Floor Covering Weekly January 28, 2013 : Page 1
Vol. 62 No. 2 A Hearst Business Publication January 28, 2013 $4 F LOOR C OVERING W EEKLY Visit FCW at booths #S5761 & #B3370 Setting the Stage for Recovery By Janet Herlihy S URFACES in Oklahoma,” said Roger Voge, Okla-homa division president for Star Floor-ing & Decorating. Jinx Yoder, owner of Paris Tile & Marble, Paris, Texas, said, “Business is picking up. People who wanted to wait ‘til a er the rst of the year are back to buy now.” Susan Adair, of Adair’s Fine Floors in Dallas, said, “Winter market is important to us. I think it’s better than Surfaces in that the suppliers are not distracted.” Chuck Moreau, owner of Brazos Valley Floor & Design, with three locations in the College Station, Texas area, has been Winter markets heat up Acquisition, product bring market advantage [D] e atmosphere was casual, the showrooms scattered in hotels located in Irvine and Grapevine, Texas, and the retailers, large and small, attending the Dallas regional ooring markets were pleased with the products and optimistic. Shaw, Mohawk, Beaulieu along with distributors including Swi -Train, T&L and BPI drew dealers to see a wide range of product and hear about the latest programs. Construction is recovering in the region and retailers reported better retail sales as well. “ e builder market is strong 2013 By Amy Joyce Rush Mannington’s Grizzle sets course for future LVT is a very, very hot prod-uct and we continue to grow our commercial and residen-[S, N.J.] A year ago, Rus-tial LVT product lines. We are sell Grizzle took the helm of ahead of projections at this Mannington Mills, a family-point,” he said. owned nearly 100-year-old Since then, he has invested company that was deeply his time in overseeing the grounded in tradition and integration, a job made easier like the rest of the industry, because of careful due dili-was mired in a painfully slow Russell Grizzle gence before the purchase and recovery. His job then and now is to plot a path for the future that company values that aligned with Man-includes growth in new markets while nington’s from the start. “ at’s been a big at the same time to stay true to the com-help,” he said. In October, the company announced pany’s core values. Today, Grizzle points to the Amtico that both the Mannington Commercial acquisition as a strategic move that allows and the Amtico sales forces will carry both Mannington to expand its global reach companies’ commercial products, includ-while enabling it to bring its LVT com-ing LVT, sheet and carpet tile, using the current Mannington Commercial “Choices mercial production onshore. “We are pleased with the acquisition. Continued on page 47 Continued on page 12 P e r i o d i c a l For breaking news updated each business day, visit us online at www.fcw1.com
Winter markets heat up
[DALLAS] The atmosphere was casual, the showrooms scattered in hotels located in Irvine and Grapevine, Texas, and the retailers, large and small, attending the Dallas regional flooring markets were pleased with the products and optimistic.
Shaw, Mohawk, Beaulieu along with distributors including Swiff-Train, T&L and BPI drew dealers to see a wide range of product and hear about the latest programs.
Construction is recovering in the region and retailers reported better retail sales as well. “The builder market is strong in Oklahoma,” said Roger Voge, Oklahoma division president for Star Flooring & Decorating.
Jinx Yoder, owner of Paris Tile & Marble, Paris, Texas, said, “Business is picking up. People who wanted to wait ‘til after the first of the year are back to buy now.”
Susan Adair, of Adair’s Fine Floors in Dallas, said, “Winter market is important to us. I think it’s better than Surfaces in that the suppliers are not distracted.”
Chuck Moreau, owner of Brazos Valley Floor & Design, with three locations in the College Station, Texas area, has been coming to Dallas market for about 10 years. “It’s a great opportunity to see new introductions and meet the vendors, share ideas and order product for the year.”
Sean Curren, owner of Showcase Carpets, Kingwood, Texas and Natalie Pady, sales, were in Dallas for the first time. “The shows are for perspective. It gives me a chance to see what I want and how it should be displayed.”
The Dallas market was very good, according to Randy Merritt, president of Shaw. “Attendance is great and attitudes are positive. Traffic is up. People are seeing new housing. You can read that the economy is getting better but when you see it, it makes a difference.”
Attendance and attitude were good at Mohawk too. “We had great participation from retailers and met our attendance expectations,” reported David Duncan, senior vice president marketing, Mohawk Flooring Division.
Swiff-Train was showing its full line of flooring. “We’ve been showing here for eight years and each year, it’s better than the one before,” said Don Evans, vice president sales and marketing, Swiff-Train/ Earthwerks.
Soft carpet still growing
Banking on growing demand for soft carpet, Shaw, Mohawk and Beaulieu each rolled out new soft programs.
The new top of the line residential carpet from Shaw, Anso Caress, is made up of 26 styles and a 50 color palette across four price points — 100 ounce, 70 ounce, 60 ounce and 50 ounce products, according to Greg Scott, director of product development, Shaw Industries.
Dealers were impressed. “Caress will do very well for us,” Moreau predicted. Added Yoder, “I like the new fresh colors in the line.”
Merritt is confident Caress will be a hit. “Caress is more than just soft ,” he said. “It has a great diversity of product. We will ship samples by the first of March and expect to have all samples delivered by mid-April. We’ll be ready to deliver on orders when the samples are in showrooms.”
Shaw also launched Anso Soft Shades. “Soft Shades is Shaw’s soft for the middle of the market. We are already delivering displays and shipping product for Soft Shades,” Merritt said.
Mohawk unveiled new styles to its Smart- Strand Silk with DuPont Sorona line. Curren said, “I’ve always liked Silk and we are happy that they’ve expanded the line. Silk is easy to sell. Once the shopper feels it, they want it.”
Shirley and Hugh Klodzinski, owners of Floor Care & Interior, with three locations in Texas, agreed.
The Mohawk carpet program is designed to allow the dealer to move consumers up within the company’s soft carpet menu with no sacrifice in performance.
Wear-Dated Embrace is a new collection of soft nylon products designed to appeal to a different consumer. “Embrace has a different luster level, colors and styles from Silk and is already in more than 1,000 showrooms,” said Eric Ruppert, product director, residential nylon for Mohawk. There are 240 SKUs in the Embrace line. All Embrace products are protected with 3M Scotchgard Advance Repel stain resist treatment exclusive to Mohawk.
Added Adair, “The new Wear-Dated Embrace is very good. The styling is good and they’re very soft .”
Also new, Wear-Dated Soft Touch nylon features Colorwave technology, a new continuous dye system that allows precise placement of colors across the width of the carpet.
Beaulieu was giving dealers a sneak peek at Bliss Indulgence, its solution dyed soft nylon line that also features Magic Fresh. “Bliss Indulgence has a total of seven styles that offer great stain and fade resistance,” said Richard Abramowicz, Beaulieu’s vice president central division, who confirmed that attendance was up over 2012. “We sold more displays than last year. Acceptance for the new Bliss Indulgence was better than expected.”
Steve Fitzgerald, owner of CC Carpets, with eight locations in Texas, said. “The new Indulgence line is great. It’s a great looking product and anything with Magic Fresh is doing well.”
Hard surface launches
Shaw has made progress in resilient with new LVT products that have groutable tile and stone looks. “We’re very excited because it’s a growing business and we sell it in every market,” said Merritt.
Moreau judged Shaw’s click lock LVT a future hit. “The price is more competitive and floating installations are popular.” He also likes Shaw’s groutable LVT.
Shaw has added natural stone products as well as new porcelain and ceramic products for 2013 using Clarity Digital imaging to mimic natural looks in ceramic and porcelain.
“Innovation is the driving and overriding theme for Mohawk,” stressed Roger Farabee, senior vice president marketing at Unilin Flooring/Mohawk Hard Surfaces.
Mohawk’s new solid hardwood styles as well as engineered wood styles offer Armormax, which makes the surface up to five times tougher plus Scotchgard which allows the products to stay cleaner longer, he reported.
Noted Moreau, “They have good price points and to have that finish and such a good warranty. It’s unheard of.”
In the wood business, Moreau reported that gloss levels are more toned down and rustic. “Mohawk has an engineered oak that is phenomenal.” he said. “It’s rustic but not scraped, more of an oil finish.”
In ceramic, Mohawk works with Daltile to develop new looks that are made in the U.S. or China, that use Reveal Image Technology to create a faux look.
Read the full article at http://bt.e-ditionsbyfry.com/article/Winter+markets+heat+up/1322962/147723/article.html.
Acquisition, product bring market advantage
Amy Joyce Rush
Mannington’s Grizzle sets course for future
[SALEM, N.J.] A year ago, Russell Grizzle took the helm of Mannington Mills, a family-owned nearly 100-year-old company that was deeply grounded in tradition and like the rest of the industry, was mired in a painfully slow recovery. His job then and now is to plot a path for the future that includes growth in new markets while at the same time to stay true to the company’s core values.
Today, Grizzle points to the Amtico acquisition as a strategic move that allows Mannington to expand its global reach while enabling it to bring its LVT commercial production onshore.
“We are pleased with the acquisition. LVT is a very, very hot product and we continue to grow our commercial and residential LVT product lines. We are ahead of projections at this point,” he said.
Since then, he has invested his time in overseeing the integration, a job made easier because of careful due diligence before the purchase and company values that aligned with Mannington’s from the start. “That’s been a big help,” he said.
In October, the company announced that both the Mannington Commercial and the Amtico sales forces will carry both companies’ commercial products, including LVT, sheet and carpet tile, using the current Mannington Commercial “Choices That Work” strategy, according to Grizzle. He said that part of the process includes significant product training and education.
The acquisition also brings “clear global advantages” in bringing Mannington product overseas. Products going to the U.K. and Europe will carry the Amtico brand name.
“Over there, they have a very strong, wellestablished brand name. As we look to the rest of the world, we may look to build the Mannington name. We were, for the most part, North America-centric so we continue to look at what we can do in the rest of the world.”
Here at home, Mannington will bring its commercial LVT production onshore to the Amtico plant. “We were 100 percent sourced and are now moving that production to Georgia. We are up and running there,” he said, adding that for the time being the company will continue to source from China, for residential LVT in particular.
Service at home
One of the challenges the company experienced this year as a result of bringing all Mannington and Amtico products as well as sundries to the marketplace — more than 50,000 SKUs — had to do with service.
“During the year, we had some service hiccups that are not our norm,” admitted Grizzle. “We disappointed ourselves with our service issues, but we have put in measures that will actually make us better in 2013. Now that we have fixed those problems, frankly, I think we will be dramatically better in 2013 — better than we’ve ever been,” he said.
As Grizzle makes his mark on the company, he continues to be sensitive to its culture even as he pushes it forward to embrace new changes. One of his personal goals is to communicate better and more often.
“The market is different for Mannington than it’s ever been and we are working to change with it,” Grizzle explained. “Mannington is going to stay the way it is — we are not changing our core values — but we have to face our competition, embrace some ideas so we can get better and that is better for everybody. We have a serious job to do — protect our associate’s jobs and return something to the shareholders so that the company can move forward. But at the same time, we can do it and still have some fun around here. Protecting our company’s culture is very important to me.”
A common theme for Grizzle is continued improvement. He has put a lean manufacturing concept in place to allow the company to run more efficiently and react to both good and bad business conditions.
“We are headed down the path of being able to respond to market indicators up and down quickly without it always having to be about inventory. Our plants are much more responsive to market demands,” he said. “My commitment is that we will continue to try and make ourselves better in 2013 and in every year thereafter. We can make things more efficient and we can still care, do the right thing, control our destiny, work hard, play hard — our four core values. My goal is to get the 2,000 plus associates around the globe doing that better.
“It’s been a lot of fun being part of Mannington, being part of the Mannington culture. It’s getting to know all the people better and getting to know our customers really well,” Grizzle said. “We are all on the same path to accomplish the same goals.”
Going forward, Grizzle said that the company is always looking at deals that would fit its portfolio and its culture. But for now, he said, the company still has much to do in finalizing the Amtico integration.
They’ll also be busy with a number of capital projects in the coming year for both equipment upgrades and new product development. “We have plenty of capacity in place to meet the growth. We did not shutter any of our plants. We still have all assets in place and, if you include LVT, we have more assets in place than before the recession hit. We are ready.”
Mannington will be aggressive with product introductions beginning with Surfaces in January — new product in sheet vinyl, the introduction of TruLoc in LVT residential, a sister to the LockSolid line introduced last year, and new lines for both Mannington and Amtico.
“We are excited about our future,” he said. “We expect to continue to stand behind our value proposition — great partnerships, great looking products and world class service.