Industry News - February 2015
Beaulieu Partners with USFloors
Dalton—Beaulieu America and USFloors have partnered for a new line of waterproof products. Featuring USFloors’ patent pending CoreTec technology, the line allows Beaulieu to expand beyond its current assortment of Bliss luxury vinyl tile and plank products. Beaulieu is marketing the new products under the Bliss CoreTec One Waterproof Engineered Flooring brand.
“These products fill a real need in the marketplace for high quality, affordable, waterproof flooring in applications where traditional laminate and wood flooring may be too risky,” said Stan Bouckaert, Beaulieu’s director of hard surfaces. “Unlike [certain products], Bliss CoreTec One can be safely installed in locations that may experience moisture, such as kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms and basements. Dealers will find they can hit a price point that will truly make these ‘go-to’ products.”
For more, call (800) 227-7211 or visit BlissFlooring.com.
White Oak Acquires Carousel Carpets
Wichita, Kan.—White Oak Custom Carpet Mill has acquired select assets and intellectual properties of Carousel Carpets from The Dixie Group.
In July 2013, Dixie purchased Robertex Associates, a manufacturer of tufted wool carpets. The acquisition included Carousel, which had been acquired by Robertex in 2010. At that time, Robertex moved the equipment and operations from California to Georgia. Prior to being sold, Carousel was owned and operated by the Petrich family since its founding in 1970.
White Oak established its roots in the private aviation business, manufacturing specialty wool carpets for corporate aircraft clients. Today the company utilizes its VariaLoom technology to create “dramatic pattern and design flexibility. We can customize and control manufacturing variables including pile height, needle and yarn size, stitching, and gauge to produce luxurious carpets that are unique and one-of-a-kind,” noted Tom Pack, White Oak’s president of manufacturing.
For more, call (316) 866-2281 or visit whiteoakcarpet.com.
Swiff-Train Transitions Leadership
Houston—Swiff-Train Co. announced Jonathan Train has been promoted to president and CEO of the 78-year-old family business, while Jason Train has been appointed vice president of sourcing.
Jonathan, who has been with the company for 20 years, was most recently vice president of product development including vice president of the company’s EarthWerks division, and Jason, who is celebrating his 12th year in the family business, had been hardwood product manager and also worked in the company’s international division.
In the transition, Ken, L.A. and Jeff Train will remain active in various aspects of the business. L.A. Train will also remain on the company’s board.
For more information, call (361) 883-1706 or visit swiff-train.com.
Anne Funsten to Lead Family Business
Manteca, Calif. —Anne Funsten has been promoted to president of B.R. Funsten and Tom Duffy Co.
Joining the company as an outside territory sales manager on the residential side, she has over 20 years of direct experience with the family operation across both residential and commercial markets and corporate affairs. She has also served on the company’s board for 10 years.
Funsten co-led the launch of the Flooring Plus program, which later became the company’s current Floorsight Loyalty Program. As a progressive leader, she championed the LEED program and other environmental initiatives within the company.
“As a member of the Funsten family, Anne’s loyalty and commitment to the business are unparalleled,” said Jim Funsten, company chairman and CEO. “However, it is her level-headed business sense, passion for keeping our business relevant in competitive markets and professionalism in dealing with our key asset—our people—that make her the perfect person to move the company forward in this new era.”
For more, call (209) 825-5375 or visit brfunsten.com.
Nourison To Purchase Hagaman
Saddle Brook, N.J.—Nourison said it is purchasing Hagaman Carpet, a manufacturer specializing in high quality, wool products, for an undisclosed amount. The acquisition is expected to be completed during the first quarter, according to Alex Peykar, principal, Nourison.
Based in Ft. Oglethorpe, Ga., Peykar said Hagaman, which will be run as a wholly owned subsidiary, gives Nourison its first manufacturing base in the U.S. and enhances its machine tufting capability. “Hagaman’s specialized tufting equipment is well suited for making luxury wool carpet. It will allow us to create products and programs to complement Nourison’s existing lines, as well as expand and enhance the well-respected Hagaman brand in the upscale carpet market.”
He noted, the Hagaman product line will have a dedicated sales force reporting to Don Karlin, director of broadloom sales.
The Hagaman brand will be added to the company’s expanding broadloom product portfolio, which includes Nourison Carpet, Nourtex Carpet and Nourison Hospitality.
For more information (800) 223-1110 or visit, nourison.com.
Pharr Yarns Merging with Phenix
McAdenville, N.C.—Pharr Yarns, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary, has merged Phenix Flooring into its family of companies. Pharr is one of North America’s leading manufacturers of differentiated carpet fibers and high performance yarns, while Phenix is a manufacturer of residential carpets currently sold through independent retailers and home improvement chains.
The merger, to be finalized next month, is part of Pharr’s long-term strategy to grow through innovation, diversification and reinvestment in the communities it serves, said Bill Carstarphen, president. “We have been the exclusive provider of yarn to Phenix for the past six years, so the merger is a natural step in our evolution and mission to better serve our customers.”
Mark Clayton, Phenix’ president, said, “We are known for our innovative design and customer service capabilities and [the merger allows us to] further leverage Pharr’s product innovation capabilities. With Pharr’s solid financial foundation supporting us, our carpet operation will have access to sufficient capital to continue our growth and enhance our ability to offer a more diverse product offering.”
In other news, H. Woodrow Gosney, Pharr’s carpet yarn division president for nearly 43 years, will retire next month. Rich Pattinson, business director for the division will succeed Gosney.
Carstarphen, called Gosney “a legend in the carpet industry, and will be sorely missed throughout Pharr and the entire carpet world.”
For more, call (704) 824-3551 or visit pharryarns.com.
Taylor Introduces Liquid Sound Reducing Underlayment
Fontana, Calif.—W.F. Taylor Co.’s new Acous-Tec Sound Reducing Liquid Underlayment Patch and Leveler is said to be the first liquid underlayment designed to reduce sound transmission for all floating floor systems.
“Simply trowel the low-VOC and UL GreenGuard-certified liquid underlayment, watch it self-level and rapidly cure, then install the floating floor on top of it all in the same day,” said Barry Wright, vice president. “Whether it is used in a high-rise apartment building or a single-family home, it will dramatically reduce sound and quiet the floor.”
According to Wright, it is a multi-functional product that has added features to help shorten installation time by assisting to fill minor subfloor imperfections, it is unaffected by concrete slab alkalinity, can be installed on porous or non-porous surfaces and has low permeability ratings.
For more, call (706) 277-9767 or visit wftaylor.com.
Stainmaster Website Gets Updated
Kennesaw, Ga.—Invista has updated its Stainmaster brand website with a fresh layout featuring vivid imagery, engaging content and intuitive navigation, said Saakait Mathur, the brand’s global director of interactive marketing.
“We’ve redesigned the website with a significant focus on our customers,” he explained. “The site upgrades feature enhanced content to educate consumers about Stainmaster, improve lead generation to retailers and simplify the navigation so visitors can get to where they want quicker.”
Consumers can now get content about the entire portfolio of Stainmaster brand products and easily find retailers in their area that offer them, Mathur noted.
In addition, the site is now mobile optimized, offering a better viewing experience for consumers browsing it from their smartphones.
For more, call (800) 438-7668 or visit stainmaster.com.
American-Made Tile Gets EPD
Anderson, S.C.—The Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) for ceramic tile made in North America, is now available for use by architects and specifiers seeking to satisfy green building project requirements, such as those set forth by LEED and Green Globes.
Bill Griese, green initiative manager for Tile Council of North America (TCNA), said the EPD shows when tile is compared to other flooring products it has the lowest 60-year environmental impact per square foot across all major impact categories—global warming, abiotic resource depletion, acidification, smog formation, eutrophication and ozone depletion.
“These are the most commonly referenced environmental impact categories relating to how the manufacture and use of a product will affect the well-being of humans and our environment,” he said. “With the EPD in hand, building designers and owners can now make better informed product choices with respect to sustainability.”
For more, call (864) 646-8453 or visit tcnatile.com.
CARE, CRI Launch Product Stewardship Program
Dalton—The Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE) and the Carpet & Rug Institute (CRI) have launched a voluntary product stewardship (VPS) program to assist sorters of post-consumer carpet (PCC) diverted from the nation’s landfills.
The VPS program is market-based and designed to accept and manage all applicable PCC, regardless of polymer type or primary materials or construction, according to Brendan McSheehy, CARE’s chairman. The program provides financial assistance to qualified U.S. sorters who divert PCC.
“This program is the key next step in our mission to divert more carpet from U.S. landfills,” he said. “Sorters may use funds to partner with their customers to divert carpet and recycle it back into useful consumer products, such as recycled carpet fiber, carpet cushion and a wide range of plastic products.”
Sorters may qualify for funds by completing all required documents and submitting quarterly reports on their business results to CARE.
For more, call (706) 428-2127 or visit carpetrecovery.org.
DACF Puts Emphasis on Exhibitor/Visitor Connection
Shanghai, China—Opportunities for exhibitors and visitors to connect are a key the focus for this year’s Domotex asia/ChinaFloor (DACF), March 24 to 26.
Show organizers said they have designed programs to give exhibitors ways to expose their brands and promote their products through the most effective channels, enabling visitors to faster connect with companies and products matching their interest.
The Hosted Buyer Program targets potential buyers and enables visitors to easily come in contact with the right exhibitors. The hosted buyers are invited according to flooring sectors. Hosting services include onsite matchmaking and factory tours.
The InnovAction Flooring Campaign allows exhibitors to launch their newest products electronically before the show, allowing visitors to identify those of their interest and arrange onsite meetings in advance using an online system.
For more, visit domotexasiachinafloor.com.
Oriental Weavers Invests in U.S. Facilities
Dalton—Oriental Weavers has made a significant capital investment to its U.S. manufacturing and warehousing facilities due largely to the recent “high demand for domestically-made products,” said Jonathan Witt, senior vice-president.
He noted the expansion allowed for a 12% capacity increase at the company’s Dalton manufacturing facility.
The company first invested in a high-speed loom and is in the process of expanding its Dalton distribution center. The nearly 200,000-sq.-ft. expansion will accommodate the added production and will provide new opportunities for skilled workers living in the northwest Georgia area.
“U.S. manufacturing is extremely important to Oriental Weavers, Witt said. “Upwards of 35% of our current total rug production is made in the United States, with aggressive plans to increase domestic production an additional 20% to 25% this year.”
For more, call (800) 832-8020 or visit owrugs.com.
Armstrong Exits European Business
Lancaster, Pa.—Armstrong World Industries has exited its European flooring business and ceased further funding of its DLW subsidiary. DLW management concluded its operations could not be financed and sustained without funding from its Armstrong parent and, as a result, filed for insolvency under applicable German law.
“Our difficult, but necessary, decision to exit the European flooring business and discontinue funding our DLW subsidiary was the culmination of a comprehensive evaluation of strategic alternatives following years of disappointing results, multiple restructuring initiatives and significant financial investments,” said Matthew Espe, Armstrong’s CEO.
After acquiring DLW in 1998, the division subsequently struggled with declining market conditions as a result of the ongoing economic crisis, including a significant decrease in public funding, which particularly affected the business’ key commercial segments, notably hospitals and schools.
“Despite investing approximately $150 million in the business since 2007, DLW has been unable to generate profit or achieve its strategic plans,” Espe added.
For more, call (800) 233-3823 or visit armstrong.com.
USGBC Extends LEED 2009
Washington—The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) will allow LEED users to register projects under the LEED 2009 rating system until Oct. 31, 2016.
“When USGBC launched LEED v4, we set out with one goal in mind—to raise the bar in a way that challenges the building industry to reach higher than ever before. However, the market has requested additional time to prepare for LEED v4, so we are responding,” said Rick Fedrizzi, CEO and founding chair, USGBC.
For more, call (800) 795- 1747 or visit usgbc.org.
Harvard Report Shows Moderate Remodeling Growth
Cambridge, Mass. —According to the Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA) released by the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University (JCHS), the home remodeling industry is expected to continue its path of moderating growth. LIRA projects annual growth in home improvement spending to be 3.1% through the second quarter.
For more, call (617) 495- 7908 or visit jchs.harvard.edu.
In Memoriam: J.C. ‘Bud’ Shaw
J.C. “Bud” Shaw, who with his brother Bob, co-founded Shaw Industries, passed away Jan. 16, at the age of 85.
“All of us at Shaw Industries are saddened by the passing of J.C. Shaw, who was a founder and Chairman Emeritus of our company,” said Vancec Bell, chairman and CEO of Shaw. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family. Bud Shaw has been a great friend and supporter of Shaw Industries during his retirement and up to his final days. We will greatly miss his friendship, support and counsel.”
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to First Presbyterian Church, 183 W. Main St., Cartersville, Ga. 30120, or to the charity of one’s choice. Online condolences may be made athmpattersonspringhill.com.
The Rich are Getting Richer
Atlanta—According to a recent Federal Reserve Bulletin, ‘the rich are getting richer.’ The bulletin puts the total number of millionaire households at 11.53 million, meaning the U.S. has 11 times more millionaires than China, which the Shanghai-based Hurun Research Institute placed at 1 million in a recent report.
Unity Marketing and the American Affluence Research Center have partnered to conduct a study into the mindset and lifestyle of high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth consumers.
The study, Millionaire Market Monitor, will deliver new insights to marketers that target the wealthy, according to the firms. The two companies bring together their specialized expertise as researchers probing the affluent market segment to focus on consumers at the very pinnacle of the income and wealth pyramid. These customers represent the ultimate high-powered, moneyed customers for luxury marketers and bespoke service providers.
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