The members of the National Floorcovering Alliance shared optimism for business in 2021 at their spring conference, which is being held at the Barnsley Resort in Adairsville, Georgia.
“We’ve had a lot members who are surprised at how far ahead they are compared to what they planned,” said Jason McSwain, president of McSwain Carpet & Floors and president of the NFA. “In a lot of cases those are over 20, 25%.”
“Business is really, really strong in the Midwest, as far as our Des Moines, Kansas City and Omaha locations,” said David Chambers, director of flooring, Nebraska Furniture Mart. “It’s even stronger in our Texas location just because of some recent weather that has happened down there.”
“We’re on track for one of our best years ever, and last year was our best that we ever experienced,” said Deb DeGraaf, president, DeGraaf Interiors, Hudsonville, Michigan. “I'm encouraged—there are so many people wanting to improve their homes. Part of it is we were stuck inside in Michigan for 10 weeks. People are reassessing their homes and they're continuing to do that on into 2021.”
Eric Mondragon, hard surface buyer, RC Willey Home Furnishings, Salt Lake City, Utah, said the company has increased sales 27% in the first quarter. One change it's made over the past year is its approach to advertising. “We’re moving away from drawing in large crowds like we used to, making it safe for them to come in and give them options to shop online or make an appointment before the store opens.”
Mondragon said he's seeing a shift in the products consumers are requesting. "Of course, the waterproof floors, the SPCs continue to grow, but because of the price increases due to tariffs and freight customers are looking at laminate again."
Supply chain issues are continuing into second quarter.
“We as a company firmly believe that the retailer with inventory wins today,” Chambers said. “We have a very good inventory position, and we’ve built up inventory in some key areas.”