What is your unique and specific plan to capture new business?
In 2009 Anderson will continue the things that have made fed our growth for the last five years; quality, cutting edge design, innovation and our focus on meeting customer expectations. You will see Anderson grow our green products with the introduction of additional collections utilizing our exclusive PermaColor™ natural coloring process that produces through-color in wood without the use of stains, solvents or chemicals. Retailers will also see Anderson entering the 3/4” solid wood market in a big way, offering traditional 2-1/4, 3-1/4, and 5” widths.

What is the message you want to send to the industry?
In tough economic times retailers need to evaluate who they want to do business with. They can spread the reduced business between their current vendors or consolidate their vendors and focus their buying power on a few manufacturer’s brands that they feel can offer them margin opportunity, and have the where-with-all to survive this down cycle of business. When business gets tough, partnerships become essential for survival.

What is your perspective on the current business climate?
This tough business climate can only get worse for the short run so you have to sell every customer who walks in the door. To do that you either have to sell products for less than the other guy, or offer product that are so exciting and innovative that their value carries their price. Retailers and manufacturers who subscribe to the former will quickly find that there is no bottom and that they have eroded their margins to the point that they find they have sold themselves out of business. Anderson has positioned ourselves to be the latter.

How will 2009 unfold for your company - and our industry?
Anderson is sitting in an envious position going into 2009. Our exporting business to China is growing every month. Our domestic business is holding its own in most regions and is actually up in some. With our acquisition by Shaw we have the financing and where-with-all to grow our business and strengthen our relationships with our current customers. That however cannot be said for everyone in our category. Major hardwood brands will be conspicuously absent or downsized at Surfaces. Some brands are pulling their consumer advertising while Anderson is increasing ours including the underwriting of one of PBS’s top Home Shows.

What are the strides you are making in the crucial area of environmental responsibility?
Environmental responsibility is nothing new to Anderson. We’ve been walking the walk long before most began talking the talk. It began with the concept of rotary peeling and engineered flooring pioneered by our founder, Andy Anderson in 1946. That one innovation generated up to twice as much wood flooring from the same tree. From the beginning Anderson recycled all our wood waste, some as garden mulch and others as an alternate fuel for our boilers.We pioneered water based stains to replace solvent varieties and today sell more FSC hardwoods and PermaColor™ stain, and solvent free wood flooring than anyone else in our industry.

-- John Woolsey, Vice President of Marketing & Merchandising