Some 2012 intros found more success than others
By Matthew Spieler
Volume 26/Number 22; March 18/25, 2013
(Second of two parts)
In the March 4/11 issue of FCNews, we looked at some of the hard surface products that were introduced to the marketplace and made a difference not only for the supplier, but also for the retailer and consumer.
Here are some of the carpet collections and line extensions introduced last year that brought sales and profits to all parts of the selling chain.
Last year EverClean was launched in trade magazines as “the carpet pet lovers love,” noted Gary Fisher, executive vice president of marketing. It was even the focus of an eight-page advertorial in the consumer magazine, Fabulous Floors. “No other carpet has been so heavily positioned to appeal to pet owners, who make up nearly half of all American households.”
One reason Beaulieu was confident in marketing EverClean in such a way is the construction of the product; a solution-dyed polyester. “Because it’s solution dyed, the fiber not only resists pet stains, but fading as well,” he explained.
Beaulieu even considered an easier transition for an adjacent hard surface floor by offering a more accommodating low-level cut and loop construction.
The result of the mill’s efforts was “display placement exceeded expectations,” Fisher said. “Dealers quickly recognized the value of offering a solution-dyed polyester carpet with Magic Fresh odor reduction as a practical solution for their customers. EverClean is one of Beaulieu’s best-selling collections.”
As a supplier of both soft and hard surfaces, Mohawk was able to lay claim to a number of successes in 2012.
In carpet the company followed up on its highly successful SmartStrand with DuPont Sorona brand with the launch of SmartStrand Silk.
Seth Arnold, director of brand management, said the SmartStrand Silk product launch was “one of the most successful in Mohawk’s history. It has proved once and for all that consumers do not have to compromise on a carpet’s performance to get the softness they desire. [It is] the only luxuriously soft carpet that has built-in lifetime stain and soil protection that never wears, washes off or diminishes over time, plus unmatched durability.”
While the product has been heavily supported by way of merchandising, point of sale advertising, social media and other methods, Arnold said Silk’s success can be attributed to the product’s “premium softness. Many retailers explained that once their customers felt SmartStrand Silk, they insisted on buying it and were not willing to compromise. In fact, in a blind test, consumers preferred the softness of SmartStrand Silk 5:1 over competitive premium soft nylons.”
Mike Sanderson, nylon product category manager, pointed to Artful Details from the company’s Anso nylon collection as being “a very popular product last year.”
He said it was designed as the next evolution of Natural Boucle, “one of our most successful residential styles.” For 2012, “our team extended the breadth of color offerings for Artful Details to further develop this highly demanded product.”
Shaw attributes the product’s success in part to it being environmentally friendly. “Anso offers a reliable green story,” Sanderson said. “Artful Details is Cradle to Cradle certified.”
In addition to being a green product, he noted, Shaw’s proprietary R2X stain and soil resistance treatment and the product’s inviting visual also played heavily in the product’s success.
“Artful Details offers a comfortable and inviting striated loop construction which creates a natural texture with a more transitional aesthetic for the home,” Sanderson explained. “This product creates a perfect foundation for a variety of different spaces, making it both functional and stylish.”