COMMACK, N.Y.—Two months after adding the Halo Floors luxury vinyl tile brand to its portfolio of resilient sheet and tile products (FCNews, May 31/June 7), CBC America is kicking things into high gear.
According to Jeff Collum, director of flooring, CBC, the Halo brand began to be invigorated the moment the purchase was completed. “We immediately aligned Halo with a new distribution network in areas where it needed improvement,” he said. “We also were working on technology day one at the factory, not to mention the sales footprint in North and South America. Mary [Docker, former CEO of Halo] was the lone salesperson. We now have eight regional sales managers and national accounts.”
Collum further illustrated the impact of those regional sales managers. “About 4,500 architect folders were placed in five years; we will have placed 2,500 more in the next three months.”
CBC’s purchase of Halo is the proverbial win-win for both companies. CBC not only breaks into one of the industry’s only growth categories, but it gains the services of Docker, who brings experience, vision and color and design expertise. Halo, on the other hand, benefits from significantly greater growth opportunities than it could ever have achieved on its own. Docker put it in perspective: “As a company grows, it reaches a point where you have to do one of three things: sell the company, invest more heavily in the company or do nothing, which effectively means it will eventually die.” Equally important, she said, was that CBC agreed to keep the Halo brand name.
Collum told FCNews CBC is a much stronger company today not only with the addition of Halo but also with Docker, who will be involved in the styling of the entire CBC family of brands: Toli sheet vinyl, Indelval rubber, Ceres PVC flooring and Salto recycled limestone tile. “Color and design will become more important to CBC if we want to lead this category. CBC used to be known as a healthcare solutions provider. Part of our strategy is to cover the entire commercial market.”
Collum also believes Halo is a brand with legs. “It has been on the market for four years, and that’s the point where something either sticks or doesn’t. I viewed Halo as a brand that was gaining even more acceptance even in a down economy.” Halo’s official launch was NeoCon 2005 with hallmarks of style, color and flexibility. “The market was asking for more LVT. I felt there was still an opportunity for a new company to offer a product line that encompassed not just the regular stone and wood looks but something different,” said Docker, who was well schooled in sales, marketing, manufacturing and the global marketplace from her days running Amtico’s North American business.
Halo, which now includes 120-plus SKUs, is strong in healthcare, education, retail and restaurants with a product Docker describes as competitively priced. High-profile installations include the Mayo Clinic, Toys R Us, Babies R Us, Detroit Medical Center and Verizon.
With its focus on the commercial market, quality also has to be paramount. According to Norman Cheng, general manager of the factory in Taiwan where the Halo product is manufactured, standards are not just American, they have to be world class because the factory supplies Australia, Europe, Japan and China, among others.