Al’s column

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by Al Wahnon

HERE’S A TWIST: Domotex Hannover is calling for entries in a competition of top designers of handmade carpets. The winners are to be honored at the 2011 event, Jan. 15 to 18. But, Domotex has taken an unprecedented step: for the first time the competition will admit manufacturers even if they are not exhibiting at the show. The prestigious Carpet Design Awards will be judged by a panel of experts in 10 categories, including quality of design, materials and crafting, and creativity. The three winning entries in each category will be honored at an awards ceremony on Jan. 16 and each will receive prizes amounting to 1,000 Euros. The deadline for entries is Nov. 5. For details and an application form go to

GREEN WAVE: U.S. consumers are buying the same or more environmentally responsible products, regardless of region, age, gender or state of the economy, according to a recent survey. It showed that 67% of adults who consider themselves buyers of green products have maintained their level of green purchases; 25% have increased their green buying, and 8% said their green purchases have declined in 2010 as a result of the economy. Another key finding shows that 62% of adults are either equally as likely or more likely to visit a business that focused on being green, regardless of distance or effort required. More than one-third, 35%, of consumers are also willing to pay more for green products. Make that your favorite color.

SCOOP ON STROOP: Georgia Trend magazine has named Jeremy Stroop “one of 40 Georgians under the age of 40 who are making a significant mark on their professions and communities.” Stroop, operations manager for the Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE), was selected from more than 300 nominations by the magazine’s readers. Ac- cording to the publication’s editors, Stroop was selected because of “the meaningful impact he is making across the nation and in Georgia toward increasing the reuse and recycling of old carpet, as well as his community volunteer work.” In his CARE post, Stroop networks with the carpet industry, entrepreneurs, consumers and government agencies to educate and implement programs that will help recover carpet waste and put it to new uses. We salute Jeremy Stroop.

SNAPSHOTS: The National Association of Wholesale Distributors (NAW), of which our own NAFCD is a member, conducted a quick entrepreneur poll: As the 4th quarter begins, where does your company stand in relation to full-year revenue projection? Running ahead— 22.73%; As expected—29.09%, Running behind—48.18%. Retail sales increased in July and August. How many monthly sales gains will it take to persuade you the economy has recovered? 7 to 12—53.29%; 5 to 6—32.92%; 3 to 4—8.46%, Economy has already recovered—5.33%. Now, factor this in: How good are your company’s managers at communicating with employees? Pretty good—38.99%; Not great— 29.56%; Awful—17.61%; It’s a mixed bag—9.43%, Excellent— 4.4%. If these numbers were better then maybe those others would be.

CLASS ACT: Since demand for BCF fibers has increased so dramatically in recent years and the popularity of spun yarn has diminished, Beaulieu of America has decided to boost its production schedule of soft fibers in BCF nylon and polyester. The company will also close its spun yarn facility in Royston, Ga., on Nov. 26. Said Ralph Boe, president and CEO, “Balancing our capacities to meet the needs of the marketplace and our customers will only enhance our service capabilities.” And one more thing, which is the measure of the company: Beaulieu is offering employment to all 192 Royston employees willing to relocate and will provide them with moving assistance. For those unable to relocate, the company will provide resume building, interview training and job application assistance. Like I said, that’s a class act.

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