December 21/28; Volume 30/Number 13
By Ken Ryan
For the first time since 2003, Mohawk Flooring will be exhibiting on the main floor of The International Surface Event (TISE) in Las Vegas.
“We are coming back full throttle,” Tom Lape, president of Mohawk residential, told FCNews.
Mohawk is a vastly different company than it was the last time it exhibited at Surfaces. Since then, Mohawk has acquired Columbia Flooring, Unilin/ Quick-Step, Marazzi Group, Pergo and IVC. These brands join pre-2003 acquisitions Dal-Tile and American Olean to form a powerhouse Mohawk family. “We certainly bring a lot more options than in the past,” Lape said. Mohawk will take up an expansive space (officially booth 4003) just inside the main entrance of the exhibit hall.
Lape explained Mohawk’s return to Surfaces speaks to the importance of the show as well as the company’s commitment to educating the retailer. “There is no better place to be than Surfaces; it’s the industry’s marquee show. Our presence makes a lot of sense as more customers today want to do business with North American manufacturers who make product for North America. There is a groundswell in demand for domestic manufacturing and it is important that we are where our customers are.”
Mohawk entered into a multi-year agreement with Informa Exhibitions, owner of TISE, to attend Surfaces. Lape did not give a specific number other than it is more than two years.
“As an event that serves the flooring industry, we are beyond thrilled to have Mohawk and all of its brands with us at Surfaces,” said Amie Gilmore, TISE show director. “It’s important to offer industry professionals the products and services they need to develop and grow their businesses, especially from the key manufacturers and suppliers that provide them. We have a great partner in Mohawk and its brands and we are looking forward to a very exciting 2016 show.”
Mohawk, as with all exhibitors, expects to gain an attendance boost from the International Builder Show (IBS), which takes place Jan. 19-21 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Surfaces is scheduled Jan. 20-22 at Mandalay Bay. Shuttle busses will be provided to transport attendees between the venues. “There is a great deal of retail support at IBS,” Lape said. “There is not a doubt in my mind we will see crossover from that show.”
Mohawk is calling its Surfaces package of products/initiatives the “Have It All” collection:
SmartStrand Forever Clean
The company will highlight the fiber innovation to enhance the SmartStrand brand.
ArmorMax Finish technology
Mohawk is expanding its collection of engineered hardwood and laminate offerings with new double-stained techniques, deeper embossing and textures, in addition to maximum protection.
LVT and vinyl sheet
Launching at Surfaces, the Fashion Coordinates collection features the compatibility of a hardwood and tile look.
“Mohawk continues to invest in productivity and capabilities to provide the most compelling value proposition in the marketplace to our retail partners,” Lape said. “In addition, we are offering our retail partners a full suite of tools to be successful in 2016. The ‘Have It All’ introductions and initiatives are designed to drive traffic and maximize profitability for our retailers.”
At Surfaces, Mohawk will announce what it calls “a groundbreaking opportunity” for its dealers in hard surfaces—a collection of high-fashion products employing innovative technology to enhance visuals, durability, textures and performance.
“Lunch with Google”
Also at the show, Mohawk and FloorForce are partnering with Google to co-host “Lunch with Google,” an opportunity for flooring retailers to maximize their digital lead efforts. Lape will join Ben Tyson, Google’s head of sales enablement, for a discussion on how retailers can effectively capture more flooring customers in 2016. The one-hour event starts at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 20. Tickets can be purchased online for $60 (plus a $4.29 fee). It includes a three-course lunch. For registration information, visit bit.ly/LunchwithGoogle.
“It will be a pretty eye-opening event,” Lape said. “I strongly encourage any retailer, if you can attend only one event at Surfaces, let it be [this one].”
David Duncan, senior vice president of marketing and residential operations for Mohawk, noted that Tyson works specifically with small businesses, similar in size to many specialty dealers. “Google could have contacted anybody to do this but they invited us to share the space with them. It is a coup for us and it is a great opportunity for the retailer.”
Tyson, known as “Mr. T,” said Google is “honored to partner with Mohawk and FloorForce, both leaders in the flooring industry, to help retailers capture more customers online.” He said his goal for “Lunch with Google” is for flooring dealers “to walk away with a greater understanding of digital marketing and its power in generating sales.”