News: Fletco taps carpet industry veteran

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Anthony Minite to lead Denmark mill’s North American expansion

October 24/31, 2016: Volume 31, Number 10
By Reginald Tucker

Fletco, one of Denmark’s leading carpet manufacturers, has named industry veteran Anthony Minite managing director of its new United States and Canadian operations. Minite, who successfully ran Bentley Prince Street for 11 years and ultimately was part of the team that purchased the company from its parent, Interface, in 2012, will lead a strategic plan to expand into the U.S. and Canada.

“We have been wanting to expand into the U.S. and Canada for some time, and we knew we needed someone with proven success in this market to lead us,” said Brian Jensen, president, Fletco. “Anthony has a reputation as a leader and his strengths and values align perfectly with those of Fletco. We believe this expansion, under his leadership, will be a tremendous success.”

Minite cited Fletco’s rich history and legacy of product development as a key draw. In particular, he cited the potential of the Fletco’s flat weave products—which have been a staple in Europe for many years. “For me this represents an opportunity to get back into an industry I love with a solid, forward-thinking company that has been a leader of flat woven products in Denmark. The company has been operating for 70 years in Europe, but it has only tip-toed in the United States and Canada.”

Minite has long been intrigued by the quality, style and design of the flat woven style product. “It’s something that you don’t really see in the U.S., not in significant quantities anyway. I truly believe our product offerings will invigorate this marketplace.”

Utilizing his 25 years of industry experience, Minite plans to leverage his skills in relationship building to create alliances with key distributors in the market. To that end, Fletco plans to partner with Spartan Surfaces and Sustainable Surfaces to expedite its expansion in North America. That expansion, which is already under way, is being executed simultaneously throughout the United States and Canada starting with Spartan Surfaces on the East Coast, Southeast and part of the Midwest and Sustainable Surfaces on the West Coast.

“We have aligned with really good strategic partners that have been known to focus on the dealer side as well as the architect and designer side,” Minite said. “We’ve already started that process of getting the product into a multitude of segments such as corporate, retail and hospitality.”

At the same time, Minite is mindful of the challenges of building a brand in a new market halfway around the world. “Anytime you’re trying to establish something new and compete with long-standing companies here in the States inevitably there are going to be some challenges. But I do think the uniqueness of this product will open new doors and opportunities. All of the major players are using the same solution-dyed nylons and everybody is purchasing ColorPoint machines. Although there are great designs out there, they are limited in terms of technology. Clearly, as we evolve and get some of the new designs out there, we will overcome that challenge.”

In the meantime, Minite is staying focused on the job at hand. “Fletco is allowing me to strategically build what that company looks like in North America. That’s the exciting part.”

Fletco Carpets will officially launch at NeoCon East in Philadelphia this month.

 

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