Small businesses are a key driver of the U.S. economy and provide a wealth of opportunities for the specialty flooring retailer who has an educated sales staff and a range of products that can handle a variety of projects. We recently connected with Chris Post, director of sales operations for Mohawk and Aladdin Commercial, to learn more about the company’s outlook for the Main Street business.

FT: What is your outlook for the Main Street business in 2018?

Post: We feel very optimistic for 2018 and will continue to see growth in this segment. In particular, we expect to see growth in the healthcare and education segments along with tenant improvement due to the recent growth we have seen in the economy.

FT: What programs does Mohawk Group have in place to help flooring retailers grow that avenue of business?

Post: Mohawk has a specific brand that we channel this business thru, it's branded Aladdin Commercial. There are many ways to help our retailers: displays, architect folders, digital brochures, sell sheets and coordinated materials across different product types, the list goes on.

The most important way to engage and assist them to grow this segment is to ask questions. Your local Aladdin Commercial territory manager is a great resource, so don't hesitate to reach out and let them know what you are working on. We also offer training and support thru our regional commercial business development managers. This group solely focuses on this segment of our business, and they do a great job of driving growth for us. Dealers really appreciate having a local expert they can reach out to when necessary.

FT: What are a few of the key product and design trends are you seeing for this market?

Post: We will continue to see growth in carpet tile and resilient products like sheet and plank products. There is a lot of innovation driving change as to why someone would want to select those products for their work space. Innovations like SolidTech offer a solid, rigid core plank that offer performance enhancements ideal for commercial applications that outperform competitive WPC [wood plastic composite] products.

Regarding design visuals of natural elements and colorations have also made their way into the Main Street market, just as they have in the home, corporate, education and healthcare segments. Another popular visual is distressed concrete, made to mimic industrial concrete floors. Dealers have found that it is less expensive to install luxury vinyl tile (LVT) than it is to prep and finish an existing older concrete floor. Not to mention, there is less maintenance with the enhanced wear layers we use on our LVT, and it's easier to source labor to install LVT. This is ideal for leased commercial buildings.