Members of the National Floorcovering Alliance (NFA) convened in Truckee, Calif., for their spring conference to share best practices and strategize business development opportunities.

Click here to view photos from the event.

The NFA was created in 1991 by eight of the largest U.S. flooring retailers and membership has grown to 42 members. Fewer than one-tenth of one percent of all flooring dealers meet the criteria required for consideration for membership in the organization.

“These are the best flooring retailers in this country,” said Phil Koufidakis, owner of Phoenix-based Baker Bros. and past president of NFA.

Uncommonly large volume and preeminent industry reputation are among the prerequisites to be considered. Benefits of membership include special pricing from floor covering manufacturers, the sharing of best practices and the opportunities for exclusive products and purchasing opportunities.

“The value is in the buying power,” said Harvey Nusbaum, executive vice president at Bob’s Carpet Mart.

Retailers discussed a variety of pain points and opportunities at the meeting, including the lack of qualified flooring technicians, how to recruit and train retail sales staff, the increasing costs of goods and healthcare, and how to approach product assortments and merchandising to make shopping easier for the consumer.