Our 2004 Vinyl Flooring Market Study was based upon responses from a representative cross-section of flooring retailers and contractors culled from the ranks of NFT subscribers. The study was conducted by the market research department of BNP Media, in conjunction with the NFT editorial staff. It received a 22 percent response rate.
Mannington was rated the top-selling vinyl floor manufacturer with a 39 percent share (a gain of 8 percent over the company's 2003 rank). In second place was Congoleum with a 25 percent share (up 2 percent from last year). Armstrong placed third with 21 percent, a drop of 6 percent from last year's study (chart 2). In voting Mannington No. 1, our respondents cited the company's great style/patterns as the reason for their preference.
Likewise, when customers visit a store with a specific vinyl floor covering product in mind, on average 43 percent end up purchasing a different floor covering product based upon the retailer's recommendation.
Fifty-five percent of our survey panelists expect 2004 vinyl floor covering sales to stay the same, while 25 percent expect an increase in segment business. Another 20 percent expect a decrease in vinyl floor business. The reason for an increase in vinyl business, according to the survey panelists, is increased construction and the economy. Decreases in the segment sales are being fueled by increased sales in the alternative floor covering product segments of ceramic, laminate and wood.
And, our panel felt that over the next two years, the biggest challenges for vinyl flooring manufacturers (multiple responses allowed) will be alternative hard-surface flooring, 77 percent; followed by product innovation, 48 percent; installation services, 36 percent; and ability to meet consumer demand, 15 percent.
Following are some other study findings: The vinyl segment continues to maintain its position in the floor covering product mix. Vinyl floor covering products are now being sold in 75 percent of responding retailer/contractor companies, a 3 percent drop from the 2003 study.
Vinyl Sales Generated Per Month. Dealers report a median of 10 vinyl floor covering sales per month, a figure identical to our 2003 and 2001 results. Annual Sales of Vinyl Flooring Per Retailer: $185,064 (mean) with an average ticket amount of $952 (mean). Floor Space Devoted to Vinyl: our panel is now dedicating 18 percent (mean) of their total floor space to vinyl floor covering products. This represents a 2 percent increase over 2003.
Consumer complaints are dropping for vinyl flooring products compared to other flooring types (chart 4). Care, cleaning and maintenance is the leading customer complaint followed by discoloration/yellowing, and cutting, denting and tearing. Customers' perceptions of vinyl flooring increased in durability and quality compared to the 2003 study results, while selection/styling, price, and maintenance were similar to the 2003 results.
A copy of the complete 2004 Vinyl Flooring Market Study is available for $225 each or $195 for multiple copies.