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Showing posts from August, 2011

Warren Tyler joins the Floor Covering Institute

We are thrilled to tell you that Warren Tyler has joined the team at the Floor Covering Institute and he'll be posting regularly here. Many  in the U.S. flooring industry know Warren, if not through his many public speaking appearances, certainly through his regular column that has appeared in every issue of Floor Covering News since its inception. 

A true entrepreneur, Warren started his own installation and cleaning business at age 22 and followed that with a 27 year retail career as owner of home furnishings, kitchen and bath, antique, interior design and flooring operations in wholesale, retail and contract. When he sold his six flooring business in 1985, he embarked upon his present career as consultants, writer, motivator and professional speaker. Surfaces says he is their best attended and highest rated speaker. He's a straight talker and like every other member of the institute - he loves the floor covering industry.  What is it about this industry that engenders so muc…

"If it is to be, it is up to me" - Sage advice for the flooring industry

Well it’s been a heck of a couple weeks!
•    S&P downgraded US credit rating.
•    The European banking crisis intensified.
•    Stock market volatility like never before.
•    The formation of a “super group” to determine what spending cuts are to be implemented.
•    Another debate between the Republican candidates for the Presidency which by the way is still 15 months away.

So how is any of the above going to improve business conditions for you in the near term?
It is not. What we need is action to stimulate the housing market to bring back the good times.

What are the experts telling us about this?
The S&P Case-Shiller is  the leading measure for the US residential housing market. Its 20-city index of prices has fallen to where it was in 2003. Housing prices in Phoenix are at 2000 levels while in Las Vegas it’s 1999. Some of the experts think we may have reached the bottom but none of them agree on when we will start to see sustainable increases in housing starts.Some seem…

B2B – an old term but a new opportunity for the flooring industry

If you had attended the latest Floor Covering Industry B2B Association seminar, you’d be impressed by the new and modern vision for B2B in the floor covering industry. You’d be right to think it has more to do with iPhones and iPads than with electronic data interchange (EDI) or file transfer protocol (FTP) - old terms that scare way more businesses than they attract. But as forward thinking and exciting as the new vision is, a new disconnect is developing that may keep the flooring industry from keeping up with consumers who’ve come to expect information at their finger tips.

There is good news. The proposed B2B solutions are the right technology for the new consumers who want information quickly. The bad news is that the flooring industry is not using the available technology to respond quickly.  Perhaps even worse, while we languish in our old comfort zone, consumers are creating new habits of getting better and faster answers from competitive channels - ones who have embraced new …

Flooring companies must stay aggressive to prosper in the second half

FLOOR COVERING STATISTICAL TRENDS AND OUTLOOK

Weak economic growth, declining consumer confidence, and the daily reports of a possible Federal government shutdown could cause any businessperson to become paralyzed when planning for the future.  However, companies are prospering and increasing their market share - by making acquisitions, offering new products, taking advantage of the growing US commercial market and of international selling opportunities. 

An article in the June 20-26, 2011 edition of Bloomberg Businessweek, “When Companies Buy, Investors Cheer” also made this point.  The article states that a company’s share price outperforms the overall stock market when an acquisition is announced, since shareholders see the purchase of a competitor as a way to boost growth and profits. 

Acquisitions have allowed the leading floor covering manufacturers to increase share.  Shaw-who acquired Anderson, Zickgraf, and Stuart Flooring, and Mohawk-who acquired Dal-tile, Unilin, and Colu…