October 24/31, 2016: Volume 31, Number 10
By Ken Ryan
When Michael Raskin introduced his company’s first domestic-LVT brand—FloorNation—at the International Surface Event (Surfaces) in 2016, he was hopeful distributors would see what he envisioned: a truly distinct product that would resonate with their customers. Six months after the official launch, it appears Raskin’s greatest hope is being realized as three of the industry’s top 20 distributors have taken on FloorNation.
“Our strategy is to introduce good quality products to our customers from Lake Erie, Ohio, to Key West,” said Scott Roy, CEO of Gilford-Johnson Flooring. “FloorNation does just that.”
FloorNation is a phthalate-free virgin vinyl flooring offered in three collections: Freedom, Pride and Glory, all featuring the company’s G88 Advanced Coating System.
T&L Distributing of Houston was the first distributor on board. It has been carrying Pride and Freedom for two to three months and just got the Glory line. “My reps love it, they love the idea of getting it quick, and there is a story to tell with Pride, Freedom and Glory,” said Scott Carson, director of products and marketing for T&L. “The visuals are incredible. Michael Raskin has done it once again with designing that collection. What helps the distributor the most is that it is made in the U.S. The product is being built in Ohio, they are carrying product in Ohio. I can have the product in one to two weeks as opposed to eight to 10 weeks [if imported]. That is huge for my business.”
Joining T&L as top 20 distributors carrying the FloorNation line are Gilford-Johnson and All Tile, a top five wholesaler that covers a large swath of the Midwest.
To help drive sales of the Raskin family of brands, including FloorNation through distribution, the company named industry veteran Ted Rocha director of sales. He is currently meeting with prospective distribution partners in the West as Raskin continues to expand its national network. “I have never seen such a complete program, a selling system, marketing and display system, like FloorNation,” Rocha said. “We are locked and loaded and ready to roll. I don’t want to sound cocky but our line is so strong with the Made in USA angle, and with the Raskin name attached to it we should be doing the choosing here [of distributors].”
One of the chosen was Gilford-Johnson. “We were flattered that Michael considered Gilford-Johnson to handle the line, and we’re really excited to be launching the product in our entire footprint,” said Jodie Doyle, vice president of product management. “The thing we like about this new line is we are getting Michael’s high design looks in affordable price points with a product made right here at home. We believe the Made in the USA story with FloorNation is a game changer and we are ready to take that to the masses.”
Doyle said the line has broad appeal in both the residential replacement community and more significantly commercial A&D. “Our commercial group is really excited about the initial response they are getting and we’re already landing some significant projects.”
She said Gilford-Johnson first previewed the line at Surfaces 2016 and knew immediately it had winner written all over it. “Michael’s fashion-forward approach and insistence on high quality made this a no brainer for our company.”
Raskin said he plans to keep FloorNation separate from his other brands (Elevations Loose Lay and Loft) and emphasize FloorNation’s Made in USA story. Nox U.S., a South Korean OEM manufacturer, is making the FloorNation line in Fostoria, Ohio. Raskin is adding the design elements that differentiate the line.
In other news, the company is moving its headquarters to Deerfield Beach, Fla., and will soon open what Raskin is calling a state-of-the-art showroom and warehouse space. The company is currently in Boca Raton, which is just north of the new location.