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Mullican Flooring appoints new West Coast regional sales manager

Kyle Sherman Head ShotJohnson City, Tenn.—Mullican Flooring has named Kyle Sherman West Coast regional sales manager. In this new position, Sherman will help oversee the promotion of Mullican Flooring’s products on the West Coast, and serve as a liaison to regional distribution partners who sell products to hundreds of retail stores across the Western United States.

“We are excited to have Kyle join our national sales team,” said Neil Poland, president, Mullican Flooring. “His successful record of driving sales, experience in tailoring business plans for distributors and ability to mentor peers in the hardwood flooring industry makes Kyle ideally suited to capitalize on opportunities in Mullican’s West Coast market.”

Sherman has more than a decade of sales experience in the flooring industry. He most recently worked as director of residential builder sales with B.R. Funsten & Company, which he joined in 2006. Sherman holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration, with a marketing concentration from the Fermanian School of Business at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, Calif.

“It is an honor to be selected for this position with Mullican Flooring,” Sherman said. “Over the past 12 years, I have worked to develop skill sets in both the manufacturing and distribution divisions of the floor covering industry. I look forward to developing new relationships, increasing business opportunities with existing partners, and creating customer-focused programs to optimize results and maximize customer satisfaction on the West Coast.”

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Tuftex dealers thrive on West Coast styling, sales support

July 3/10: Volume 32, Issue 2

By K.J. Quinn

 

Screen Shot 2017-07-10 at 3.34.36 PMThe West Coast has earned a reputation over the years for being at the forefront of carpet styling. Tuftex, Shaw Floors’ premier residential brand, is among the California mills taking the lead creating fashionable designs based on regional preferences and trends.

“Being on the West Coast gives them an edge for us, not only because they are local but also because they are constantly getting feedback from local designers and retailers on trends, colors, etc.,” said Dan Mandel, co-owner, Sterling Carpet and Flooring, Anaheim, Calif. “They are our biggest cut order mill by far.”

A key distinction is the Los Angeles-based mill’s innovative carpet styles, retailers say. “Tuftex offers a great color selection with a high emphasis on trending style and design,” said Deb DeGraaf, owner, DeGraaf Interiors, Grand Rapids, Mich. “Their location on the West Coast keeps them on the edge of style.” Earlier this year, Tuftex launched 13 eye-catching introductions to its Signature collection—from high-end textures and elegant patterns to exotic cables and shags—drawn on West Coast inspiration.

The mill’s unique brand personality stands out from other carpet collections based on its West Coast influence. For instance, part of the color schemes and designs are influenced by the surrounding environment where Tuftex is located, an area featuring great weather, plus desert, ocean, mountains and an outdoor lifestyle. “Tuftex is always on the cutting edge of fashion and design,” Mandel said. “They are not just a mill to me; they’re an innovator.”

Indeed, Tuftex has created its own segment in the marketplace, offering designs that bring color, warmth and fashion to the home. “I have had the pleasure of spending time at the mill on three different occasions,” noted Steve Weisberg, president, Crest Flooring, Allentown, Pa. “And each time I came away with the feeling these people truly care about what they’re doing and how they go about creating art for the floor.”

Tuftex retailers also like the fact the manufacturer provides a wide array of trendy patterns and colors for consumers shopping for something different. “We are from Michigan and sometimes the trends take a bit longer to grab hold,” DeGraaf pointed out. “But Tuftex makes sure we have great options for our clients who want to get a jump on things.”

Tuftex continues to make investments to help retail customers grow their carpet business. “They help make us money by consistently helping us drive business day in, day out,” Mandel said. “Not only do they come up with proven plans to steer consumers to their product, but they are in front of our RSAs all the time showing the features and benefits of why their product stands out above the rest.”

DeGraaf agreed, adding, “The extensive number of patterns at various price points allows us to choose stock rolls for every budget, giving the customer a great value while also enabling us to make a healthy margin.”

Indeed, Tuftex is committed to providing excellence in quality, design, service and value. “As part of Shaw Industries, Tuftex provides quality carpet and outstanding service,” said Sam Levine, CEO, G. Fried Carpet, Paramus, N.J. “And because of the integrity of the company, our customers get a quality product.”

Dealers also report Tuftex backs its products with an array of support and point-of-sale services. “Buying stock of their products gives us leverage over cut orders,” noted Todd Wheeler, owner, Wheeler’s Flooring, Salinas, Calif. “Also, their semi-annual promotions and the fact they produce quality products at a fair and competitive price.”

These and other services are designed to help dealers maintain a competitive edge. “Many of their products are unique and, therefore, allow for more margin,” Crest Flooring’s Weisberg said. “Their newer displays really generate interest in the product and create the boutique feel that I believe people are drawn to in the showroom.”

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Raskin Industries expands via To Market acquisition

Objective is to bring proprietary products to array of channels

July 3/10: Volume 32, Issue 2

By Steven Feldman

 

Screen Shot 2017-07-10 at 2.51.08 PMNew York—Raskin Industries earlier this year acquired the assets of To Market, a direct-to-design chain supplier, and will work in concert with company founder and industry icon Phil Wexler to continue developing unique, proprietary products that offer more profitability.

The acquisition of To Market, which specializes in LVT but also sells recycled rubber and cork, opens up a new channel for Raskin. “I’m all about design, color and innovative products,” said Michael Raskin, president. “That is also the hallmark of To Market. So the acquisition is synergistic in that it affords me the ability to build the Raskin brand as a leader in color and design through multiple markets and channels. This gives me another outlet for my creativity.”

Raskin will design products exclusively for To Market with Wexler, who in 1979 founded Bentley Mills, quickly becoming a style leader on the West Coast.

Raskin felt he needed to have a stronger presence in the A&D community. “I saw where the market was going; it was going to become much more competitive. The majors would only continue to get better at it because they have the resources to put more feet on the street. I felt I needed to have a hands-on approach to have the ability to compete.”

Raskin Industries already sells product into the commercial market through its distribution network, but he plans on differentiating To Market through branding. “Raskin is more like the hip brand you would see in Brooklyn, and To Market is the refined brand you might see on Madison Avenue.”

To Market will likely evolve into Raskin’s premium brand with higher price points. But make no mistake: Unique design will be at the cornerstone of both brands. “I want to bring excitement to this industry,” Raskin explained. “Think John Varvatos. I want to bring that to the flooring industry.”

Despite the two brands, Raskin sees minimal overlap in product, and only in areas where there is no distribution for the Raskin brand. “My job is to provide the ammunition and profitability—the proper marketing tools and designs—to my customers, whether they are distributors, distributor reps, commercial sales force or our exclusive sales agents on the To Market side to be successful.”

To Market will now be based at Raskin’s Deerfield Beach, Fla., headquarters but its Oklahoma City warehouse and offices will remain open. In addition, key personnel— including Wexler, who remains president, and Alex Lapree, vice president of sales—is staying on.

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Daltile, Mohawk Group unveil first West Coast design studio

Screen Shot 2014-06-24 at 11.36.36 AMSan Francisco – Daltile and Mohawk Group announced the opening of its first West Coast design studio in San Francisco. This studio, though unique in its collaboration between sister brands Daltile and Mohawk Group, is the third to open in the U.S., following a Daltile studio opening in Philadelphia in May 2014, and Dallas in September 2012.

“It is important for us to meet the growing needs of designers and architects in key markets across the country,” said Lori Kirk-Rolley, vice president of brand marketing at Dal-Tile. “Our hope is to further stimulate the growing design community in San Francisco and along the West Coast with this new space.”

The almost 10,000-square-foot studio space, located in the San Francisco Design District at 212 Utah St., occupies the historic C. Austin Gomez Building, built in 1916.

Digital tools in the studio allow customers to bring their design ideas to life. Two LCD touch screens let customers virtually flip through the digital catalog, view inspiration gallery images and build out designs with a tile and stone visualizer tool. Light panels show how tile will look in different settings in the home, an important factor in choosing the correct tile for a customer’s space.

Mohawk Group is also represented in the space, featuring a full spectrum of carpet and hard surface products representing the Karastan, Lees, Bigelow and Durkan brands.

“Mohawk Group is dedicated to providing innovative solutions to our customer base,” said Michel Vermette, senior vice president of Mohawk Group. “We are excited to share this space with our sister brand, Daltile, who has already seen success with studios like this in other markets.”