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Showing posts from January, 2011

New Floor Covering Seen at Domotex Raises Expectations on Eve of Surfaces

The Surfaces floor show opens tomorrow and excitement about what new things await the industry is building. It's the season for shows and unveiling of new products but before I get all excited about what I will see tomorrow I need to post more about what I saw at Domotex Hannover last week and let me start with "WOW."  I was so impressed by the innovation and creativity this year.

I have always considered the Domotex Hannover flooring show to be a treasure hunt and this year was no exception. There were innovations at every turn in every category. The European economy was hurt by the same economic crisis as we have suffered through for the last four years but not nearly at the same magnitude. In fact, I spoke to several distributors and manufacturers that had record years in 2010 -  up as much as 15 percent. This was not the case for everyone but it felt good to talk to people that are experiencing growth and success.

I’ll be the first to admit that not all of the pr…

Catalina Outlook and Trends for 2011 Floor Covering Industry

FLOOR COVERING STATISTICAL TRENDS AND OUTLOOK

A year ago the US  floor coverings manufacturers, distributors, retailers and marketers were on their way to the Surfaces flooring show and gearing up for a recovery in the US economy with housing demand stimulated by the home buying tax credit. So what has happened since? And what is the expected trend for 2011? Below is a quick recap of 2010 and my thoughts on trends for 2011 -  as we gather again at Surfaces for the start of another year in the floor covering industry.

In the first half of 2010, US housing demand increased at double-digit rates but when the tax credit expired the housing market took a double-dip downward.  US economic growth also slowed in the middle of the year with consumer spending turning tentative as concerns about government tax and debt levels grew.

US floor covering manufacturer sales increased as high as 4.3 percent in the second quarter of 2010 but slowed in the third and fourth quarters with the final total …

Environmental Laws that Affect Floor Covering

Environmental laws are popping up all over and it's hard to keep track of what affects your flooring business and what doesn't but there are a dozen laws that most everyone needs to know about. That's why I put together a one hour presentation for Surfaces to give a quick overview of several important laws being implemented now and some on the horizon in "Environmental Laws that Affect Your Business."   I'll be joined by a prestigious team: Ed Korzcak, executive director of the National Wood Flooring Association, Bill Dearing, president of the North American Laminate Flooring Association and Frank Hurd, VP and chief operating officer of the Carpet and Rug Institute.

We will cover the following topics and more:
The US Lacey Act AmendmentsHazard labeling on wood flooring which, although it started in California, will be rolled out nationally by most manufacturersCarpet Product Stewardship, a program that will increase carpet prices by .05 a s/y and is designed …

Jim Gould Reports from Domotex Hannover

Domotex Hannover 2011 is over and early reports say it was a big success with 1,350 exhibitors from 70 countries and 40,000 visitors.  Jim Gould sends his comments....

As always, new products, new innovations and renewed friendships added to the optimistic start of a another year.  The crowds seemed bigger than last year and sentiments were optimistic.  One of the most interesting products I saw (and there were several) was Bolefloor's (Estonia) curved-length wood flooring with planks that follow the shape of the tree's natural growth. Their technology scans the tree, and using custom algorithms, cuts the tree in long planks leaving no waste. Planks are numbered so the tree is actually reassembled as flooring making each floor unique. Talk about optimization and uniqueness!

The ITC anit-dumping case was a hot topic but the general feeling here is that it is much to do about nothing. Sentiment seemed similar to the remark of one flooring exec who said, "Eliminating $119 mil…

Flooring shows - Domotex, Surfaces, Coverings, and Domtex Asia - inspire and inform us

Like many in the floor covering industry this week, Jim Gould, (the Institute's founder and leader), is on his way to Hannover to attend DOMOTEX, the world's largest floor covering show. He never tires of this trip and thinks of it as a great treasure hunt. Of course there was that discussion this week on our Facebook page about the all important, traditional eating of schweinoxen in Hannover, but I digress. While he is gone, I am working on the next events - Surfaces, Coverings, the Wood Flooring Forum and Domotex Asia - all places that bring the industry together, inspire and inform us, and fuel the supply channels with exciting new things.  Here's a peek at what we are planning for these events.


Surfaces and Stone Expo - January 24-27
As Christine Whittemore posted earlier this week, she and several of our members will hold education seminars at Surfaces - 10 presentation in all.  On Tuesday, Jim will discuss Environmental Laws that Impact Your Business.  Did you know th…

Education at Surfaces/StonExpo 2011

Will you be attending Surfaces/StonExpo 2011 in Las Vegas? The combined show takes place January 25 through 27, with an intense Education Day scheduled for January 24. Workshops and seminars take place all four days on the show floor as well as in focused sessions. If you're attending the show, I hope you've set aside time to attend some of those sessions especially since many of us from the Floor Covering Institute will be sharing our expertise.

Here is a link to the Surfaces Schedule at a Glance so you can explore the flooring educational options available. You might also want to check out the Surfaces Blog where many of the presenters, including Jim Gould, share perspective on their education sessions.

[By the way, you'll need to register for classes since we are expecting record numbers of participants.]

I'll be presenting three sessions:

The Basics of Competitive Marketing on 1/24/11, a three-hour workshop from 1pm to 4pm with fellow presenters Paul Friederichsen …

What to tell flooring customers when they claim carpet is being “eaten by the vacuum cleaner”

What do you tell your customers that complain their carpet is falling apart and clogging their vacuum cleaner with fuzz?  Recently complaints of this type have started to increase.

The older vacuum cleaners that had enclosed bags (some still do), didn’t allow you to see exactly what was being collected when you vacuumed. The only time there was concern was when the vacuum cleaner became plugged.  Now, because everything can be seen in the clear plastic canister including carpet fibers, aka “fuzz,” consumer complaints have increased with concerns that carpet are being “eaten by the vacuum cleaner.”

One of the biggest causes for concern and one of the largest categories of claims and complaints on cut pile residential carpets is for shedding.  Cut pile carpets have always shed, especially those made with staple or spun fibers.  A staple fiber is a short length of fiber, generally ranging from four to eight inches long - think of wool fiber which has a finite length.  It is then spun in…