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Unilin, Agfa to show inkjet-printed laminate flooring, furniture

Wielsbeke, Belgium—UNILIN and Agfa joined forces to investigate the feasibility of deploying inkjet printing for high-volume, high-speed production printing of decor paper used for laminate flooring and furniture.

At InPrint, they will present the outcome of their cooperation: specialized water-based ink-primer sets for high-speed, roll-to-roll digital printing on decor paper for laminate flooring and furniture. The combination of dedicated, conventionally coated primers from Unilin and perfectly matched Agfa pigmented inkjet inks delivers a wide color gamut with ideal print quality and low ink consumption. Sharply priced, these ink-primer sets will be competing head-to-head with high-volume gravure printing.

“Integration within existing manufacturing facilities is easy as this innovative technology is fully compatible with conventional processing including impregnation, pressing, cutting and milling,” said Jasmine Geerinckx, business development manager, Unilin division technologies.

Visitors to InPrint 2019 will be able to discover a wide range of laminate samples and discuss the benefits of the dedicated ink-primer sets with experts from both companies.

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Preverco launches new website, PreViewR

Québec, Canada—Preverco has launched a new website, along with its latest PreViewR tool, which allows customers to preview what their homes would look like with any one of Preverco’s hardwood floors.

“The goal of this new website is to facilitate and enhance the buying experience for customers who are looking for high-quality hardwood flooring—but want clear information in order to make the best choice,” explained Jean-François Dufresne, Preverco’s CEO. “Preverco acknowledges that buying a hardwood floor can be complicated and difficult. But our goal has always been to make buying a hardwood floor easy, accessible and even fun. We want to educate customers about the merits of different appearances, platforms, colors and species without overwhelming them with ‘only’ the technical attributes.”

Preverco’s new website also features its easy-to-use PreViewR that customers can use on their desktop computers, smartphones and tablets to upload pictures of their rooms and decide which Preverco floor they like best. “This innovative tool helps reassure customers that they are making the right decision based on their unique styles and preferences,” Dufresne said. “A hardwood floor is a great investment—but one you want to make sure you’ll appreciate for years to come.”

The website also represents Preverco’s mission to promote real wood floors and distinguish its hardwood floors from wood-look vinyl, tile and laminate flooring that are flooding the market—all of which do not add tremendous value to consumers’ homes and create confusion amongst buyers. “Undoubtedly, hardwood flooring features unmatched quality, durability and character,” Dufresne added. “Over time, our website will show visitors, time and again, the compelling reasons why they should opt for our hardwood floors over copycats. We want to cater to discerning customers who want to increase the worth of their homes, not just buy a floor for the sake of buying a floor.”

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Aspecta by Metroflor launches revamped website

Norwalk, Conn.—Metroflor launched a new, improved website for its Aspecta range of commercial LVT flooring during Domotex Hannover. New graphics, a revitalized look and feel, and improved navigation were developed to appeal to the architect/designer and contract audience. The global brand’s website is available in six languages: English (UK and USA), German, Italian, French, Spanish and Dutch.

“The Aspecta website was ready for an aesthetic update and more streamlined navigation,” said Gary Keeble, Metroflor’s director of marketing. “A key objective in phase one development of the new site was to minimize the number of clicks to get to the desired products and technical information. Products can be easily located using the improved search tool, and we’ve added thumbnails to the product menus to easily browse the product line. All technical documents have been added to the product pages for easy access with the option to download in a single click. These enhancements will vastly improve the user experience.”

Additional improvements and updates include:

  • The complete line of the new Aspecta One Ornamental collection
  • Enhanced product filtering to drill down to collections, segments or various product specifications
  • Suggested similar products on each product page
  • Online requests for Metroflor’s two CEU courses—Biophilic Design and Resilient Flooring, and Sustainable Attributes of LVT
  • A thorough sustainability section spotlighting the many product transparency standards and declarations achieved for the entire Aspecta range, available for download

The second phase of the redesign is underway and will feature expanded functionality including, the capability for users to set up profiles and project folders, a quick view option for products a new blog called Aspectives, enhanced case studies and project profiles, and an enhanced newsroom/press archive—to name a few.

“Ultimately we intend to create a destination website for the A&D community that caters to their needs and respects their time,” Keeble said. “What we have begun will continue and evolve with new functionality that transforms aspectaflooring.com into a useful which not only improves the web experience, but ultimately the overall customer experience. This is just the first step in the journey.”

 

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Armstrong unveils enhancements to flagship residential website

Lancaster, Pa.—Armstrong Flooring has launched key enhancements to its website with new and improved features to help guide homeowners through all stages of the buying journey—getting started, inspiration and ideas, product information, installation and where to buy.

“We’ve worked over the past year to create a more visual and inspirational online shopping experience, developing new content and tools to increase engagement with the homeowner,” said Ebeth Pitman, director of brand marketing. “We’re helping to drive consumers primed to purchase Armstrong Flooring products to aligned retailers. There is so much clutter in the marketplace and competition for mindshare that having a strong online experience, coupled with a trusted name like ours, helps people make decisions and feel confident that they have made the right purchase.”

Armstrong Flooring’s search and navigation functions provide a more engaging user experience with detailed product information, imagery and social media functions.

What’s new to the site:

  • Inspiration – New educational articles and photo galleries categorized by room type
  • Where to Start – A dedicated Q&A page filled with customers’ top flooring questions and answers to help them get better informed and begin browsing products
  • What’s New – A new page featuring all of the newest flooring products and collections, including new Paragon Solid Hardwood with Diamond 10 Technology and new styles in Alterna engineered tile

What has been improved:

  • Floor Finder – New Floor Finder results include a recommended Featured Collection, plus three or four other recommended collections based on consumer survey responses.
  • Find A Store – It will now be easier than ever for users to find a store; a user’s zip code will default to their IP address, driving customers to their closest retailer faster.
  • Co-Branded Landing Pages -Redesigned landing pages for aligned retailers incorporate new content for top searched product categories: hardwood, vinyl and engineered stone with the addition of a promotional section to feature campaigns and sales.

“Delivering the ultimate user-friendly experience and enhancing our strong online presence remains a key initiative,” Pitman said. “Our creative and technical teams collaborated to develop a digital experience centered on how consumers research floor covering and engage with technology. Ultimately the goal is to aid the consumer, and increase sales and profitability for us and our retail customers.”

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Stanton Carpet launches new B2B site

October 23/30, 2017: Volume 32, Issue 10

By Lindsay Baillie

 

Screen Shot 2017-10-27 at 12.27.40 PMStanton Carpet is looking to simplify the way it transacts with retail customers via a new B2B website—stantonb2b.com. The site makes it easier for retailers to find products, submit requests to create a rug, view dropped products and order swatches, among other features.

The new B2B site, which launched Oct. 9, is something Stanton has been working on for approximately two years. “A lot of what we’ve incorporated in this first phase comes from feedback we received from the retailers, because ultimately we are creating the site for them to use,” said Chad Johnfroe, director of information systems, Stanton Carpet.

With the development of this site the company has created what Jonathan Cohen, president and CEO of Stanton Carpet, calls “the Amazon of B2B. This is another way we can provide retailers with really great service aside from our other areas of service in the organization. While they are not required to do business with us online, there are so many more things available on the site. It’s better, faster, easier. We feel like we have the best of both with this new B2B system.”

On the company’s previous site, which Stanton refers to as its customer service interface, retailers could place orders. However, it was static and more of a utilitarian site. Retailers who were using the old system are now automatically enrolled in the new site.

With the B2B site, retailers can seamlessly navigate through different menus to view multiple accounts, custom rug jobs, reservations, helpful links regarding topics such as display and installation guides, promotional items, dropped products, new product introductions and more. Dealers can also create a rug as well as order swatches and stock. The create-a-rug feature was developed to help retailers save time when placing a custom rug order. The new site provides brief explanations for finish options, attached backing/padding as well as quarter-turn options. The create-a-rug section also includes a visualizer box that allows the user to zoom in on the product.

Other enhancements include greater access to customer service reps. Through the new site the customer service support desk is now available 24 hours a day and seven days a week. This is a dramatic change from its previous hours of operations which ended at 6 p.m. EST. The site also contains quick links for dealers with autofill, a mark-up tool and the option to view retailer vs. consumer pricing.

A key element to the creation of the new B2B site is it reinforces Stanton Carpet’s commitment to sell only to the flooring retailer. While certain features, such as the create-a-rug option, will soon be available on an updated consumer website, customers will not be able to purchase products directly from Stanton. If a consumer chooses to create a rug, they will only be able to submit a rug design, which then goes to the nearest retailer who can follow up about the desired product.

Stanton has scheduled a few webinars to help walk retailers through the new site. The company has also alerted dealers of the updated site through email and a “Top Five Reasons Why” campaign. The company also plans on showcasing the website at Surfaces 2018.

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EarthWerks unveils new products, technologies at distribution meeting

2017 EarthWerks Distributor Meeting Group PictureHouston—EarthWerks revealed its latest flooring innovations during its distribution meeting in Houston. Among these innovations is a rigid core flooring to be introduced in the coming months.

“We have long been known for our research into the production of these amazingly realistic flooring products and continue to push for advanced designs and manufacturing techniques,” said Jonathan Train, president and CEO. “Getting it right matters, and we believe we have achieved that.”

Distributors were also introduced to sales opportunities for 2018 as well as the company’s new advances in WPC and HDC flooring technologies. In addition, they learned about various marketing advances including EarthWerks’ newly launched website with user-friendly innovations.

“2018 will be a very exciting and successful year with the launch of our premium high-density clic program, Noble Classic Plus, coming this fall,” said Lindsey Nisbet, head of marketing and product development, EarthWerks. “We have also just released a completely new CEU program, available now through local A&D representatives.”

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Eagle Bay launches website

EagleBay_Website_SS 1Boonville, New York—Eagle Bay Hardwood Flooring, a new brand exclusively produced by Delta Hardwood Flooring in upstate New York, has launched its website. The site marks the company’s new beginning, according to Randy Bowers, owner.

“Our family-owned business has been producing private label/OEM hardwood flooring for over a decade, supplying major customers throughout America,” Bowers said. “Opportunity knocked, and the time was right for us to start producing new materials as Eagle Bay. We’ve had some great success with our new lines already and look forward to a very bright future supplying American-made hardwood flooring made with timber harvested in North America, as well.”

In 2016 the company became a hardwood flooring licensee for the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, producing a high-end line of North American species under the FLW brand. In 2017 Eagle Bay was selected to partner with Bostik, MGM Resorts International and NWFA in the Bostik’s Signature Spaces design competition.

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Creating Your Space joins with Google, Wordstream

cyslogoSan Rafael, Calif.—Creating Your Space (CYS), a Google Partner, is participating in a conference hosted by Google and Wordstream live from New York. Layla Altman, search engine marketing director at Creating Your Space, was invited to attend this conference along with other paid search experts and strategists from Google and Wordstream. CYS has since developed and presented educational webinars based on the key takeaways resulting from this conference.

“Our invitation to participate in this event was prompted by our status as a Google Partner,” said Jay Flynn, vice president, CYS. “We are proud to have had this opportunity and look forward to continually provide the most relevant education, best service and value to our clients.”

CYS is the flooring industry leader in the development of custom websites, SEO, pay per click and social media services for over 400 flooring stores, including a third of the country’s top 50 flooring retailers.

For more information visit the Creating Your Space website.

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Belknap White Group unveils interactive website

BWG_WEBSITE_SCREENSHOTMansfield, Mass.—The Belknap White Group (BWG) has launched a revamped website, designed to serve as a comprehensive and valuable resource for floor covering industry professionals.

“Our new user-friendly site has been crafted to be mobile-friendly,” said Derek Morrocco, BWG digital strategist. “It is just as easily accessed, just as simple to use, by those on the go as it is when used by someone sitting in front of a computer. One upgrade feature to note is our ‘Resources’ page, which provides an overview of everything BWG. From new products to local training events, industry news to manufacturer installation videos, browsers can now find anything they need all in one spot.”

Another key feature of the site includes access to BWG’s extensive portfolio of best-in-class surfacing materials and preparation products. Customers are invited to join BWG’s Décor24 Program to search inventory and easily place orders 24/7 through the site. Price lists, invoice access, delivery status and special promotions are just some of the added-value items the new BWG site offers.

The new website, which is in sync with the group’s ongoing commitment to help customers succeed, also offers the opportunity for clients to sign up for BWG’s Flooring Plus Program as well as a plethora of information on merchandising, marketing, technology, education and business resources.

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Metroflor launches floor visualizer on website

FlorVisualizer - Floor selectionNorwalk, Conn.—Metroflor Corp. has enhanced its website to include a new interactive feature that enables consumers to gain a realistic view of how Metroflor products will look in room settings. The FlorVisualizer showcases the portfolio of Metroflor brands—Engage Genesis, Engage, Konecto, Metroflor LVT and Artistek LVT—with the option of exploring them in myriad ways online.

The journey begins by choosing a room scene from the photo library, which features everything from bathrooms, bedrooms and dining rooms to laundry rooms. To “paint the walls,” viewers can choose from 35 on-trend paint colors. To help with the flooring decision, consumers can search swatches of all the plank and tile offerings by brand or collection. The FlorVisualizer zoom function provides a closer perspective to the floor, so plank and tile distinctions and embossings are clearly evident. Saving the room scenes by project name allows for future reference, and they can be shared via social media or email.

“FlorVisualizer provides consumers with the ability to view all of our LVT products in a realistic room setting,” said Gary Keeble, director of marketing, Metroflor. “Then they can save photos onto a project list and share with friends and family, or print out and take into the store when they are ready to buy. It’s a powerful tool for selling Metroflor’s diverse array of LVT options for every area of the home.”