In the five months since Bay State Rug in Chicopee, Mass., began carrying Mohawk’s Protect & Care maintenance program for carpet, owner Joe Montemagni said his five sales associates have sold hundreds of products with the add-on.
How many customers have said no to Protect & Care? “One…and he was a professional carpet cleaner, ” Montemagni said. “I expected a lot more customers to be a challenge for us, but we’ve just had the one who declined. It has been a game changer for us.”
Mohawk, which teamed with 3M and FloorCare for Life to create Protect & Care, launched the program last fall to Mohawk dealers. Protect & Care is sold in two-year, 10-year or lifetime plans. Retailers have the option of selling it a la carte or they can build the cost into the carpet. Most choose the latter, according to Mike Zoellner, vice president of marketing services at Mohawk. “It’s just easier that way. Everyone we have explained it to has understood it and wanted to sign up.”
The Protect & Care program covers all stains, even bleach, and all carpets, including synthetic. The 2-year Spot and Spill plan provides up to three spot and spill visits from a professional cleaning technician each year. The 10-year plan includes unlimited spot and spill service visits as well as cleaning and emergency restoration services as provided under the FloorCare for Life Discount Club. The Lifetime Protect & Care plan provides all the features and benefits of the 10-year plan, along with a free-of-charge first professional cleaning.
In the event the stain cannot be removed, the 10-year and lifetime plans allow for the replacement of the stained carpet and adjacent area free of charge for the first five years. The customer pays only for the installation.
After year five, the customer pays for the installation costs and 50% of the original carpet. Mohawk picks up the rest.
All three protection plans include a free stain removal kit with Mohawk FloorCare Essentials Carpet Spot Remover, toll-free access to the FloorCare for Life Service Center and a website that includes access to floor care news and tips, and product and dealer locations.
When retailer Hans Stark first learned about Protect & Care, he said he couldn’t get it into his store fast enough. “It was a no-brainer for us,” said Stark, who owns Michigan Carpet & Tile, a high-end Floorscapes dealer in Battle Creek that has a separate carpet and cleaning business through Mohawk FloorCare Essentials.
Michigan Carpet & Tile, which typically operates at a 50% profit margin, does not add cost to carpet purchased with a 2-year program. However, 45% to 50% of his customers have upgraded to the 10-year or lifetime plan when they first bought the carpet, Stark said. “It closes sales for us because no one else has it in our market. “For us, this is just the beginning.
Capitol Carpets, with five stores in Palm Beach County, Fla., does not build the price of Protect & Care into its carpet product, according to Steve Cosentino, a vice president, adding that 99% of the 30-plus Protect & Care programs his stores have sold since March are the 10-year plans. “We love the program here, and we back it 100%,” he said. “For us it is going well.”