Al’s column

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by FCNews Staff

GOLDEN THINKERS: Our congratulations go out to the World Floor Covering Association (WFCA), which received the distinguished Golden Thinker Award from the North American Precis Syndicate (NAPS). The esteemed honor is presented only to a select few companies each year whose content for editorial placement is the most highly sought by press across the country. This is the fourth time NAPS has recognized the WFCA with such an award.

MORE GOLD: The Golden Thinker is based solely on press usage and pick-up, and only stories that receive over 800 hits are eligible for this award. According to sources at NAPS, WFCA’s editorial content received extraordinarily high placement volume. WFCA’s articles were picked up over 1,600 times by news- papers including The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Times, The Los Angeles Times and USA Today. To date, stories the association has run with NAPS have been viewed by tens of millions of consumers in both large and small markets.

GOOD SIGNS: There is no denying the economy remains in a very fragile state as some parts of the country continue to struggle far more than others. But there are some positive signs. For example, in a recent BuildFax Remodeling Index (BFRI), activity reached a record high over the summer. In fact, August became the month with the highest level of remodeling activity since the index was introduced in 2004 and represented the 22nd consecutive month of increases. Year-over-year, BFRI rose 29%. Build- Fax, a division of BUILDERadius, which is the creator of the first national database of historical building permit data, also released data showing an estimate of over 3.3 million residential remodeling projects will be permitted in 2011, a 9.5% increase over the 3.1 million projects in 2010.

MORE SIGNS: There is more good news. The most recent American Express Spending & Saving Tracker found 64% of consumers polled said they will either spend the same or more in the next six months, compared to the same period last year. What makes this even more encouraging is it shows consumers are gaining confidence because the 64% represents an increase of 10 percentage points over the same findings from last year’s survey. And, what makes this very encouraging news for flooring dealers is that 43% of the respondents plan to make a large purchase by the end of this year with 14% saying that this purchase would be furniture and 10% opting for a household appliance. If they are replacing furniture it most likely goes back to them remodeling, which means new flooring can’t be too far off.

BELATED CONGRATS: Fabulous Floors Magazine, the first consumer magazine devoted solely to flooring styles as a key design element in home décor, is entering its 9th year. Last year, its founder and industry icon Sonna Calandrino passed away, and longtime friend, Margo Locust, purchased the magazine with a partner to keep Calandrino’s vision alive. A couple of months later, Locust assumed full ownership of the publication and became its publisher. “I worked side by-side with Sonna for over 25 years,” she said. “It means the world to me that I am in the position to take Fabulous Floors on the path that Sonna and I envisioned so many years ago. I am looking forward to refining our editorial concept, diversifying our distribution and providing an even greater flooring and home décor presence in the marketplace.” She added the magazine will maintain its presence in Georgia and production will continue in New York. Having Sonna at her side for all those years we have confidence Margo is up to the task.

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