You know what I like most about flooring? It is the very definition of grace under pressure. The vast array of products sold by our industry are designed to withstand years of daily pounding, spills, dropped items, extreme temperatures…whatever you got, sooner or later it hits the floor. Also, considering its prominence in any décor, a top quality floor has to do all this and still look good, day-after-day, year-after-year. These are qualities that serve our industry well-especially now. We all know business has been sluggish so maybe now is a good time remember there are a great many things to be thankful for in the flooring industry. So in the spirit of Thanksgiving…
Thanks to everyone who refuses to buckle under the crush of
bad news. Our expert retail columnist Sam Allman has repeatedly used these
pages to remind our readers that now is not the time to sit idle and wait for
things to pick up. Sam evokes soldiers who “harness their discomfort” on a
battlefield and turn it into ingenuity and determination. “They may resent
their plight,” Sam tells us, “but they also embrace it as an opportunity.”
In that vein, thanks to all those retailers who have taken
Sam’s message to heart. Nampa Floors, for example, is a retailer that clearly
gets it. The three-store Idaho chain recently held an “Ugly Kitchen Contest”
that drew more than 300 folks hoping to win a kitchen makeover.?Also, thanks to
Hans and Alicia Stark, at Michigan Tile, who converted unused space in their
showroom to a conference room for community groups. Thanks to the retail groups
that have worked tirelessly to support members through tough times. Abbey
Carpet & Floor, for example, is running a very classy campaign that reminds
consumers that “Every floor is a work of art.” Carpet One Floor & Home and
Flooring America established a new advertising portal?designed to hold down
local ad costs for members while maximizing their marketing punch.
Thanks for the many bright spots in our business that
illuminate the path ahead. Most notably, the commercial segment has stayed
strong; and savvy retailers have taken notice. Our commercial flooring guru
Dave Stafford has explained how to land more of this business, the questions to
ask and the people to contact. “If you and your team can give eye-popping
service and show technical competence, rest assured, you will get more
commercial work,” says Dave.
Thanks to the many innovators in this business. You’d think an
industry that predates indoor plumbing would run out of ideas, but that is
hardly the case. Just to cite a few examples: Mannington Commercial has managed
to become even “greener.” It started recycling construction-grade drywall into VCT
tile. They’re also working on a plan to power their Salem, N.J. headquarters
using old car tires. Shaw Industries deserves enormous credit for its bold
decision to globalize the company’s 10-year-old “Environmental Guarantee.” This
assures that even more tile and broadloom will be recycled into new EcoWorx
products. Thanks to Amtico for a huge engineering breakthrough: its Stratica
line of luxury tiles are made with no PVCs, and that means better air quality.
Thanks to the Floor Covering Industry Foundation for its
outstanding work. Chris Davis, Larry Nagle, Al Wahnon and all the other good
people working with FCIF simply refuse to let the economic slowdown undermine
their commitment to assisting those in our business who experience
Thanks to the Floor Covering Installation Contractors Association
(FCICA), and the International
Certified Floorcovering Installers Association (CFI) for their leadership in
educating retailers and contractors about this crucial element of our industry.
Thanks to the top notch pros at Hanley Wood who organize Surfaces. Due to their
hard work, the annual show in Las Vegas remains our industry’s shinning star.
And of course, our thanks
to all you readers and advertisers who support us; and thanks to a roster of
expert contributors that is far and away the best in the business. You have all
helped establishedNFTas the No. 1 publication in flooring.
Please know that we remain committed to serving the needs of our industry. Due
to space limitations I had to leave out many in our business who are worthy of
our gratitude. But let 's remember: Even in this turbulent year, on
Thanksgiving we all have much to be grateful for.
A Word of Thanks!
November 11, 2008