Abbey's new road: Stepped up ad effort, more private label
A stronger presence on the Web, a stepped up private label program and a new ad campaign tied to style and fashion are among the tools Abbey Carpet Co. says it will use to heighten its visibility in the coming months. The more than 850 independent retailers that operate under the retail co-op group's banner gathered in Grapevine, Texas earlier this year to preview a slew of new marketing and merchandising initiatives.
Included will be the interactive website feature, "Abbey Decorator," which will enable consumers to build virtual rooms using products available from the retailer. The new feature is slated for operation by the fall of this year and is designed to build on the abbeycarpet.com site introduced last year. The company says the website has generated nearly 2 million page views since its debut.
"There are really teaching us to approach all areas of the business in a highly professional way," said Cliff McCurley, who has operated an Abbey Store in Senora, Calif. since 1992. "There is so much opportunity in the market right now. You have home improvement projects and people buying second homes."
Suppliers on hand noted that Abbey may have deep roots in the business but is also showing a willingness to move forward. "We come here to show we are serious about supporting buying groups," commented Len Andolino, national sales manager for Couristan while staffing his company's exhibit. "They understand the importance of product that is fashion-oriented and value-driven. What you can really see at this show is that they have really stepped up."