Independent flooring retailers have an innovative new strategy to help them sell more flooring. The Dixie Group has unveiled the Premier Flooring Center—a selling system that replaces the Stainmaster brand and helps retailers market carpet and area rugs from any manufacturer. After Invista announced the sale of Stainmaster to Lowe’s, hundreds of independent flooring retailers who sold product through the Stainmaster Flooring Center program were left without a solution after the August 31 deadline.
The Dixie Group stepped in to help with the transition. In March, Pami Bhullar, vice president of business development, Dixie, had joined the company from Invista. Bhullar has decades of experience in the industry and helped develop the Stainmaster Flooring Centers.
“We had a lot of ideas to make improve it and make it better but we weren’t able to do that with Invista,” said T.M. Nuckols, executive vice president, Dixie Residential. “We had the opportunity to create something similar but more relevant for today’s environment. We had a significant investment in the Stainmaster Flooring Center accounts because we had invested so heavily in Stainmaster over the years, so it made sense to be more aggressive than the other manufacturers to provide a solution.”
Over the last couple of years, The Dixie Group had begun developing alternative fiber offerings in order to diversify sources of raw materials and help prepare for the eventuality that Stainmaster brand would no longer be available to independent retail. The company had also introduced Envision66 products as a new brand to the industry.
“We quickly developed a multifaceted strategy to help our specialty retail customers transition their showrooms from the Stainmaster brand to our EnVision66 and EnVisionSD Pet Solutions brands,” said Dan Frierson, chairman and chief executive officer. “A key component of this effort was the development of the Premier Flooring Center (PFC). The PFC was developed as a non-disruptive, turnkey solution for existing Stainmaster Flooring Center retailers. The PFC offers a retail friendly selling system for upselling to better goods and focuses on the benefits of nylon 6,6. It also provides new signage, labels, and in store merchandising materials to create a fresh new look and feel in these showrooms.”
Instead of a Dixie-branded program, the company rolled out the signage so that it could incorporate product from any flooring manufacturer. By August 31, The Dixie Group coordinated over 200 former SFC stores to convert to The Premier Flooring Center. “Rising tides lift all boats,” Bhullar said. “This was a big, tall order, but there was a basic sincerity that to take all the Stainmaster flooring center retailers out of the pain that was caused by the exit of the brand...We’re obsessed with making our customers successful. If you make others successful, you will be successful.”
The Premier Flooring Center selling system helps retail sales associates walk consumers through a three-step process: select the fiber choice to match their lifestyle, select the look that best reflects their taste (texture, loop or pattern), and start the project by selecting the cushion and scheduling an in-home measure.
"It is a complete selling system from the time somebody walks through the door and the sales professional says, hello,” Bhullar said. There's a big sign that says you're at the right place: The Premier Flooring Center. Your happiness is guaranteed. I mean, who doesn't want to be happy? Those are the basic emotional markers because 75% of selling is about emotions and feelings.”
There’s so much pressure on salespeople, and Bhullar said the selling system aims to give RSAs success in two to three minutes.
“The system does the heavy lifting first—it empowers the customer and makes the selling simple, easy and fun,” he added.
Whether the RSA is a seasoned professional or a new person just entering the market, the system sets them up for success. “Once you have a system, it’s always repeatable.”
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