The whirlwind that was the Carpet One/Flooring America summer conventions is now behind us. I must say it’s been years since there was this much action and so many new initiatives at a summer convention. Details are covered in the individual stories, but here are some of the thoughts with which I came away.
- Vinnie Virga, the president of Flooring America, has been given responsibility for all CCA Global brands, a position that was empty since being vacated by Evan Hackel about 18 months ago. Virga has done wonders with Flooring America, making the group as significant a player in this industry as any.
- Speaking of CCA Global, possibly the biggest takeaway from the recent convention was the coming out party of Jessica Correa, the new vice president of marketing, a position that seems to have come with a revolving door over the last few years. Correa, a real breath of fresh air, is different. She brings a fresh perspective coming from outside the industry (always a good thing, see Patricia Flavin of Beaulieu), having been a director of brand innovation and alliance marketing at Royal Carribean for 13 years. On the job for just two months, she is already making her presence felt.
- Continuing on the CCA Global theme, one thing I’ve noticed over the past few years is that important products, programs and initiatives are being rolled out simultaneously across both groups. Whether it be new merchandising, integrated marketing initiatives that include virtually everything online, or exclusive deals with suppliers, CCA is leveraging its buying and brain power to the benefit of its members and manufacturers. Agree or disagree, the strategy is working. Both groups are up between 5% and 8% this year while the overall industry is down.
- Mannington was showing for the first time a new glueless LVT with a fully licensed and patent-pending locking system. According to Kim Holm, president, it represents the best per- forming floating LVT.
- Mohawk became a better company on July 19 if only because Kent Clauson, formerly of Armstrong, joined the organization. Kent, who will be responsible for brand management, is a talented, low-key, check-your-ego-at-the-door kind of guy. You may not hear his name much, but his finger- prints will be on many Mohawk initiatives going forward.