Floor Covering Weekly

FCW Aug 17-31, 2009

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For breaking news updated each business day, visit us online at www.fcw1.com CCA Global Convention complete coverage on page 3 Vol. 58 No. 16 A Hearst Business Publication August 17-31, 2009 $4 By Tanja Kern [Kansas City, Mo.] Lean travel budgets didn't keep members away from the Certified Floorcovering Installers Association's (CFI) 16th annual convention. More than 150 members attended the event, held here August 20–22. ose who made the trip were the first to hear from Tim Rawlins, Armstrong's manager of new product development and installation services, who announced a new partnership between Armstrong and CFI. CFI installers will now have the opportu- nity to become certified Armstrong installers aer successfully completing a one-week Armstrong training program. at means the flooring pros will be listed on the Arm- strong website and have access to all certified installer marketing materials from CFI. "is is going to give us a lot of clout," said Jim Walker, CFI's CEO. In addition, Arm- strong will offer warranties when its resilient or hardwood flooring projects fail due to installer error. It will supply all the Armstrong flooring materials and installation products for repair or replacement up to a retail value of $1,000 for residential vinyl sheet and lami- nate products or $2,500 for commercial vinyl sheet or hardwood goods. "ere are going to be stringent require- ments for this warranty, but we're confident in the training," Rawlins said. "Since 2002, we have had less than 1 percent claims with certified installers. e third time an installer makes a warranty claim he will lose his [Armstrong] certification." Fred Williamson, vice president of opera- tions for Starnet, attended the CFI convention to scout out the possibility of an installation partnership between the two organizations. CFI convention CFI, Armstrong announce partnership • FCB2B: Making progress • Social networking for your business • Computer retail systems: The users talk • John Simonson: Operating online • ReSource, Pacific Solutions team up • Guest column: Terry Wheat The Industry's Business News & Information Resource FLOOR COVERING WEEKLY Software & Technology see pages 5–9 [Orlando, Fla.] Be aggressive. Take market share. Do what it takes to get customers and understand their new value-oriented mindset. ese were the key edicts at the 49th semi-annual CCA Global Partners summer convention for Carpet One Floor & Home and Flooring America/Flooring Canada members, who gathered here August 10–13. Upper management's message: the time for action is now as the recession is beginning to wind down. "e worst is over," said Carpet One Floor & Home president Eric Dema- ree in his opening speech. "is is the time to go out and get customers." Rick Bennet, co-CEO of CCA Global Partners, cited some of the structural changes that will recast the flooring busi- ness in the coming years: the growing importance of thri as consumers become more price and value conscious, less overall activity in both new home construction and remodel markets, the growing importance of financing and a longer sales cycle as consumers shop more and are less willing to invest in their homes. e post-recession consumer will also likely be much dif- ferent and members need to readjust their selling strategies for her. "Flooring will be a considered purchase for her; she will take a longer timeline to buy," Bennet said. Both groups focused on supplying members the tools to get customers in the new environment. For Flooring America/Flooring Canada members, those efforts centered on aligning online/offline marketing and lead management. For Carpet One Floor & Home, the members must focus on harnessing the power of the Internet, management said. But it's really all about market share. Sandy Mishkin, president, CCA Global Partners, said, "When business hit the skids, the message was watch your costs. Now it's about ways to drive opportunities for market share. ere is no organic growth. e only way to win is to take advantage of programs that get market share or make you money." [Birmingham, Ala.] Mohawk wanted to prove to the world just how tough its SmartStrand with DuPont Sorona carpet really is, create some goodwill and test the power of social networking as a marketing tool. e recent SmartStrand Rhino Chal- lenge enabled the company to do all three. Mohawk selected Ricko, a 12-year-old eastern black rhinoceros, to put its carpet to the test. Mohawk spokesperson and HGTV personality Chip Wade renovated Ricko's "bachelor pad" with the latest fashion in SmartStrand. e carpet used in Ricko's enclosure is Sacred Star, a 46- ounce texture, in eggnog. Mohawk invited members of the trade Rhino takes on SmartStrand P e r i o d i c a l Continued on page 13 Left: Executives from Wilsonart and Adleta get together at the Carpet One convention. Center: Rick Bennet, co-CEO of CCA Global Partners, ad- dresses members. Right: Jim Duff (left), president of Flooring Canada, with Vinnie Virga, president of Flooring America. Jim Walker, CEO of CFI By Kimberly Gavin Continued on page 8 Ricko walks on SmartStrand carpet

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