The Dallas Regional Market held early last month could be a bellwether of good times to come for the floor covering industry. Manufacturers and distributors converged to bring area retailers and contractors a glimpse of the 2010 product intros, and dealers turned out in throngs to make the event a success.

Despite weather forecasts for the Dallas area including ice and freezing temperatures, many dealers still braved the cold, travelling from out of state over long distances. They came to see new products and get great deals.

Beaulieu rolls out two carpet lines. Through an exclusive arrangement with Invista, the company introduced its new Bliss by Beaulieu Stainmaster with Magic Fresh Collection. “This is the first time Stainmaster and a mill proprietary carpet treatment have come together in one collection,” according to Jeff Meadows, Beaulieu exec. vp residential. The bcf nylon collection includes five styles made of Stainmaster Tactesse and five made of Stainmaster Luxurell. The line includes friezes, textures and level cut loops in 32 to 72 oz. offerings with XtraLife 10-year wear, 7-year stain and soil, 10-year texture retention and lifetime anti-static warranties.

Also unveiled was the Bliss by Beaulieu SoftSense collection, an 11-style collection produced on new extrusion technology added last year. SoftSense features the company’s branded Bliss approach to attract female consumers and a lifetime stain – no exclusions warranty, 3M Scotchgard Protector and Magic Fresh odor reducing treatment.

Shaw does it Big in Texas. Reminiscent of the movie Animal House, Shaw’s attempt for designation in the Guinness World Records for the world’s largest pie fight in Grapevine, Texas, was successful while also showing the stain resistance of its Anso carpet yarn. Held during the 10th annual Shaw aligned dealer event, it was a memorable effort. A total of 434 participants donned ponchos and safety goggles to throw 1,200 (6.5” diameter) pies non-stop for 60 seconds.

The company held the pie fight on its premium Anso nylon carpet as a way to demonstrate Anso nylon’s ability to repel stains and to be easily cleaned. Following the world record event, Shaw cleaned approximately 3,000 pounds of pie from the carpet and displayed the previously pie-covered results to event attendees.

“Consumers will understand that if a carpet can hold up to 1,200 pies, it will stand up to everyday life,” noted Shaw president Randy Merritt.

Video footage of Shaw’s pie fight festivities, certificate presentation, post-event carpet cleaning and the surviving, spotless carpet can be viewed at www.shawfloors.com/anso/piefight.

I have never before seen so many cherry, chocolate and apple pies in one location. And, for all of you pie lovers, it was truly disappointing to see them served (at high velocity) via pie tin, rather than on a plate with a cup of coffee to enjoy… In conjunction with the pie fight, Shaw made a monetary donation to provide 40,000 to 70,000 meals to Feeding America, one of the nation’s largest domestic hunger relief charities, to benefit individuals in 13 Texas counties.

Distributors bring in the dealers. Swiff-Train and Adleta partnered with their manufacturer partners to bring in their newest products for the event. The Swiff-Train effort included a tailgate party for the BCS football game between Texas and Alabama, prize drawings and a special sale using a rock-and-roll theme.

It was nice to see a return to a strong regional market with distributors and manufacturers working together to bring new products to their customers along with buying opportunities for closeouts and off-goods.