The following is from the World Floor Covering Association concerning the latest on the Marketplace Fairness Act.
As an initial step in ultimately passing the Marketplace Fairness Act, the Senate voted 75 to 25 to allow states to collect sales taxes from internet and mail order companies. The Marketplace Fairness Act addresses a fundamental unfairness that allows out-of-state internet and mail order companies to avoid collecting and remitting state and local sales taxes while local brick and mortar stores are obligated to collect these taxes. The proposed legislation would create a program that would require internet and mail order sellers to collect and remit sales taxes to states that elect to participate in the federal program.Tweet
Employers need to ramp up preparations for healthcare reform,
LeClairRyan legal team advises
Ongoing implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will challenge businesses
on multiple fronts, warn veteran attorneys during recent webinar.
Newark, N.J.—American employers should get ready for a host of challenges linked to the ongoing implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), said a team of LeClairRyan attorneys focused on helping clients cope with the 2,504-page healthcare reform package.
“Employees who lack coverage will not be able to buy insurance from the government’s Health Insurance Marketplace until Jan. 1, 2014—but this does not mean U.S. employers have a full year in which to make their final preparations for compliance,” noted LeClairRyan shareholder James P. Anelli during a recent webinar by the national law firm’s ACA team. “On the contrary, employment decisions made in 2013—regarding, for example, the number and types of employees on the payroll this year—could have a major impact on the bottom line in the year to come.”Tweet
Rick Judson, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Charlotte, N.C., issued the following statement regarding President Obama’s State of the Union address Tuesday night:
“Extremely tight mortgage credit conditions are hampering the housing recovery and hurting job growth. The nation’s home builders were very pleased to hear President Obama acknowledge this fact when he said ‘too many families with solid credit who want to buy a home are being rejected.’
“The President further noted that the housing sector must be involved in the rebuilding effort and we wholeheartedly agree. Building 100,000 homes creates 300,000 full-time jobs. With the right policies in place, housing can continue to lead the economy forward.
“NAHB stands ready to work with the Administration, Congress and regulators to ease restrictive lending requirements so that qualified home buyers can obtain affordable home loans and to open up the lines of credit for home builders so they can meet growing demand in communities across the nation.”
Volume 26/Number 19; February 4/11, 2013
Carpet and rugs create a quieter, more comfortable, safer and sustainable environment in homes and businesses. But the carpet value chain consists of a lot more than merely manufacturing the product. Soon after distribution and sale, carpet has to be installed.
In past years, carpet installation was a trade handed down from employer to employee. But the quality of installation work was highly dependent on the quality of on-the-job training programs, as well as how receptive an aspiring installer was to that training.Tweet
Analysis from EIA’s most recent Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS) shows that U.S. homes built in 2000 and later consume only 2% more energy on average than homes built prior to 2000, despite being on average 30% larger.
Homes built in the 2000s accounted for about 14% of all occupied housing units in 2009. These new homes consumed 21% less energy for space heating on average than older homes (see graph), which is mainly because of increased efficiency in the form of heating equipment and better building shells built to more demanding energy codes. Geography has played a role too. About 53% of newer homes are in the more temperate South, compared with only 35% of older homes.
The increase in energy for air conditioning also reflects this population migration as well as higher use of central air conditioning and increased square footage. Similar to space heating, these gains were likely moderated by increases in efficiency of cooling equipment and improved building shells, but air conditioning was not the only end use that was higher in newer homes.Tweet
CRI’s Mendez Attends Second Obama Inauguration
Written by Jennifer Mendez, Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) vice president of government relations
Posted: 24 Jan 2013 03:30 AM PST | carpet-and-rug-institute-blog.com
Living in Washington, DC offers opportunities that no other city allows. I live inside the Capitol Beltway, so I can be on Capitol Hill in less than 15 minutes, traffic permitting. I believe in taking advantage of every unique opportunity that living in the DC metropolitan area offers.Tweet
Volume 26/Number 18/January 21-28, 2013
What does the Affordable Care Act mean for small business owners
by Jenna Lippin
For small businesses, providing health benefits often proves to be a challenge. On average, small businesses pay about 18% more than large companies for the same health insurance policies. Because of this cost difference, smaller businesses are currently less likely to offer health insurance coverage to their employees than larger companies. Fifty-seven percent of small businesses with 50 or fewer workers offered health benefits to employees, compared to 92% of businesses with 51 to 100 workers, and 97% of businesses with 101 or more workers in 2011.
Going forward, several provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as “Obamacare,” will likely have significant effects on medical coverage for small businesses, their employees and their families. The areas of the ACA that will affect small businesses the most are the creation of new insurance exchanges, tax credit subsidies and penalties for some employers if they do not offer coverage.Tweet
Chantilly, VA – Following six months of diligent research and development, the team at one of the world’s leading online vacuum retailers today announces the launch of the GV62711 – a 24k gold plated vacuum cleaner with the world’s heftiest price tag, a cool $1 million.
Designed for the person who literally has everything, the vacuum is limited to an exclusive run of just 100 units. The unit is causing much hype with its exclusive list of features, its dazzling good looks and for its rap song which is taking the viral Internet scene by storm, said Justin Haver, vice president of GoVacuum.com, who explained how this literal golden opportunity came to fruition. “Six months ago I got up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom and was blinded by golden light in my half-asleep daze, I thought ‘why is there not a gold vacuum for sale?’” he explains.
The world’s most expensive vacuum cleaner is plated with 24k Gold, boasts a hand-sewn bag and even has its own theme & rap song. It’s brought to the world by GoVacuum.com with a limited run of just 100 units.
Haver continues, “So, it took us about six months to create the 24k gold plated vacuum. This involved designing its list of executive features, striking a deal with one of the country’s top gold platers and having a theme and rap song produced to assist us with spreading the word.”
“This isn’t a joke or a fake product,” Haver said. He told FCNews the while original Royal GV62711 vacuum is certified silver under the Carpet & Rug Institute’s Seal of Approval (SOA) program for its ability to remove soil, contain dust particles and maintaining a carpet’s surface appearance the modifications made by GoVacuum, technically make it a different vacuum and thus causing it to have the certification removed on the gold-plated model. “We will still be using the HEPA style bags regardless of the outer-bag material, but if the consumer wishes to have the outer bag changed and customized to another material, this would alter the filtration.”
The special million dollar vaccum will be limited to run of 100, he noted, each supplied with their own serial number and certificate of authenticity. “The vacuums can be engraved for personalization and are ready for immediate purchase. It’s one of the most expensive home products ever created and we’re delighted to have come up with the idea. I fully anticipate selling them to the world’s wealthiest who simply, can.”
GoVacuum is a family-owned small business that has been in existence for almost 35 years. As an online retailer, GoVacuum has been in business since 1996 and ships everything from hard-to-find replacement parts to popular vacuums all over the United States and Canada (and to military bases around the world).
Customers love the site’s ease of use, huge inventory, unbeatable prices, 60 day return policy on most products and prompt delivery (next day on many products). Unlike “Big Box” or department stores, GoVacuum has genuinely knowledgeable staff that specialize in nothing but vacuums and air cleaners.
They are able to offer real advice, frank comparisons and tailoredTweet
by Steve Olenski, via socialmediatoday.com
Perhaps it’s the “Pinterest Effect” – the social media network that is all about the visual side of life. But more and more brands, especially the big boys on the brand block, are joining Instagram – the mobile only app that, as per Wikipedia “allows users to take a photo, apply a digital filter to it, and then share it with other Instagram users they are connected to on the social network as well as on a variety of social networking services.”
Originally available only to iPhone owners and now available to Android users as well, Instagram has seen a remarkable growth in the first seven months of 2012 – going from 15 million users in early 2012 to 80 million in July – an increase of over 400% in just seven months.Tweet
vía Tracy Sestili, Social Strand Media
Social media consultant Tracy Sestili knows how overwhelming social strategy can be for organizations large and small. A regular keynote speaker and writer, Sestili’s easy to implement and practical advice allows brands to leverage the power of social networks quickly and efficiently. Her social consulting firm Social Strand Media provides a full range of services that include social media goal-setting and strategy, setup, campaign management, analysis and more.Tweet
Members diverted 8 million pounds last year
by Matthew Spieler
Aurora, Colo.—Ever since the Fuse Allinace introduced its Ecollect initiative to help divert post-consumer carpet from landfills in 2008 its members have been increasingly doing their part. Last year, alone, members of the commercial contractor buying group diverted 8 million pounds of carpet waste from landfills bringing the group’s total to nearly 24 million pounds.Tweet
by John VanCleve Weller Jr.
Through hundreds of conversations I have had with floor covering retailers in the last few months, I have concluded the majority of them give social media little or no attention. Many find it intimidating or too time-consuming and don’t believe that it is really important to the success of their business.Tweet
Fiber continues to gain in popularity at expense of nylon
by Matthew Spieler
Since the economy started to go downhill and then into recession, polyester has been steadily gaining market share, going from 21% in 2006, the carpet industry’s high-water mark in terms of sales, to 24% last year—33% if triexta, a sub-class or cousin of polyester, is included in the mix.
A major part of this growth can be attributed to the rising cost of oil, especially when it soared to over $100 a barrel, as nylon is more dependent on petroleum than polyester.Tweet
I’d like to congratulate Floor Covering News for taking the lead on this topic (Made in USA special, April 30/May 7). It is, without a doubt, an important issue that impacts all of us. And the timeliness of this feature, especially when one considers the continuing economic uncertainties, unemployment numbers and election year politics, was also dead-on.
Allow me to add just a few thoughts about the carpet industry in light of your issue.Tweet
by Matthew Spieler
Regardless of how you feel personally about social media—love it, hate it or doing whatever you can to ignore it—if you are in business today then you must embrace it for long-term survival.
In spite of how Facebook’s public offering played out, the overall numbers should speak for themselves as to how important a medium social media has become for businesses to connect with existing and potential customers.Tweet
As homeowners search for new hardwood flooring, it’s clear what is uppermost in their minds: Authenticity. An appealing look or style is not enough. While consumers are certainly concerned about a floor’s durability and value, they want something of substance even more. They choose hardwood because it reveals much about their taste, values, and what is important to them. They want something authentic.Tweet
By Bill Hall, Venable LLP and outside Counsel to the Resilient Floor Covering Institute
As goes LEED, so goes green building certifications. While competing systems such as Green Globes are gaining ground, LEED remains the predominant U.S. green building certification system. In addition to widespread market adoption, LEED has been incorporated into the laws or regulations of 34 states and 442 local governments and is used by 14 federal agencies. Thus, the ongoing effort by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) to overhaul LEED continues to have a significant impact on the building materials used in green buildings.Tweet
Since the 2011 holidays ecommerce has seen steady action; many of those retailers are using email to stay connected with shoppers, finds new data from Responsys. But email isn’t the only space having a retail impact – the data from Responsys finds a growing number of retailers are turning to Pinterest to promote their goods.
According to Responsys retail email saw a 19% increase (Year over Year) in May, with retailers sending just over 16 promotional emails during the month. Overall email volume has increased about 18% compared to January – May 2011.
Added to email is the new social bookmarking/photo sharing site Pinterest, which has seen rapid adoption from the consumer side. According to Responsys nearly one-third (33%) of retailers have used Pinterest to promote products; 28% are linking to Pinboards through promotional emails, 7% are promoting contests and 4% use Pinterest’s ‘pin it’ buttons to encourage sharing within the site.
“Retailers are still in the earlier phases of launching their Pinterest pages, with many just trying to build awareness of their pinboards,” said Chad White, Responsys Research Director. “While adoption has slowed significantly over the past few weeks, I expect another wave of adoption this summer before retailers gear up for the critical holiday season. Evidence is mounting that consumers engage with more retailers on Pinterest than on other social networks and are much more likely to purchase based on that interaction, so the opportunity is just too big for most retailers to ignore.”
The summer months of June and July are traditionally slower for the retail market, but Father’s Day (US) is coming up in just one week and that could push a big more ecommerce spending. Data from the National Retail Federation predicts American’s will spend over $12 billion on Dad this year – that is a 10% increase over 2011 numbers.Tweet
Wonderful interview on Bloomberg.com from Interface regarding their recycling program:
Five billion pounds. That’s roughly how much carpet Americans throw away each year, making it one of the bulkiest and least biodegradable ingredients in America’s overflowing landfills.
Interface, the Atlanta-based carpet maker with more than $1 billion in yearly sales, realized in 1994 it was on a collision course with then environment and began a transformation that would earn it influence far beyond its own operations.Tweet
We are going on the road to a city near you!
Baltimore Area Meeting
June 21st, 2012 6 pm
J.J. Haines -
6950 Aviation Blvd, Glen Burnie, MD 21061
Hosted by Charlie Vogel, Arcade Carpet One
MDNVAFCA Legislative Committee Member
Western Maryland Area Meeting
June 27th, 2012 6 pm
Stroup Flooring America
5801 Buckeystown Pike, Frederick, MD 21704
Hosted by: Jerry Bush, Stroup Flooring America
MDNVAFCA Legislative Committee Member
Succeeding in flooring sales in a tight market requires expertise
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The economy is tougher, competition is tighter and consumers have a firm grip on their wallets. But when it comes to closing a sale, an attractive price tag is not all that matters. It’s what you know that counts.
A knowledgeable sales representative who can expertly guide a shopper toward a purchase she’ll be pleased with is arguably the most valuable tool in the laminate sales arsenal, says Bill Dearing, president of the North American Laminate Flooring Association (NALFA).Tweet
This past week I had the opportunity to participate in the presentation of honors to the winners in Floor Covering News 2012 Award of Excellence competition. These awards, which are jointly sponsored by the WFCA, are presented to flooring manufacturers in a variety of categories ranging from design to sustainability. What is unique about these awards is that they are voted on by the manufacturer’s customers. The voting is done over an extended period of time, and by several mediums, so every dealer has the opportunity to be heard.
by Consumer Reports Staff/Consumer Reports — May 3, 2012
If you’re reading this article, chances are good you have a page on Facebook, too. More than 150 million Americans already use the site, and the number grows daily because Facebook makes it so easy to keep up with friends, family, and colleagues, discover great content, connect to causes, share photos, drum up business, and learn about fun events.
To deliver this service, Facebook and other social networks collect enormous amounts of highly sensitive information—and distribute it more quickly and widely than traditional consumer data-gathering firms ever could. That’s great when it helps you find old classmates or see ads for things you actually want to buy. But how much information is really being collected about you? How is it being used? And could it fall into the wrong hands?Tweet
Finding aftermarket potential for PET is next frontier
by Matthew Spieler
San Diego—While members of the carpet industry had been working on ways to divert products from the landfill and recycle them into either new carpet or another end-use product since the early 1990s, it wasn’t until the Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE) was created 10 years ago that things really began to happen.Tweet
by Matthew Spieler
Fajardo, Puerto Rico—Twenty years ago, changes were taking place that still reverberate today: In politics, Bill Clinton and the Democrats were taking office; in entertainment, Jay Leno replaced Johnny Carson on “The Tonight Show,” and in flooring, 12 flooring contractors got together to form what is today the Starnet Worldwide Commercial Flooring Cooperative.Tweet
There are many factors to consider when designing and developing a retail website. The list can seem endless, but in reality, if you look carefully, you’ll see there are certain elements more important than others—elements that are used consistently among the most successful retail websites.
Once you have completed the planning stages of your website, the rest of the elements fall into broad categories, ranging from user interface design to content creation to actual development. Of course, you also have to keep search engine optimization (SEO) in mind.Tweet
by Warren Tyler
My feeling has always been to listen to criticism, try to accept it and change for the better.
Anytime I find something I think that will make the industry more efficient, I write or speak about it. For instance, while I believe that our manufacturers make beautiful and practical flooring, I do see issues.Tweet
by David Fellman
“I can see right through you,” said the buyer to the salesperson. “I know exactly what you’re trying to do!”
Question: Is that a good thing or a bad thing?
Answer: I think it’s a very good thing. I believe the best selling is highly transparent—no tricks, no games and no subterfuge. The great salespeople don’t trick anyone into buying from them; they help their prospects and customers to reach an unmistakable conclusion. When a great salesperson makes a sale, there’s no buyer’s remorse, just the confidence that comes from making a good decision.
Selling Is A Game
I should probably clarify this point: The great salespeople don’t play games, but many great salespeople look at selling itself is a game.
I think that’s a healthy attitude, especially considering salespeople lose more frequently than people in most other job categories. The great salespeople probably lose less frequently, but you still can’t win ’em all, no matter what game you’re playing.Tweet
In 1989, Amory Lovins, Harvard and Oxford-educated experimental physicist, and CEO of the Rocky Mountain Institute coined the term “negawatt” in his keynote address to the Montreal Green Energy Conference. His value proposition here was that it is always cheaper to save electricity that might have been sold for use in less efficient consumption vehicles (lighting, motors, etc.) than to make new.Tweet