March 23, 2012 Mike Barker, Investment & Retirement Management, discusses the weakness in the market this week and the probable causes and where its likely to go next week. He looks at the rising price of gasoline and its impact on the economy, commentary on the slow economic growth from economist David Rosenberg, whether the housing market has bottomed and growth in China.
Doug Chadderdon, president, CEO of Great Floors, a chain of 22 retail and commercial showrooms across the Pacific Northwest, talks about his approach to dominate every category in every market they are involved in. He noted that the company provides its own distribution from its centralized inventory. Also discussed are future plans for the operation, including organic growth in the form of new locations.
John Simonson, president of Webstream Dynamics and Five Star Store Reviews, talks about the movement into floor coverings by the major online players and the effects on independent retailers. Also discussed is the nature of the shifts in consumer floor covering preferences, away from carpet to LVT and other hard surface products, which are more DIY-oriented and internet friendly because they are packaged in cartons rather than in rolls.
Scott Levy, president of Arley Wholesale, discusses changes in the ceramic sector, including advancements in digital printing technologies, the come-back of stone looks, and the explosion of wall tile. Also discussed is the impact of trade uncertainty with China and the widening gap between high-quality and low-quality tile.
Stuart Hirschhorn, research director, Catalina Research, talks about the current state of the economy, including the housing market and the manufacturing sector. Also discusses the Federal Reserve, investment, and the chances of recession in the U.S. and globally.
Don Roberts, president & CEO of Central Alabama Floor, talks about steps he has taken to increase the closing rates of salespeople, which he notes include learning more about the products carried in the store and the applications they are engineered for, which becomes especially important in this age of better-educated consumers. He discusses the product knowledge session he holds for his salespeople and the specifics he insists be covered, including how the product needs to be installed and its recommended applications as well as what products cannot do.
Chad Ogden, president & CEO QFloors, talks about the company’s 20th year in business as well as the events that normally surround a retailers decision to move to industry-specific software such as moving more into digital marketing or rethinking basic business practices. He discusses the changes required with a retail organization when the company decides to incorporate QFloors or other industry specific software into their company.