customers by offering 15% off carpet cleaning in March.

Aside from discounts on products and merchandising tools, other retail locations are offering labor and financing deals. At Carpetland USA in Davenport, Iowa, free labor is offered on any carpet purchase, excluding remnants and commercial grade, along with one-year no interest financing up until March 28. Other offers include 30% to 60% off hard surface materials and 25 free square feet of tile, hardwood, laminate and LVT with a purchase of 100 square feet.