George Celtrick, owner of Whitewood Products, offers an update of the hardwood flooring sector, discussing the pressure wood look-a-likes are putting on hardwood. He also talks about growth at the high end of the business and some of the problems that exist at the lower end, the pricing of the sector, and the pressure placed on the sector by LVT, as well as overcapacity in the industry and products manufactured in China.
Piet Dossche, president of USFloors and executive vice president, Shaw Industries, talks about the company's latest resilient introduction, Coretec Stone, and how it aims to be a game changer for installation and a competitor to ceramic tile and stone products. He discusses the company’s product development process and the importance of waterproof properties in the resilient products today.
Pam Bowe, CEO of The Bowe Company, which develops websites for flooring contractors, discusses the types of visitors most contractors seek to attract to their sites, including general contractors, architects, project managers, students, and government employees, among others. She also discusses content best suited for the websites of contractors, such as images of completed projects, the more prestigious the better, and how to use the website to begin the process of relationship building.
John McGrath, executive director of INSTALL, The International Standards and Training Alliance, discusses the floor covering industry’s installer shortage problem and suggests that what is needed is the building of trust. He says the INSTALL program works because all involved parties, manufactures and labor, believe in quality and teamwork. He says most in the industry incur problems recruiting installer candidates while the INSTALL program has a backlog because they offer a profession with fair wages, health coverage, retirement benefits and quality training.
Pam Bowe, CEO of The Bowe Company, which develops websites for flooring contractors, discusses the major categories of flooring contractors in the U.S. based on factors including the number of locations, specific market segments, and specialized services. Bowe talks about responsive design and the organizations and individuals contractors hope to attract to their websites.
Stuart Hirschhorn, research director at Catalina Research, talks about the strength of the remodeling market and it’s performance in 2018, as well as his expectations for 2019. He discusses how the housing resale market, which has been sluggish, affects remodeling and how home values have risen in the last five years. Hirschhorn also talks about factors, such as low unemployment and higher wages, and the effects they are having on the housing and remodeling markets. Also discussed are factors he reads as a gauge of the housing market, such as interest rates and expectations for the Federal Reserve.
Pam Bowe, CEO of The Bowe Company, discusses the do’s and don’ts of developing websites for flooring contractors and how successful contractor websites differ a great deal from retail websites. She talks about the primary elements that make up a successful contractor site, the importance of launching a well-designed and attractive site, and building in characteristics that allow visitors to save time by quickly navigating the site.