NOTE:Below is the introduction to the December edition ofNFT'se-Newsletter. To subscribe, click here.


Greetings.

First off:  Happy Holidays from the staff ofNational Floor Trends.

With only a couple of weeks left in the year, many in the flooring industry are eager to say good riddance to 2008. We are all looking forward to a new year that will bring a new outlook and new opportunities. I think it is safe to say we all have had enough of the gloomy economic news that will forever be associated with the year now drawing to a close.

If you are looking for encouraging signs look at the items we included in this e-Newsletter. You’ll find news about three key players in our industry--BR-111, Mohawk and MAPEI--who have each make a significant move that reflects the optimism of their leadership.   

One item I want to note in particular: I was fortunate enough to attend Mohawk’s recent Floorscapes convention in Kissimmee, Fla. The retail group, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary, is launching a new store-within-a-store boutique concept aimed at encouraging shoppers to step up to higher end product. It is a bold move and a welcome development that places the focus on fashion rather than price. During his remarks to the group, Mohawk CEO Jeff Lorberbaum said he expected to see business pick up in the second half of the coming year. He stressed, however, that now is not the time to sit back and wait for better conditions.  

This is a message we have heard from ourNFTcolumnists and many other prominent figures in the industry. So while we turn the page on a highly challenging year, there are signs the bright days are on the horizon.

-Al Stewart, editor and web director