The World Floor Covering Association (WFCA) has entered into an exclusive partnership with National Floor Trends Magazine (NFT) and the BNP Media Market Research Division to collect and disseminate information that will help floor covering retailers develop and apply best practices to enhance customer satisfaction with the shopping experience.
D. Christopher Davis, CEO of the WFCA, said the alliance stands to benefit the industry. "Staying competitive in today's floor covering industry not only demands you remain up to speed with the latest news, trends and industry insights, but that you participate in helping to shape the business's future through the application of best practices," said Davis. "The WFCA wants to be the source of credible information retailers go to and we want to give all retailers a voice that will be heard. Our partnership with BNP Media Market Research will enable us to do that."
"For over 15 years, BNP Media Market Research and NFT has studied and reported on all aspects of the floor covering business uncovering emerging trends and providing retailers information that will make them more effective in the marketplace," said Jeff Golden, publisher and editorial director of NFT. "Joining forces with the organization that built Surfaces into the premier industry tradeshow was perfect for us because we too want to give floor covering retailers `news they can use' in the form of tools and resources they need to be competitive."
Working together, the WFCA and BNP Media Market Research will begin the process of exploring, identifying and making available industry best practices. This will be accomplished through both quantitative and qualitative research that captures, interprets and analyzes information from all segments of the industry including manufacturers, distributors and retailers. Results from this research partnership will appear quarterly in NFT in a new section titled FC Best Practices. Starting with the February issue, readers will begin to track the latest developments in industry best practices by reading FC Best Practices in NFT. FC Best Practices will also be available on the NFT website at www.ntlfloortrends.com and the WFCA website at www.wfca.org.
"To kick off our effort, we identified four issues most on the minds of our members and independent retailers," said Davis. "Over the course of the next year, we will be exploring the industry's acceptance of the B2B flooring initiative; ways to improve manufacturer quality; the need for standardized claims resolution; and how to enhance customer satisfaction."
"To insure we develop the most comprehensive database of information, we are employing a multi-phased approach which will combine both quantitative and qualitative research. Phase One of the program has already been completed. Top-line results will be released in the February issue of NFT and on the websites of NFT and the WFCA," said Golden.
This first phase consisted of focus groups held in Irvine, Ca; Baltimore, MD; and Chicago, IL in December 2004. A series of two two-hour discussions were conducted in each city. Each session included an average of eight retailers whose annual sales ranged from $500,000 to $20 million.
Phase Two will begin in early 2005. Sample groups that include WFCA members, NFT subscribers and independent retailers will be asked to complete questionnaires (distributed through the mail and over the internet) to further investigate this round of industry issues. Readers of NFT will be able track the results throughout the year in the magazine and on the websites of NFT and the WFCA.