Wood—Inhaus, FlorStar: Partners in collaborative design

Home Inside FCNews Wood—Inhaus, FlorStar: Partners in collaborative design

October 10/17, 2016: Volume 31, Number 9

By Reginald Tucker

At one point, Top 20 distributor FlorStar was a large Wilsonart laminate flooring distributor. But when the countertop and surface material company’s parent, ITW, decided to exit the laminate business several years ago, FlorStar had to find a suitable replacement.

“We were looking for a new manufacturer to partner with in the same we did with Wilsonart,” said Scott Rozmus, president. The solution actually came through an alliance with several laminate vendors—one of which included Inhaus, a German manufacturer with a solid reputation in the European marketplace. “Inhaus is focused on a specific category and it is among the best in the world in that category as a manufacturer in Germany. Meanwhile, its team here in the U.S. has the design element.”

But perhaps the best part about working with Inhaus, Rozmus said, is the manufacturer’s willingness to work closely with its distribution partners on the details. “Specifically, they will work with their wholesalers to create designs—or provide designs from their vast library—that folks believe will sell well in their individual marketplaces. That really has been an important attribute of their overall success.”

That makes perfect sense, given the fact that one of Inhaus’ best-selling lines was actually developed by another distributor. “The line had real appeal domestically,” Rozmus recalled. “The collaboration Inhaus formed with the other distributor not only benefitted them within that particular wholesaler’s geography but in many other places. The fact that Inhaus is open to that kind of collaboration is to its credit. It shows the company is flexible and open to input.”

FlorStar began stocking the Inhaus brand in 2016, but it has been working with the manufacturer on product and design development for several years. As Rozmus explained: “We’ve had a private-label laminate program for years, but it was the collaboration with Inhaus on that line that made us mutually decide it made sense to launch the current collection as a separate line. If we had different manufacturers’ collections together, we felt that would preclude us from pushing some of their features and benefits.”

Mutually beneficial
In much the same way that FlorStar benefits from Inhaus’ expertise, the laminate manufacturer gains from the distributor’s insight and experience in serving retailers in the markets it serves. “We’re very pleased to be working with FlorStar,” said Derek Welbourn, CEO, Inhaus. “We view all of our distribution partnerships as long-term relationships. It’s important for both companies to be focused on the future given the dynamic nature of the marketplace where things can change very rapidly.”

Daniel Lang, vice president of sales and marketing at Inhaus, agreed. “The launch of Inhaus laminate with FlorStar this summer exceeded our expectations in both the number of retailers taking on the program and the sales that have been generated. It was very rewarding to see the excitement from the retailers when the new FlorStar program from Inhaus was introduced.”

Both Inhaus and FlorStar are looking for that excitement to continue as new collections and existing product line extensions are conceived. Careful not to divulge too much in advance of the next wave of product rollouts, Rozmus would only say this: “Laminate lends itself to different designs and performance capabilities and strengths relative to other categories. There’s an important future for that category that’s going to be based on elements of high design and enhanced performance. As world-class laminate manufacturers combine high design and improved performance, the category is going to become even more relevant than it is.”

Inhaus is looking forward to the next phase. “We are now working on what we can do for continued success in 2017, 2018 and beyond,” Welbourn said.


Must Read

Tarkett refreshes Renewal series

Solon, Ohio—Tarkett has expanded its nature-inspired Renewal Series with two new prints. Inspired by the outdoors, the new designs, Veiled Grove and Ebbing Waves,...

Starnet announces new board members, officers

Columbus, Ohio—On May 20, 2023, Starnet Worldwide Commercial Flooring Partnership held a shareholder meeting for its voting stockholders of record. During the meeting the...

Daltile selected for Chip Wade’s new ‘Pinhoti Peak’ show home

Dallas, Texas—Expert craftsman and celebrity designer, Chip Wade, recently completed the year-long design and build of his ultimate show home, “Pinhoti Peak,” in the...

Lucida Surfaces promotes Herzog to regional sales manager

Wayne, N.J.—Lucida Surfaces has named Jacob Herzog regional sales manager. With this promotion, Herzog will be responsible for overseeing the North Jersey and New...

Mohawk Industries ranked among America’s Climate Leaders

Calhoun, Ga.—Mohawk Industries has earned a place among America’s Climate Leaders presented by USA Today. Mohawk was the only flooring manufacturer among the businesses...

Alan Greenberg Charity Golf Fundraiser to kick off in September

Adairsville, Ga.—The annual Alan Greenberg Charity Golf Fundraiser will take place on Sept. 13, 2023. This year will be the 21st year of hosting...
Some text some message..