The 43 members of the National Floorcovering Alliance (NFA), an elite group of flooring retailers with individual annual sales of more than $10 million each, met for their fall conference last month to strategize growth in today’s new norm of political pressures, strains on pricing and recruitment challenges.
Many members reported that retail is flat or up slightly, while some members said they are gaining traction in their commercial and builder businesses. A lack of millennial buyers is affecting sales, and a deficiency of qualified installers making it tough for many to complete contracts. Price increases due to tariffs on flooring products imported from China have been another drain on business efficiencies and margins. It’s a lot for any retailer to manage, but the benefit of this group is that all the members are there to learn from one another and reveal best practices.