Floor Covering Weekly September 16, 2013 : Page 1

Vol. 62 No. 17 A Hearst Business Publication September 16, 2013 $4 FCW F LOOR C OVERING W EEKLY The Industry’s Business News & Information Resource 6 Congoleum’s new team ready for the future After 44 years, Jarosz stays on as consultant By Santiago Montero [Mercerville, N.J.] The first year at the helm of Congoleum was a transition year for CEO Bob Moran. “The first year was about getting the foun-dation correct: Getting the flow of information right, the support of our board and the banks, building the financial foundation. And then you start the next process, building the organiza-tion, the design and the marketing teams. Now we are bringing product to the marketplace that represents the Congoleum name — wonderful design at a value price point.” “Building the team has been the most important thing we’ve done over the past year,” he said, starting with a world class design team lead by Doty Horn, vice president of style and design. Sales and marketing have also been revamped and will be headed up by Mike San-sone, vice president of sales, and Kurt Denman, senior vice president of marketing. Together, they will take over for Dennis Jarosz who is retiring after 44 years in the industry but who will remain a consultant for Congoleum. Today, this is a company on the verge of making several important prod-uct introductions and extensions while still holding dear to its tra-ditional strengths. Mike Sansone, VP sales Kurt Denman, SVP marketing Consumers at the forefront According to Denman, the company is now re-engaged in looking at lateral move across categories rather than a step the consumer’s needs and seeing where down. “The closer you can be to the consumer, there are opportunities. the better off you are going to be at understand-The timing, he said, is good because of ing their needs and figuring out what products the recent evolution resilient has been going are going to address that for them,” he added. through where opting for vinyl can be seen as a Continued on page 20 FCW presents the 2013 Dealers’ Choice winners Over the past several months, Floor Cover-ing Weekly (FCW) presented the Dealers’ Choice Awards to this year’s winners — Mannington, Daltile, Armstrong, Mohawk, Quick-Step, Beaulieu of America and Mapei. A total of 1,576 retailers came to FCW ’s booth in January to cast their vote for the industry’s top products at Surfaces 2013 in Las Vegas. Categories for the awards are: Carpet, LVT, Resilient, Lami-nate, Hardwood, Ceramic Tile, Rugs, Floor-ing Related Products and Merchandising. Here, the 2013 Dealers’ Choice recipients Mannington took home two awards this year. Here, Dan are presented with their awards. Natkin and Joe Amato accept the award for hardwood. Customers drive Tandus and Centiva joint efforts, branding and Centiva across the coun-try. It depends on the region. To be able to serve customers In one region there might be across all segments of the com-one sales person handling mercial market with “true fit-both and in another, there for-purpose product solutions,” might be two or more sales Tandus and Centiva are moving reps. The focus is on our cus-into a closer relationship. tomers and how they want to Glen Hussman, president of be served.” the newly formed Tandus Centiva While the leadership entity, explained that the two com-Glen Hussman functions have been merged, panies, now Tarkett divisions, have each operation continues to be been melded into one multi-surface company, physically based as it was. Tandus is head-but will continue to operate separately when quartered in Dalton and Centiva is based in it makes sense. “There is still a strong push to Florence, Ala. build awareness and branding for Tandus as a “Formerly, Tandus was focused on soft stand alone and for Centiva as a stand alone, surface flooring. Now, whenever LVT (luxury but, where appropriate, the two will be seen vinyl tile) is in play, we can be interested in together,” Hussman explained. those projects too,” Hussman said. There is A new logo representing the two compa-particular opportunity in senior living, large nies as Tandus Centiva has been designed corporate accounts and education. “We can that is consistent with other Tarkett compa-earn multi-surface business by taking advan-nies in style and font. “There is now a single tage of the strengths of both Tandus and Tandus Centiva sales force and marketing Centiva,” he stressed. (organization) and product development Between the two divisions, Tandus Cen-and customer service teams are merged,” tiva manufactures a unique line of LVT, Hussman reported, adding, “But it’s not a hybrid resilient, modular carpet, tufted and Continued on page 20 cookie cutter method to represent Tandus By Janet Herlihy Continued on page 5 The company also won for LVT. P e r i o d i c a l For breaking news updated each business day, visit us online at www.fcw1.com

Congoleum’s new team ready for the future

Santiago Montero

<br /> After 44 years, Jarosz stays on as consultant<br /> <br /> The first year at the helm of Congoleum was a transition year for CEO Bob Moran.<br /> <br /> “The first year was about getting the foundation correct: Getting the flow of information right, the support of our board and the banks, building the financial foundation. And then you start the next process, building the organization, the design and the marketing teams. Now we are bringing product to the marketplace that represents the Congoleum name — wonderful design at a value price point.”<br /> <br /> “Building the team has been the most important thing we’ve done over the past year,” he said, starting with a world class design team lead by Doty Horn, vice president of style and design. Sales and marketing have also been revamped and will be headed up by Mike Sansone, vice president of sales, and Kurt Denman, senior vice president of marketing. Together, they will take over for Dennis Jarosz who is retiring after 44 years in the industry but who will remain a consultant for Congoleum.<br /> <br /> Today, this is a company on the verge of making several important product introductions and extensions while still holding dear to its traditional strengths.<br /> <br /> Consumers at the forefront<br /> According to Denman, the company is now re-engaged in looking at the consumer’s needs and seeing where there are opportunities.<br /> <br /> The timing, he said, is good because of the recent evolution resilient has been going through where opting for vinyl can be seen as a lateral move across categories rather than a step down. “The closer you can be to the consumer, the better off you are going to be at understanding their needs and figuring out what products are going to address that for them,” he added.<br /> <br /> Design, stressed Sansone, or more specifically U.S.-driven design, is a critical part of meeting consumer needs and is an important reason Horn was brought on board.<br /> <br /> Said Denman, "It's not just about design, it's about the trends and understanding where consumers are likely to go. Doty (Horn) is good at taking all of these disparate needs and understanding the broader trends. She is on the leading edge of design but our consumers are not. The real magic of what she does is dialing that back and understanding where our consumer is likely to be and where they are likely to respond."<br /> <br /> Getting consumers to respond As it works to make it easier for consumers to shop for Congoleum products, the company has upgraded its website and is actively engaged in social media.<br /> <br /> "You can't tell people how to shop. You can only help them shop where and how they want to shop," said Denman. "We are wrapping our heads around ways of engaging our consumers — and it changes every day. How to really connect the dots and drive the consumer back to your website is the end game we are after."<br /> <br /> Moran emphasized, "What does the consumer want? That's what we are going to support. We're not going to be hamstrung by traditional methods or traditional products as we had been in the past. We are going to match consumer's needs; we're going to match their wants. And there is a difference between wants and needs. They need a floor, they want a design."<br /> <br /> Denman added, "My mandate is to understand consumer's needs, figure out how to deliver product we are not delivering and where we can message those things so people understand the value we are bringing to the market. The more we can take our message points about the value of our brand and the distinction of our products directly to the consumers — particularly an iconic brand like Congoleum that has had such meaning with consumers in the past — the better off we will be."<br /> <br /> Close relations with distributors Noting that Congoleum will continue to rely on its distribution network, Sansone said, "Most distributors are comfortable that we are sensitive to their needs and that it will continue."<br /> <br /> But, he also realizes he has to work hard to earn their support.<br /> <br /> "When a distributor sales person goes to make a call, he gets 15 to 20 minutes; at tops, he can cover two subjects. Why would he sell Congoleum of all the product he has to sell? That's where being easy to do business with, having a simple message properly delivered, having differentiated product and being able to show that differentiation helps make it easy to sell our products."<br /> <br /> Congoleum currently does business with eight distributors, including Mohawk. As for the Mohawk alignment, long-time former senior vice president of both sales and marketing Dennis Jarosz said, "Mohawk has made a significant investment in promoting Congoleum for the past 13 years and we were the cornerstone of the foundation of hard surfaces distribution they've formed. They want to see us succeed and have offered their help to ensure that."<br /> <br /> The AirStep alternative<br /> While Congoleum is clearly focused on breaking new ground — new textures and shapes for Duraceramic as well as other launches it has on the horizon — it has not turned its back on its felt backed residential AirStep line, which remains the company's fastest growing.<br /> <br /> According to Jarosz, "We believe that Airstep is a better alternative to fiberglass. It can be installed in a variety of methods over a variety of subfloors, options that are not available in fiberglass. We see some of our competitors believe in this category as well. This represents a solid category that gives retailers a lot of options. It is a great looking and great handling product."<br /> <br /> Noting that felt backed goods still represent more than 50 percent of vinyl sales, he points out that much of the growth of fiberglass has been by attacking the lower end whereas Airstep provides a good, better, best offering.<br /> <br /> Added Denman, "If you haven't looked at sheet goods in a while, consumers owe it to themselves to take a new look again. Texture, color, design. Those are all really exciting to me. Some of the new designs are so convincingly realistic. Nowadays it's not a trade down, it's a trade across. That's the real big message: sheet vinyl is worth another look and Congoleum is worth another look by retailers."

FCW presents the 2013 Dealers’ Choice winners

Over the past several months, Floor Covering Weekly (FCW) presented the Dealers’ Choice Awards to this year’s winners — Mannington, Daltile, Armstrong, Mohawk, Quick-Step, Beaulieu of America and Mapei. A total of 1,576 retailers came to FCW’s booth in January to cast their vote for the industry’s top products at Surfaces 2013 in Las Vegas. Categories for the awards are: Carpet, LVT, Resilient, Laminate, Hardwood, Ceramic Tile, Rugs, Flooring Related Products and Merchandising. Here, the 2013 Dealers’ Choice recipients are presented with their awards.<br /> <br />

Customers drive Tandus and Centiva joint efforts, branding

Janet Herlihy

<br /> To be able to serve customers across all segments of the commercial market with “true fit for- purpose product solutions,” Tandus and Centiva are moving into a closer relationship.<br /> <br /> Glen Hussman, president of the newly formed Tandus Centiva entity, explained that the two companies, now Tarkett divisions, have been melded into one multi-surface company, but will continue to operate separately when it makes sense. “There is still a strong push to build awareness and branding for Tandus as a stand alone and for Centiva as a stand alone, but, where appropriate, the two will be seen together,” Hussman explained.<br /> <br /> A new logo representing the two companies as Tandus Centiva has been designed that is consistent with other Tarkett companies in style and font. “There is now a single Tandus Centiva sales force and marketing (organization) and product development and customer service teams are merged,” Hussman reported, adding, “But it’s not a cookie cutter method to represent Tandus and Centiva across the country. It depends on the region. In one region there might be one sales person handling both and in another, there might be two or more sales reps. The focus is on our customers and how they want to be served.”<br /> <br /> While the leadership functions have been merged, each operation continues to be physically based as it was. Tandus is headquartered in Dalton and Centiva is based in Florence, Ala.<br /> <br /> “Formerly, Tandus was focused on soft surface flooring. Now, whenever LVT (luxury vinyl tile) is in play, we can be interested in those projects too,” Hussman said. There is particular opportunity in senior living, large corporate accounts and education. “We can earn multi-surface business by taking advantage of the strengths of both Tandus and Centiva,” he stressed.<br /> <br /> Between the two divisions, Tandus Centiva manufactures a unique line of LVT, hybrid resilient, modular carpet, tufted and woven broadloom.<br /> <br /> Last month, Tandus Centiva published seven Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs), enhancing transparency, accountability and third party validation for its modular and hybrid resilient flooring products. The company, which published its first EPD in August 2012, now offers EPDs for modular carpet with a variety of backings: ER3 backing of 100 percent recycled content; ethos backing made from the film in recycled windshields; and Flex-Aire cushion for improved ergonomics and acoustics.<br /> <br /> Tandus Centiva also developed EPDs for its Powerbond hybrid resilient sheet flooring cushions including: standard Powerbond cushion, ethos cushion, ER3 cushion and Medfloor cushion.<br /> <br /> These EPDs cover 95 percent of the company’s U.S.-made carpet and hybrid resilient products. The EPDs and accompanying Transparency Briefs cover all styles available in the product lines and can be downloaded from the EPD Program Operator, UL Environment, at www.ulenvironment.com, or from Tandus Centiva at www.tandus.com

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