Carpet One Summer Meeting:
Broad smiles and big plans
"We need to own floor covering in the minds of consumers," said Carpet One president Evan Hackel, while addressing more than 500 members assembled in Toronto for the company's Summer convention. "Right now no one owns floor covering. When someone thinks of athletic shoes they think of Nike, when they think of coffee they think of Starbucks, but when they think of floor covering they draw a blank."
"The name `Carpet One' will dominate the world of floor covering retailing,'' he said to enthusiastic applause.
Hackel and other members of Carpet One's management used the three-day convention to unveil a five-year plan aimed at elevating the retailer's profile to the point where it will becomes synonymous with floor covering. The plan includes tweaking a number of established elements while adding initiatives aimed at building a competitive edge.
The meeting, which was the first-ever held outside the U.S. in the company's 20-year history, was used to announce a new line of stain resistant carpet that will soon join Carpet One's exclusive Good Housekeeping collection. The Resista line is described as offering advanced stain and fade resistance. To help sell it in their stores, members are being provided a demo kit that includes a small rubber duck and cherry Kool-Aid, that when mixed, can be used to saturate a small piece of carpet. The idea is to show consumers that the red liquid will roll off the Resista carpet "like water from a duck's back," according to Carpet One.
There are also plans to make upgrades in the Liz Claiborne collection. It addition to making a "stronger value statement" with the brand, there are plans for a new display. They are also plans to revamp the company's Selectafloor display system with a "major re-engineering."
Other plans aimed at building incremental business include a marketing outreach effort to Hispanic consumers and a B2B initiative aimed gaining more business from builders. Carpet One also said they would aggressively use the Internet to woo consumers to its member's locations.