Shaw 2015 introductions: Products reflect worldwide trends, Color of the Year

HomeInside FCNewsShaw 2015 introductions: Products reflect worldwide trends, Color of the Year

January 5/12, 2015; Volume 28/Number 14

Lady in Grey integrated across all categories illustrating ‘luxury aesthetic’

By Jenna Lippin

The idea behind Shaw’s 2015 introductions is inspiration, mainly those ideas gathered by designer Emily Kiker Morrow, Shaw’s director of styling, during her international travels. “I just never stop imagining,” she said.

In addition to traveling to various locations worldwide—from upstate New York to Venice England and Tanzania—she also develops ideas from attending markets and shows overseas, such as Cersaie in Italy.

The megatrend Morrow saw all over the world, which has been integrated in Shaw’s latest offerings, is classic design with a modern appeal. To help expand upon this movement, Shaw has introduced its 2015 Color of the Year, Lady in Grey, which will be reflected across the company’s entire product portfolio.

“The importance of the Color of the Year is the fact it’s something we’ve seen in all categories: hard, soft, residential, commercial worldwide,” Morrow explained. “The Color of the Year will give consumers peace of mind that it’s not only a new color—there are some places in the country where it has just been discovered—but they will also understand that gray today is more than just the sensible, no-nonsense color; it’s more of a luxurious neutral. It gives that perfect blank backdrop they can build off of or use to make their personal statements.”

Morrow added that Shaw worked to “scale down” some of the trends and designs picked up at international markets, including oversized geometrics, or classic patterns that are larger in scale; coastal chic; rustic industrial/rustic elegance with reclaimed influences addressed in color lines; and luxurious materials, which includes better-quality goods. “Lady in Grey kind of speaks to that,” she said. “It’s a luxury aesthetic with a softer, better quality.”

Hard surface developments

Shaw’s hard surface catalog has been refreshed for 2015 with fashion-forward trending visuals and the latest product innovations. In fact, according to Natalie Cady, hard surface marketing director, this year marks the largest hard surface introduction in the company’s history.

Coordinating color and design trends across all categories has allowed Shaw to update the entire hard surface category. “We’re an in-house design team, so if you find something that works really well in resilient, for example, you can put it into a wood, then into a tile,” Cady explained. “Some of our best selling tile came from best selling wood and laminate. Then we put it into a wood tile visual, which is super hot in the tile world. We design all of our own visuals, so we can say, ‘That would look awesome in another medium.’”

One particular highlight for Shaw’s 2015 hard surface update is in hardwood, with a big solid introduction for the new year that builds upon a successful launch from a few years ago with a product called Chimney Rock. New colors have been added to include the popular darker grays, neutral browns and light chocolates. The new solid offerings also feature an intensified chisel, “because it looks good in these color tones,” Cady noted.

While Shaw has been working diligently to fill some holes on the engineered side to keep up with its growing popularity, Cady said the company wanted to be sure to keep solid at the forefront, with a breadth of options from entry level on up. “We have the capacity to beef up solid, and we think the appetite for it will never really go away because it has been here for so long. With engineered you can do a little bit more when it comes to design, but the way you can actually scrape and texture a solid can’t be put into a veneer. You can do the same sort of treatment on an engineered vs. solid and get two different visuals. Due to high capacity, there will always be a need for solid.”

Perhaps the biggest story coming from Shaw’s hard surface collection in 2015 is its brand-new Floorté product, which is categorized as a resilient offering. Floorté, according to Cady, is considered an “enhanced vinyl plank,” which features a unique “artfully crafted, virtually waterproof” core called Lifeguard. The new collection will be offered in two constructions: a 12 mil selection with classic visuals that have undergone a modern update, and a 20 mil option that will include 13 distinct patterns.

“There are two major differences between Floorté and competing products,” Cady said. “We went to our supplier and said, ‘We need this to be as water tight as possible and need to be sure it passes the castor test.’ All of our competitors fail it. We designed our locking system solely for this product. The construction is different as well as what is in the core. And the static load is higher because of our construction. This becomes important especially when dealing with temperature, furniture and just life in general.”

Floorté is coated with an Armorbead, nano-ceramic finish, and all products from the line are constructed in one facility. The entire collection consists of 27 SKUs, currently all 6 x 48, with more sizes in development. Floorté comes with a light commercial warranty.

A softer side

In carpet, the focus for Shaw in 2015 is nylon, but PET won’t be neglected by any means. For both fiber types there are new displays highlighting new styles and best sellers, and facilitating an easier shopping experience for consumers.

Shaw’s PET launch is the Simply Yours collection with 21 new styles ranging in weights from 24 to 70 ounces. “We’re now hitting the sweet-spot price points with PET,” said Brad Christensen, PET residential carpet marketing manager. “We upped our game from a color and diversity standpoint while hitting those value prices.”

To help easily navigate the pricing of the Simply Yours collection, products will be featured in a new color-coded display featuring selections at $15 (green), $17 (turquoise), $19 (red) and $26 (navy). “We’re trying to give the dealer a discreet way to merchandise multiple selections within a price point,” Christensen noted. Overall, the PET focus this year is the “smart utilization of SKUs,” in addition to a wide variety of styles and an emphasis on gray tones.

Nylon will see an expansive, refreshing update for the Anso Colorwall, Soft Shades and Caress, with a goal of giving retailers something to offer every type of consumer.

According to Mike Sanderson, product marketing manager, Shaw’s Anso Nylon Colorwall is the company’s most recognized and most successful marketing program, but it was in need of a boost. “We pushed [the update] to maintain momentum, excitement and attractiveness.”

The Colorwall includes 70 colors as a whole with 47 new tones and 23 existing offerings remaining. The refreshed collection will focus on more muted, subtle colors with an integration of accents. “We wanted to be able to expand to new accents and new tonals,” Sanderson said. “We are finding tonals gaining more and more momentum in the marketplace—both twist accents and true tonals.”

Also new on the display front is the enlarged footprint of the Caress display system, which includes 10 styles in two constructions. Like Anso, Caress’ updated merchandising system allows for an enhanced display to highlight new products. The 2015 update includes three refreshed styles, two consisting of twist accents at 60 ounces and one solid texture at 80 ounces. The new Caress Pattern collection includes 10 new designs, all with loop construction.

“From what we’ve seen, when people [choose] carpet for their homes, they want it to look different from hard surface,” Sanderson explained. “They want something solid that will accentuate their hard surfaces. As a collection, Caress is styling and luxury at its best.”

Anso Soft Shades has also been revitalized for 2015, moving beyond the gold-color focus it has had in the past. The collection update includes the addition of more blues, grays and natural colorations. “Where previous flecks and accents were so subtle and muted, we’re now going to revive them,” Sanderson said. “We’re adding true tailored, textured tonals to the collection and offering [them] in an exceptional color palette drawn from the original 40 colors. We’re coming back around and offering a true twist with a dull/bright combo in a good/better/best [system] with 30, 40 and 50 ounces to help give more options and upgrade the consumer.”

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