January 5/12, 2015; Volume 28/Number 14
By Ken Ryan
The distribution agreement between USFloors and Beaulieu America that allows Beaulieu to sell its own Bliss COREtec collection of LVT speaks volumes of the product’s market power, according to Piet Dossche, president and CEO, USFloors.
“For a large and respectable manufacturer like Beaulieu to commit, it clearly validates this product and solidifies the belief that this COREtec construction is an entirely new product category emerging with a strong and permanent footprint in the LVT market,” Dossche told FCNews. “Beaulieu has seen the opportunity to be early in the market with its own COREtec One introduction, a reflection of its focus on innovation and differentiation.”
Dossche said discussions with Beaulieu began last spring and “intensified rather quickly” as the year progressed. The agreement occurred in mid-December.
For Beaulieu, this new line will allow the company to expand beyond its current assortment of Bliss luxury vinyl flooring products. “These products fill a real need in the marketplace for high quality, affordable, waterproof flooring in applications where traditional laminate and wood flooring may be too risky,” said Stan Bouckaert, director of hard surfaces for Beaulieu America.
The line will be called Bliss COREtec One Waterproof Engineered Flooring and will feature colors and visuals that are unique to Bliss while incorporating patent-pending COREtec technology. Bouckaert said the new line of waterproof products is set to launch this month and will be on display at Surfaces in Las Vegas.
Dossche noted that USFloors is in the final stages of the patent application process for COREtec. “In Belgium, there is a saying: ‘Don’t sell the skin of the bear before you shoot him.’ So I’ll wait to make any further comments until the bear is killed. But I can reveal that he’s clearly in my scope.”
In the meantime, additional companies have contacted USFloors, and Dossche said discussions are taking place for a variety of cooperation agreements.
Emboldened by the Beaulieu commitment, Dossche said he is confident that the luxury vinyl category created with COREtec can reach $1 billion over the next five to seven years. “Endorsements and support from leading companies like Beaulieu will accelerate this growth and help to uplift the entire LVT category. At the same time, it will promote innovation while respecting intellectual property and avoid the trap of commoditization as so much new capacity will be coming on stream over the next 12 to 18 months.”