Bruce Weber, president American Home Surfaces Group (AHSG) and Commercial One, discusses the Commercial One organization, the interest in becoming involved in the commercial markets, both specified and main street, and the transition most retailers experience entering the field. He also talks about the successes Commercial One has enjoyed since its launch and efforts being made to add members.
Stuart Hirschhorn, research director for Catalina Research, looks at the housing market and shares his expectations for the future, saying that it will remain weak going forward and noting that declines in interest rates are offset by increasing prices. Also discussed is activity in the renovation sector, which was strong 2010 - 2018, but began to decline as a result of declining home sales.
John Simonson, president of Webstream Dynamics and Five Star Store Reviews, talks about the likelihood of floor covering retailers getting into e-commerce and selling products online. Simonson notes that a number of larger flooring retailers are now selling online but he also he notes that offering floor covering online is more involved and costly that many other products. Also discussed is online marketing, including pay-per-click advertising as well as the support and the logistics factors involved.
George Celtrick, president of Whitewood Products, talks about selling hardwood against wood lookalike products. Celtrick suggest that rather than focusing on the price per square foot, focus on the total price of the installation and not trying to be the low-cost provider as he offers ideas on dealing with this situation.
Michael Zmijewski, president of Mr. David’s, talks about customers reaction to the company’s affiliation with union organization, INSTALL, noting that the wage rate is the most frequently discussed topic. Also discussed is the wage rate for nonunion installers historically and its effects on the installation community.
Chad Ogden, president & CEO of industry-specific software provider QFloors, talks about retailers that have switched to new industry-specific software are also embracing other new practices such as digital marketing techniques. Ogden also talks about how boomers who have decided against industry-specific software in the past are more likely to make the switch currently. Also discussed is making the switch easier.
Scott Levy, president of Arley Wholesale, discusses the wood in ceramics, its position in the market today, and how the product has matured. Levy talks about a particular product Arley is introducing that is unique, with characteristics that LVT cannot duplicate. He also discusses unique sized tiles in the market, larger format sizes, and their regional aspects.
In the October 2019 issue of Floor Trends, find out what's resonating with LVT. Also in this issue, we shine a spotlight on the latest innovations in surface preparation tools and flooring installation materials.