Increased sales in both the residential and commercial segments of the wood category are projected by respondents participating in the 2010 NFT Hardwood Market Study. Half of respondents (53%) expect residential sales to increase in 2010 and commercial sales are expected to remain the same or increase from 2009 levels by 81% of respondents. (Chart 1).
Our exclusive survey of 124 floor covering dealers and contractors tells us that the hardwood category derived sales in 2009 mainly in the residential replacement segment (65%), followed by builder/new construction (21%), contract/commercial (9%), and main street commercial (5%).
Factory prefinished products outsold unfinished, job-site finished custom wood products 85% to 15%. Our group sold both solid and engineered wood products with engineered products outpacing solid wood 52% to 48%. This was consistent with our 2009 study.
Red oak was again the best-selling wood species at 45%, followed by hickory, 13%; white oak, 11%; Brazilian Cherry, 10%; maple, 9%; bamboo and Brazilian Walnut at 3% each; pecan, 2%; and others, 4%.
Buyers are selecting 3” (43%) and 5” (31%) wide products predominantly. (Chart 2).
On average, respondents generated eight sales per month, with the average sale totaling $3,764. Additionally, 29 percent of respondents report monthly hardwood sales of $35,000 to $100,000+.
Wood products have increased in visibility on the showroom floor as 23 percent of floor space is dedicated to the category.
The top selling brand of hardwood selected by our respondents is Bruce, with 15% of respondents selecting the brand. Shaw Hard Surfaces was second at 14%. Anderson, Mohawk and Mullican rounded out the top five. Forty percent of our respondents are now working with six or more hardwood suppliers. This is a 3% increase over last year. Additionally, 56% of respondents have continued to work with the same number of suppliers as in the past.
Respondents also noted that imported products, 63%, tend to have more quality issues than domestic, 37%. The panelists are influenced to purchase and recommend wood products from manufacturers and distributors in ranked order by: price; quality of products offered, product availability, style of products offered, and sales rep knowledge/support (Chart 3).
When selecting a manufacturer’s product line, respondents report the most important attribute is product availability. The following key attributes are customer service, sales rep knowledge/support and ease of installation. (Chart 4).
Respondents report sourcing significantly less of their hardwood flooring from general flooring distributors and slightly more direct from a domestic manufacturer.