What do we have to look forward to in 2021? Flooring leaders share insight into what they are gearing up for next year.
Vice President Marketing
We are very excited about 2021. Engineered Floors is the fastest growing flooring manufacturer in the world and we look to continue to build on the success that we have seen since our founding in 2009. Our ever increasing presence in the digital arena will continue to build the Engineered Floors brand, creating a household name where when you think flooring, you think Engineered Floors.
President & CEO
We are hopeful that 2021 will eventually bestow some sort of “normalcy” not just to our industry, but the world. With the events which have transpired over the past year, we are going to maintain our focus on digital advertising and continue to expand in this direction. We plan on using digital ads to advance customer interest on our products and drive traffic to our website and social media platforms.
We are extremely positive. We have a lot of new stuff going on. We have also used this time to really accelerate potential new technologies. We had so many brainstorm sessions and testing. Interesting new technologies taking every kind of our scope a little bit broader than what it was and also going a little bit more in the chemistry. We have been working hard to expand the team. We have hired a new technical director in Belgium, we have appointed people in Shanghai, in Vietnam, and we are announcing a new chief IP officer in Europe who is extremely high level in IP litigation in Europe, to help us also navigate through all those technologies we have today. We have been enthusiastically growing new technologies or obtaining new technologies for ourselves, and it remains a big job to map them over our clusters to make sure all those claims are complimentary.
McSwain Carpets & Floors and National Flooring Alliance
We are finding good ways to still be very cautious but conduct business. The bright spot has been listening to the number of members who have adapted and have either been even or come out ahead, even with losing a month or two in the first quarter. No real business plan has year like this to help guide you through it, so we all muddied our way, and the bright spot will be turning the page to 2021. We are all a little more seasoned with what we’ve learned this year.
The tariff impact on our business has been pretty impactful. One of the things that we’ve been doing over the past 90 days, and it’s going to continue, but we’re managing a pretty significant shift of production from our primary factories in China, to new alliances in South Korea, Cambodia, and Vietnam, to provide our distributor partners with products that can be sourced and procured without the impact of the tariffs. That is something that is very bright on the horizon and will continue to have a positive influence on our business going forward.
The Zoom call improves communication, but it makes you long for person-to-person communication. We miss that gathering of people, like places like Surfaces. We are going to get back to that in 2021. I think having the vaccine, having enough that have been vaccinated—you will see the lingering effects of masks and PPE, but the desire to get back to normal is overwhelming.
Vice President of Franchise Development
We are positive with the growth of our new showroom openings—we continue to have lots of interest in opening new showrooms, and we have a pipeline of showrooms already under construction into 2021. We’re fortunate on that side. Home remodeling activity is strong and our showrooms are responding to that. We are looking forward to 2021.
Carrie Edwards Isaac
Vice President of Marketing and Brand Strategy, Residential Division
Just as the pandemic and business operations are ever-shifting, so are Shaw’s efforts to be a total solutions provider to our customers. Not only will we continue to update the Retailer Playbook, but we’re looking ahead to long-term opportunities for differentiation, such as more influencer partnerships and other creative ways to help our retail partners engage with their customers in the digital space.
This year has been a watershed moment for the design community. With the onset of the pandemic, designers and facility managers have had to quickly shift their focus to public health concerns around social distancing, safety, cleanliness, and creating wellness-focused commercial environments.
At Zeftron, we’re proud to have pivoted our marketing approach this year to best meet this new challenge. This spring, we began developing educational content around the health and safety benefits of carpet, including how it can improve indoor air quality and how carpet wayfinding techniques are being used in commercial spaces amidst COVID-19. In fact, we are publishing an e-book that contains several of the research-focused articles we’ve written about the health and safety benefits carpet brings to commercial spaces and the occupants of those spaces.
With these efforts, we hope to illuminate the safety and wellness benefits of specifying carpet with a premium nylon like Zeftron. We also hope to demonstrate the creative opportunities carpet offers designers to help them envision inspiring commercial environments in this new decade of evolving.