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Balta Home USA opens new distribution center in Georgia

image002BaltaRome, Ga.—Balta Home USA has moved to a new 330,000-square-feet distribution facility in Rome, Georgia, to provide more capacity for its North American business. The center officially opened on Nov. 16 in a ribbon cutting ceremony attended by local dignitaries including the Mayor of Rome, Ga., senior Balta Home management and Tom Debusschere, Balta Group CEO.

“The reorganization of our distribution network for area rugs in the US will support our future growth ambitions and provide the infrastructure to support our customers more effectively in their growing ecommerce sales channels,” Debusschere said.

Previously operating in two warehouses within the state, Dalton and Calhoun, Balta Home’s new distribution center will improve efficiencies, reduce labor and packaging costs, continuing the company’s high-level of service. The building features 100% LED lighting with separate waste streams for plastic, cardboard and other recyclables.

Housing 10,000 square feet of offices for sales and marketing departments, the center will employ between 75-100 people depending on the time of year. Divided into three zones with a logical flow—inbound, packaging, outbound—the center has 24 loading docks, accommodating 14 outbound trailers at one time. Part of the warehouse will be used to provide capacity for Balta Home’s growing ecommerce business, seeing an expansion from 1,500 to 2,000 SKUs in the coming months. As an additional benefit, it will also allow the company to target new distribution channels. The company will continue to use the offices and showroom on 5th Avenue in New York.

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Made in the USA: What ‘Made in USA’ actually means

April 24/May 1, 2017: Volume 31, Issue 23

By Lindsay Baillie

 

Screen Shot 2017-05-01 at 2.30.44 PMFor manufacturers, labeling a product as “Made in USA” involves much more than the item’s place of production. Protected by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), all American-made products sold to U.S. civilians must pass a strict set of standards.

According to the FTC’s website, items labeled as “Made in USA” must be manufactured in the U.S. borders from “all or virtually all” American parts, with parts also made in the U.S. Furthermore, “all or virtually all” means that all significant parts and processing that go into the product must be of U.S. origin. That is, the product should contain no—or negligible—foreign content.”

While manufacturers must follow these strict guidelines when selling to businesses and civilians, the FTC designations are not considered when the U.S. government is the purchaser. The U.S. government is required to buy only American-made goods if possible. However—following the guidelines of the 1933 Buy American Act—this classification is given to any item assembled in the U.S. with more than 50% American-made parts.

Beyond the FTC’s rigorous guidelines for Made in the USA products, there is a gray area which hosts products that are “assembled” or “built” in America. Products with the “Assembled in USA” designation include imported parts that are manufactured in U.S. factories.

Deviating further away from the Made in USA label, some companies classify their products as “Made in USA of U.S. and imported parts” or “60% U.S. content.” Under these classifications, some of the parts and materials are made in the U.S.

As consumers become more interested with buying Made in the USA products, research shows some companies are manipulating labels to get around the strict FTC guidelines. When looking for completely USA-made products, FTC advises consumers to watch out for packaging that displays the United States flag, a map of the USA, the words “USA” or “American” in part of the brand name.

While many of these labels and names imply an American origin, they may be used to trick consumers who are looking to buy exclusively U.S.-made items. When approaching products with this type of packaging/ branding, experts say it is important to look at the fine print for the products’ true origin.

Beyond that, dealers and consumers can check to see if the product is genuinely Made in USA. Certified Inc. is an independent, third-party certification source and U.S. non-governmental organization, which verifies five distinct types of “Origin of USA” claims: “Made in USA Certified,” referring to manufactured goods; “Product of USA Certified,” concerning consumable and/or ingestible goods; “Service in USA Certified,” regarding services performed at a location exclusively within the USA and/or its territories; “Grown in USA Certified,” associated with items such as flowers, plants, produce, etc.; and “U.S. Labor Force,” used to identify when all labor strictly associated with the assembly of a product is performed within the U.S.

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Moldings, accessories made to match latest floor designs

February 27/March 6, 2017: Volume 31, Issue 19

By Lindsay Baillie

 

If you are not currently selling moldings and accessories, 2017 might be the year to start. As flooring trends and categories continue to evolve, moldings manufacturers are unleashing a slew of trendy, matching products designed to provide greater add-on opportunities for retailers.

Following are new product offerings from some of the leading manufacturers.

Airwood Flooring Accessories
Screen Shot 2017-03-06 at 10.27.09 AM
Airwood’s Matchables were designed to address the challenge of accurately matching moldings and vents with the wealth of new flooring products hitting the market. These products are available in a variety of profiles including Euro profile nosing, traditional bullnose nosing, reducer, t-caps and standard HVAC vents. New to this line are various profiles reflecting popular trends such as heavily textured, wide plank hardwood flooring.

According to Carmi Mooser, director of sales & marketing, Matchables is made from the manufacturers’ prefinished wood floor to ensure a perfect match. This approach, she explained, provides seamless installation and eliminates site reinstallation. Airwood partners with most of the major Canadian and American mills, but the company can also work directly with retailers to recreate styles and designs.

Selling customized moldings as well as other complementary accessories such as vents not only helps retailers differentiate themselves, but it also broadens a dealer’s overall selection. “It’s a really good product to add to any retailers lineup,” Mooser said. “Most hardwood installations require these moldings, but most homeowners have no idea about hardwood flooring accessories.”

Pedross
Pedross’ new products follow consumer and retailer demands to match moldings with specific types of flooring, especially the red-hot LVT category as well as perennial favorites such as hardwood.

“We are introducing flexible, stainable flooring transitions as a new product offering,” said Joe Albany, national sales manager. “We also will continue to focus on our digital printing capabilities for both hardwood flooring and LVT flooring lines.”

Pedross distributes products throughout the United States and Canada. Its offerings include wood, cork, laminate and LVT moldings, stair treads, aluminum profiles and digital prints.

Screen Shot 2017-03-06 at 10.27.14 AMPennwood
Pennwood has the capabilities of producing moldings from 40 different species and in over 6,000 different colors. The company uses species for species when constructing its moldings and makes its best effort to match its products to the flooring, explained Kraig Coxon, executive vice president. “The biggest thing we focus on is quality.”

This quality is found in Pennwood’s various moldings including its Retro Treads, Retro Risers, and LVT and hardwood flooring transitions.

In addition to moldings, Pennwood is currently working on a vents program to complement its other flooring accessories. Coxon noted many consumers want their bases and vents to match, so the incentive to produce these accessories is high. Pennwood hopes to have vents available by June and is starting out with bamboo products. “The biggest thing for us is we’ve been asked to do it from customers. If you’re going to do moldings and treads you might as well do vents.”

In terms of its future with moldings, Pennwood is also looking into WPC products.

Zamma
Some of Zamma’s newest innovations come from the company’s extruding products. These include a flush luxury vinyl tile nosing as well as a threshold made of waterproof core for ceramic installations. According to Peter Spielman, president, the new WPC product has a zero breakage rate and is price competitive. “On the luxury vinyl tile or luxury vinyl plank side we’re the only manufacturer that thermally fuses the same decorative layer and wear layer as the floor itself. We use the actual décor from the floor with a .5mm commercial-grade wear layer, so all of our transitional moldings for luxury vinyl floors are commercial warranty items and we use the same vinyl as the floor.”

Screen Shot 2017-03-06 at 10.27.18 AMSeneca
Seneca’s updated stains and finishes follow the popular gray and white tones trending in hardwood flooring. “At Seneca Millwork we continue to see matte finishes and shades of grays and whites play an important role in today’s flooring colors and styles,” said Mark Pacacha, national sales manager. “While these high-end finishes are more challenging, we continue to meet our deadlines on these and all hardwood moldings. We utilize our exclusive ColorMaster system to ensure our transitions are a customer-approved match to their flooring.”

All Seneca transitions are individually shrink-wrapped for protection during shipping, and to preserve on-site quality of the product.