Shaw, Columbia, Congoleum bow out of Surfaces 2004 to focus on regional events

Shaw Industries, Columbia Flooring and Congoleum Corp. have separately announced that they will not participate in the upcoming Surfaces 2004 Floor covering exposition in Las Vegas.

Randy Merritt, Shaw’s executive vice president of sales and marketing, noted that the large crowds at Surfaces were attractive, but the difficulty in providing enough personal service to individual customers has been a concern. Merritt says Shaw plans to conduct more regional events in 2004.

“As grand an event as Surfaces is, it is extremely difficult from a logistical standpoint to bring all of our field people to the event,” Merritt says. “On the other hand, not only are we able to give customers individual attention with a regional event, but it helps our sales and management teams to allocate time and resources more efficiently.”

On a similar note, Columbia held regional meetings with distributors and retailers during the fall of last year and felt the localized approach worked well for introducing new products and customer programs. These smaller, more-focused events were well received and contributed to the company’s decision to exit Surfaces, according to Columbia president David Wootton.

“In addition, we are embarking on a program to construct a new design center and training facility at our Danville [Va.] operation,” Wootton said. “Last year we spent a very significant amount of money on our Surfaces program and quite frankly believe we can achieve better results by applying these funds to ensure more quality time with our distributors and retailers.”

These announcements come in the wake of Mohawk’s plans, revealed last month and reported in NFT, that it will expand regional offerings in lieu of attending Surfaces 2004.