Volume 27/Number 19; January 20/27, 2014
By Jenna Lippin
Dallas—What started as a regional event for select manufacturers, the Dallas winter market, often referred to as Super Fest or Mega Market due to the number of companies showing their wares for two days, has become an “unofficial” annual event for retailers not only from Texas but also as far as Oklahoma, Arkansas, even Colorado. The market, which takes place in a number of hotel ballrooms within 10 minutes of DFW Airport, serves as an opportunity for manufacturers to show their latest and greatest to dealers who may not be attending Surfaces as they seek to piggyback on the volume of retailers who are in town primarily for the Shaw and Mohawk regionals.
The positive sentiment that resonated throughout 2013 seems to be continuing into 2014, the Dallas market serving as further proof. Many companies reported more traffic and more orders taken during the first day of the event than over the entire two-day span last year.
The carpet mill continues to garner positive response to its Bliss LVF line launched last year. According to Ralph Boe, co-CEO, the program, which has expanded from 24 to 36 SKUs, was extremely well-received at the Dallas market.
Beaulieu’s LVF, which is made from virgin PVC and features a scratch-resistant finish, is complete with both commercial and residential offerings with wearlayers ranging from 3.5 mil to 22 mil. Plank and tile visuals are offered in both click and gluedown installation methods.
“What we’ve tried to do is come up with different looks and colors than what is commonly out there,” Boe said. “We’ve really thought this whole thing through with patterns, construction and locking systems. On top of that, we have matching transition moldings for every SKU here. Within six months, we’ve placed about 500 displays.”
On the soft side, Bliss has been enhanced with a line called Perfection, consisting of all piece-dyed nylon with an 8 DPF. “We said, ‘You know what? [Indulgence] is soft enough; let’s make sure we have something we have confidence in that’s going to perform and we don’t have to put as much twist into to make a durable product,” Boe explained. “Let it have a little more value.”
Perfection includes eight products, all at a value-oriented price point, in 45- and 60-ounce weights and 28 colors.
Dream Weaver/Engineered Floors
Engineered Floors and its Dream Weaver brand continue to grab market share as it simply expands its manufacturing footprint in Dalton. The traffic the manufacturer saw at its Dallas showcase was further evidence of its success.
“We’ve had probably over 100 appointments, and all with major dealers,” said Gary Hollowell, senior vice president of marketing. “We really don’t saturate the market out here, so it’s been good.”
For 2014, Dream Weaver has taken an aggressive posture on soft, repositioning pricing on preexisting lines and launching six products with more sophisticated looks in space-dye fleck, berber fleck, subtle barber poles and one blended option.
“We redesigned the cost structure of how we manufacture the products and we shrunk the delta of our home run line between traditional yarn and soft yarn to make the products more appealing,” Hollowell explained.
Emil Mellow, vice president of marketing, echoed the sentiments of other companies who were exhibiting in Dallas: “The traffic was excellent; even better than last year. We had appointments with key retailers.”
The manufacturer highlighted its refreshed Knight Tile line, which now features six new wood planks and four new tiles. “The wood planks provide fresh colors and character, as well as a wider 6-inch plank, which, when combined with our design strips and borders, creates a truly unique floor,” Mellow said. “There are also new colors within the tile selections and a distinctive 12 x 18 offering.”
Also new for 2014 is LooseLay Series Two, with four new tiles and six new planks “which will fit into a very compact and interactive display,” Mellow added.
Karndean is celebrating its 40th anniversary and will be announcing promotions and programs throughout the year. For example, in the 40 Floors for 40 Causes campaign, the company will donate 40 free floors to charitable causes, 15 of which will be located in the U.S. Other initiatives include the sponsorship of continuing education credits (CEUs) for the architectural and design community.