LAS VEGAS—The National Floorcovering Alliance (NFA), the nation’s most exclu- sive buying group, took advantage of the industry’s convergence on Surfaces to hold its Tier Two meeting Feb. 1. In addi- tion to affording members valuable face time with aligned vendors who do not attend the larger spring and fall con- claves, topics addressed included an exclusive agreement with Mannington and consideration for a similar deal with Beaulieu of America.
Jeff Macco, NFA president, announced the agreement with Mannington when the alliance between CCA Global and Armstrong was brought up, noting, “That CCA deal affects Mannington the most.” To that end, Mannington has responded quickly by stepping up its commitment to the NFA
Declaring its allegiance to not only the buying group but its distributors as well, Steve Zangla, vice president of sales, stated, “Mannington is committed to whole- sale distribution and will partner with them on everything. NFA dealers deserve the best from both the mill and distributor.” He added that Mannington will partner with the NFA on a Stainmaster resilient program that will offer certain pricing advantages to members.
Illustrating Mannington’s commitment, NFA members will have the opportunity to preview 14 new colors in the Adura LVT line before any other dealers, said Jay Kopelson, vice president of cor- porate accounts. The colors are expected to be released mid-year. He further demonstrated its commitment to specialty retailers by showing a distinction in marketing strategies from other large manufacturers, particularly as it relates to the big boxes.
The issue of price increases was also addressed by Kim Holm, president of Mannington’s residential business. While the past three years have been difficult, the main goal of the mill was avoiding obstacles. “Price increase negotiations are a waste of energy,” he said. “We took the public’s opinion not to raise costs.”
Michael Cometz, General Floors, Bellmawr, N.J., an NFA member for 10 years, was pleased with the agreement. “Mannington is a true supplier that doesn’t sell to the big boxes,” adding that one third of the hard surface products on his show floor are from Mannington.
Richard Longwell, Airbase Carpet Mart, New Castle, Del., also spoke positively of the agreement. “It brightens the benefits for the end user. When things change, it falls into the category of better, different or cheaper, and we have to take that at face value. This agreement is better.”
Beaulieu also increased benefits to NFA dealers and revealed its co-branded Stainmaster-Magic Fresh program with high hopes for the product. “Prior to the introduction of Magic Fresh, Beaulieu did very little business in Sherwin Williams stores,” said Kathy Fisher, vice president of national accounts. “However, after its release, business increased $10 million and we were awarded the Sherwin Williams dealer of the year award.”
Beaulieu also announced a cut-order program for NFA members with exclusive pricing as it seeks to significantly increase its share of NFA’s soft surface residential business.