Letter: Abbey responds to Mannington conflict

Home News Letter: Abbey responds to Mannington conflict

Mannington has a policy whereby retailers must purchase sample updates in order to receive credit and rebates on the purchases of products made off those samples.

We (Abbey Carpet Co., Inc., Abbey Carpet and Floor, Floors To Go and The Floor Club) have not, nor have we had an issue with that policy, nor have we ever “demanded” the policy be rescinded. However, over the last 18 to 24 months, we began to question the implementation of this policy and the fairness of that implementation, as many of our members asked us why they received no rebates from Mannington on a particular product category.

We also discovered, after many requests, that members, who we were told did not purchase updates, had in fact paid their local Mannington distributor for those updates. But evidently that distributor did not report the sample update purchase to Mannington. We also found out that many of our members were given Mannington updates free of charge, but their purchases of products from those samples were not reported to us and, as a result, those members did not receive the rebates which were due.

We did not realize the magnitude of the problem until Mannington finally reported the 2009 purchases of members who they said did not purchase new sample updates. This information did not come to us until the first week of May 2010. Those purchases amounted to approximately 25% of the total purchases our members bought from Mannington.

When we questioned the justness of this portion of Mannington’s sample update policy with our Mannington representative, we were told, “That was their policy and they were standing firm.” Upon hearing this and never having had the opportunity of discussing this with Mannington’s executive management, we requested a telephone call, or a meeting for the purpose of explaining why we disagreed with this portion of the policy.

For example, if a member purchased the 2008 sample update on Mannington hardwood, they received rebates on their purchases of those products in 2008, but if they chose not to purchase the hardwood updates in 2009, they did not receive rebates for purchases made from the updates purchased in 2008 because they did not purchase the 2009 hardwood update. That did not nor does it seem fair to us, as our members were not only not receiving their rebate, but Mannington was not reporting their purchases to us, which made us unaware the members in question were not receiving those rebates.

Our request (not demand) was to have the opportunity to discuss the issue with Mannington’s executive management.

Instead of agreeing to have this discussion, their management called and arbitrarily and unilaterally terminated our 20-plus-year relationship.

Our members’ best interests are our most important asset and we will go to any length to protect their well being. That being said, we plan on aggressively pursuing alternatives to this unfortunate situation.

Steve Silverman

president & COO

Abbey Carpet Co.

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