Retail education: Pros speak the lingo

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by Kelly Kramer

In every talk I give, I ask the audience this one question: “What is P.E.T.?” The most common answer is “the pop bottle carpet.” Then I ask again, what do the initials P.E.T. mean? A few brave souls will take a shot at it but very few have even come close. The only time I got a correct response was when a sharp young lady looked it up in the glossary of my book that her company had just bought for her. So, most times I have to explain that it stands for polyethylene terephthalate.

I continue by explaining even though this may sound a bit to technical to some, it sets you apart from your competition. When I explain this term to my buyers, I explain it is also called the pop bottle fiber and how it’s re-used, (or as my local car dealer explains it, pre-loved) earth friendly, solution dyed, high-grade polyester.

“That guy really knows his stuff,” is what I get for my effort.

If you consider yourself a pro, you need to know all the terminology and know how to break it down into simple translations for your potential buyers. In short, speak the lingo.

Part of this column is to let readers know about my training manuals and public speaking appearances. The following are just a few terms from the 50-page glossary in the back of my first manual, “Selling Clean in Retail Flooring.”

Definitions for lingo

  • Above grade. Any floor that is above the level of the surrounding ground on which a structure is built.
  • Below grade (in relation to resilient). A cement slab poured below or partially below the surrounding terrain. Proper floor and installation procedure must be selected.
  • Bulking. Processing yarn, usually mechanically, to fluff it up and give more coverage with the same fiber weight.
  • BCF. Bulked continuous filament.
  • Cap & band. Covering a tread and riser with two separate pieces of carpet. A more tailored looking step than the waterfall method.
  • Continuous filament. Continuous strand of synthetic fiber extruded in yarn form. Also called monofilament fiber.
  • Denier. A direct numbering system in which the lower numbers represent the finer filaments of fiber and the higher numbers represent the coarser. Basically how fat or thin a yarn is.
  • Density. The mass (weight) per unit volume of a substance. In carpet an indication of the closeness of the pile of yarn, or the amount of yarn packed into a given area. In cushion, density is the weight of a cubic foot of foam. Or pounds per cubic foot.
  • Needle count. The number of needles per inch cross-wise on a tufting machine. Eight needles per inch would be an 1⁄8 gauge.
  • Xylem. A botanical name for wood.
  • Z-Bar metal. The colloquial name given to a soft aluminum metal manufactured in Z-shaped lengths and used in wall-to-wall carpet installations to hold and protect ends of carpet by rolling the end under.

Those are just a few terms from A to Z you will find in “Selling Clean In Retail Flooring.” Better yet, I’ll offer you a deal for this issue only. Call me directly at 970.622.0077 and mention “lingo.” Quite frankly, you could use the knowledge, lingo, and possibly employee holiday gifts. And I need to pay for some family dentistry.

Thanks for reading.

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