It was a day of celebration and exploration at the International Surface Event (TISE).
The World Floor Covering Association (WFCA) inducted Jeffrey Lorberbaum, chairman and chief executive officer of Mohawk Industries, to the organization’s Hall of Fame. Lorberbaum became the 47th inductee since the Hall was established in 1992, joining a list of industry pioneers and leaders, including his parents, Shirley and Alan, who founded Aladdin Mills. He was honored during a ceremony the included a performance by singer and songwriter Rachel Platten.
"He is a true visionary who has invigorated product innovation, enhanced customer results, shaped countless leaders and revolutionized the flooring industry," said Scott Humphrey, chief executive officer of the WFCA.
HPS Schönox announced the winners of its 2017 Worst Subfloor Contest, with first place going to installers Jamie Bonazza, Dominic Bonazza and Ben Bethune of Iowa Wall Sawing in Independence, Iowa.
Show-goers also had acres of technology and new products to explore.
Justin Atcheson of e-commerce site Just-In Floors, which sells flooring products to consumers and allows the independent retailer to become the fulfillment center for those purchases, reported that the site went live January 1 with 20 retailers. The company has a goal of engaging 200 retailers by the end of the year.
"We are all optimistic because we know it's where the market is headed," Atcheson said "It plays on all the needed components for the retailer. It gets them into e-commerce, it puts them into the position of going after the millennial buyer, and we are also engaged with unique products, bringing in newer or products that the dealer doesn't necessarily have in their showroom."
Mohawk invited retailers to “Activate the Future” and grow their businesses through new digital marketing and a series of new hard and soft surfaces from all brands, including Mohawk, IVC, QuickStep, Karastan and Daltile.
“Activate the future is all about giving our loyal retailers an edge in their local marketplaces,” said Karen Mendelsohn, senior vice president of marketing for Mohawk.
Anderson Tuftex unveiled its new brand identity and an array of new products aimed at the "passionate pursuer"—a consumer, typically female, in her mid 40s, who has a great sense of style.
"Everything we do is targeted at her, from the website to our social media campaign to how we are going to show up in photography—it’s all going to be with her in mind and, of course, our retailer," said Katie Ford, director of brand strategy.
Dixie Group also unveiled a series of new products under each of its brands, including a new line of wood wall products for Fabrica, a brand that supplies flooring and custom rugs to the high-end residential sector.
See upcoming issues of Floor Trends for more news and new product information from TISE.