Lititz Flooring Company, a distributor based in Lititz, Pennsylvania, recently celebrated 15 years in business. The company, which began as Capri in November 2006 with a selection of cork, rubber cork and rubber products, evolved into Lititz Flooring Company in 2018. Under the leadership of co-founders Dave Cipalla, president, and Margaret Buchholz, marketing director, the company grew into a national distributor for AVA by Novalis, Capri Collections and LSI Floors.
FT: Are there some lessons learned by Lititz Flooring over the last 15 years that help guide you today?
Cipalla: What has guided Lititz Flooring over the last 15 years is to stay focused and disciplined on who we are and what we do well. While we continuously look at new ideas and opportunities, they must fit our business model.
FT: How has the pandemic shifted how you and your team do business?
Cipalla: Like many other companies, the communication with our sales network changed during shutdown to include more video conferencing and creating more detailed marketing materials. All sectors of our team were incorporated into the increased communication effort with our reps. Our technical group took a forward-thinking approach and initiated additional product testing related to maintenance/disinfecting due to the increase in disinfectants used in all commercial environments. We made the corporate decision that we would continue to build our inventories and create new products throughout the pandemic. Even with the increased video communications with our reps, we knew we needed to show them new products every few months. Our strong inventory levels served us well during shutdown, and our commitment to these inventory levels will continue. The pandemic has shown us that we need to make sure we offer innovative ways to show product even when we cannot see our clients face to face.
FT: Where do you see flooring distribution in the next 10 years?
Cipalla: Distribution will continue to be important and will evolve just like flooring materials. Changes in face-to-face meetings that started with the pandemic have created the need for stronger digital marketing materials and presentations. As communication technology advances, so will the ways of disseminating information. Success at the distributor level will continue to include offering good products, having knowledgeable local sales reps and providing customer service excellence.
FT: Do you see any gamechangers for flooring products on the horizon?
Cipalla: Rigid core products continue to change at an extremely fast pace. Driven by technology and performance, we will continue to offer more unique visuals and provide customers more options than they may find from competitors. Lititz Flooring leadership has been involved in the world of cork since the start of the company and before. While we are not calling cork a game changer, we do see more opportunities for cork in a variety of commercial applications since cork has some incredible natural attributes. It is for this reason that we recently launched Mediterra 2.0.
Our continued focus on sustainability is a top priority across all our product lines.