Buying American reaches critical mass

Home Inside FCNews Buying American reaches critical mass

April 27/May 4, 2015; Volume 29/Number 2

By Ken Ryan

A recent study by Consumer Reports found that customers do, in fact, care where products are made. When given a choice between a product made in the U.S. and an identical one made abroad, 78% of Americans would rather buy American—and over 60% said they would spend more for it, the report noted.

Some flooring retailers say that a consumer will usually choose a domestic product over the import if her choice is narrowed down between the two and it doesn’t cost her any more.

Dealers have also reported that they will pay more to have American product in their stores. Kevin Rose, president and owner of Carpetland USA, with three Illinois locations, said he has a “mental awareness” to support American-made products—even if it costs him. “The quality and pride of supporting our American workers rather than foreign is well worth any small cost in my mind. Let’s stand behind the folks that purchase our products.”

Rose recently jettisoned some foreign-made products from his showroom to make room for Made in the USA offerings on the hard surface side. The result? “Our hardwood and laminate business has skyrocketed.”

Beyond the patriotic “proud to be an American” angle, there are sound business reasons why more domestically produced flooring is available today than in years past, and why retailers are creating additional space in their showrooms for these products.

Job creation

It has been said that if every American spent an extra $3.33 on U.S.-made products it would create almost 10,000 new jobs. And according to research, if every builder used just 5% more domestically made products it would create 220,000 jobs. Furthermore, each manufacturing job creates an additional five to eight jobs.


American manufacturers abide by strict regulations to protect the environment. These guidelines do not exist in most countries that do a fair amount of manufacturing and import their goods into the U.S., in some instances causing pollution and environmental abuse.


Countries that ship their materials overseas to the U.S. are adding toll on petroleum usage and increasing unnecessary emissions in the atmosphere. One often-cited key advantage of domestic production is freight. In order to manufacture red oak from Asia, for example, a company has to ship the raw material from America to Asia, where it’s made into flooring, and then ship it back to the States.

Human rights

Importing countries have few or non-existent regulations/standards for working conditions. By keeping dollars in the U.S., Americans are not supporting these working conditions that may include gratuitously long hours, potential exploitation of children and low wages

Cause marketing

While baby boomers have long been supporters of Made in the USA products, research shows millennials are now joining the movement as well. According to the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), U.S. millennials are receptive to certain types of cause marketing such as Made in the USA and are willing to purchase items associated with these efforts. According to BCG, “As millennials enter their peak purchasing-power years, it will benefit manufacturers to provide more Made in the USA products, and overtly tout this claim, as this group is likely to be increasingly interested in buying American.”

Recycling dollars

When consumers buy American-made products, the proceeds remain in the U.S. economy. The money spent then pays the workers who directly or indirectly created the product purchased. When those workers spend their money on domestically made products, the dollars continue to be recycled. Americans also pay taxes on wages earned in the U.S., thus the purchases are supporting the national economy and tax base.

The Made in the USA movement is reaching critical mass among consumers. A 2014 consumer survey conducted by SSRS, a Media, Pa.-based market research firm, found that 93% of respondents were “more likely” or “equally likely” to buy American-made products than they were five years ago.

Must Read

Tarkett expands Color Pop collection

Solon, Ohio—Tarkett has expanded the portfolio for its Color Pop luxury vinyl tile and plank series. With the addition of six new colors—Breeze, Lilac,...

Mohawk names Malisa Maynard chief sustainability officer

Calhoun, Ga.—Mohawk Industries has named Malisa Maynard chief sustainability officer. Maynard is charged with effectively executing Mohawk’s sustainability strategy across the global enterprise. Maynard joined...

Exclusive: Credit card scam swindles flooring retailers

A credit card scam is sweeping through the flooring retail community, in some instances successfully stealing thousands of dollars from unsuspecting dealers in lost...

Networking strategies to boost your business

Building a network of referral relationships with other businesses is one of the most important things you can do to grow your own business...

Triforest brand Toucan Flooring takes flight

Toronto, Ontario, Canada—U.S. floor covering retailers and distributors seeking a North American producer of laminate flooring and SPC will soon have a viable option...

Low inventory fuels buyer interest in new homes

Washington, D.C.—As the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) celebrates National Homeownership Month in June, more Americans are turning to new homes as existing...
Some text some message..