Anderson Hardwood Floors has announced a brand restructure that consolidates the company’s four brands down to two. The Appalachian and Biltmore brands will be discontinued in favor of the Anderson and Virginia Vintage brands. According to Scott Sandlin, Shaw’s vp business development, hard surface, the move will involve retrofitting displays, reducing the remaining lines down to top-performing SKUs from all four brands, lowering the price on existing products and rolling out new marketing programs.
“We’re taking our four brands and driving them down to the two best of the best,” Sandlin said. “We are also lowering the cost structure, by focusing on these two brands with our distributor partners at the point of retail, and in our manufacturing operations.”
Mollie Surratt, Anderson director of marketing, added that the new displays and marketing materials will focus on Anderson’s made-in-America heritage. “The message that Anderson has been made in America since 1946 will be the cornerstone of our new campaign in 2012.” (For Canadian customers, the retrofit will offer updated logos and products but not focus on the Made in America aspect.) The company has created a video showing the retrofit process atandersonfloors.com/retrofit.
Additionally, the company has unveiled its Anderson Preferred Partner program for retailers. Benefits include sample updates and retrofit materials, preferred listing on andersonfloors.com retailer locator and the ability to self-inspect on claims up to $500, to a maximum of five per year. For more information, visitandersonfloors.com/preferredpartner.
As part of the brand consolidation a little over 100 SKUs have been dropped and around 200 remain. Additionally, Anderson is unveiling Chestnut Hill, a 5” hand-scraped hickory with a time-worn visual, in three colors; and Virginia Vintage is adding Renaissance, a 7” sawn-face product in six colors in hickory, maple and white oak.
“With all the changes, we wanted to have a real simple launch,” Sandlin noted. “At the same time, these lines are probably better than they have ever been because of consolidating our best looks into these two programs.”
He added that the consolidation has not required any reductions in employment or the closing of plants. “We have actually added facilities in the last two years in our scraping operations. There are no plans to consolidate any of our current plants, only to make them more efficient and effective. There is also no consolidation of any roles at Anderson. We are expecting to sell more with less, and the manufacturing guys love this because it is a lot less complicated model for them.”
The new products and retrofitted displays are set to be in stores by Jan. 15. Sandlin noted that distribution partners are excited about the new direction. “In 2003 to 2006, the window when everybody was doing well, you could naturally explode your SKUs and your complexity, to make sure you were capturing every piece of the market. When business settled, our success quite frankly added complexity and hardship to our distributor partners. We couldn’t keep going with this amount of SKUs with business pulled back.”
Surratt noted that Anderson Hardwood Floors is planning several new marketing pieces and events for 2012. Among them is the Anderson All American Road Trip Sale, running April 2 to June 30. The company will also unveil an architect folder and increase its social media focus.–Michael Chmielecki