Retailers at the “The ABC’s of a Flooring P&L” workshop at the Mohawk Floorscapes convention held last month.

Mohawk’s recent Floorscapes convention carried the theme “72 Hours of Innovation.” That no-nonsense title was in keeping with the meeting itself. Rather than focusing on new products and displays, the event held last month in Dallas was focused on one key issue: training. Mohawk required retailers to participate in four intensive classes aimed at helping them optimize – and streamline - their businesses.

At the meeting, CEO Jeff Lorberbaum acknowledged that times have been rough for retailers, noting that the Floorscapes convention was designed in part to help dealers find their footing during a time of economic uncertainty.

“When business is good we have a false sense of security. When times are bad we start panicking,” he told the gathering of several hundred retailers. “We start entering price wars, and we stop advertising. But what we need to do is find new ideas. We need to innovate,”

“Build the dynasty of your business so you can last forever,” he added.

Retailers seemed to agree with that sentiment. John Plesea, general manager of Remnant Room Inc. of Youngstown, Ohio, said that the workshops were helping him see his business with new eyes. “There are some things we should maybe try differently,” he said. “We’ve been in business for 40 years, and we’ve had to adapt.”

Marlo Kush, owner of Moore Flooring in Oviedo, Fla., noted that the mandatory training sessions were welcomed. “I come here for information and knowledge,” she said. “I can learn about products and services on the Internet. So I am happy that this year Mohawk is focusing on education and training.”

Also at the convention, Mohawk unveiled several new products. Among the key launches, Mohawk rolled out a Ceramic Showcase display with a tilted viewing area, and brought together several of its carpet lines as the Family Living collection. Additionally, the flooring maker presented a new radiant heat system, called Living Heat from Mohawk.