November 20/27, 2017: Volume 32, Issue 12
Combined entity to make debut at Surfaces
By Reginald Tucker
Dalton–What has been rumored for months is now confirmed. Shaw Floors, parent company of the venerable Anderson Hardwood and Tuftex brands, has announced plans to merge the two with the combined entity to be called Anderson Tuftex. The change is effective Jan. 1, 2018.
For Shaw, the deal made sense because both brands have a long heritage in the flooring industry and are a natural fit. According to Carrie Edwards Isaac, vice president, Anderson Tuftex, the brand will take a holistic and consumer-centric approach to marketing and product development. This, she said, is based on the fact today’s consumer demands a simplified shopping experience both in-store and online.
“The entire consumer journey is changing and has been for quite some time,” Edwards Isaac said. “Consumers are finding inspiration everywhere and are more directly connected with brands than ever before. But purchasing flooring is complicated and consumers feel pressured to get it right. At Anderson Tuftex, it’s about simplicity. We don’t want to overwhelm consumers with options but, rather craft intentional designs that serve as a canvas for their lives.”
Anderson Tuftex will be showcased at Shaw Connect 2018 winter markets and will unveil the new premium brand at Surfaces in Las Vegas. The future of these two legacy brands will focus on their new, collective brand identity by working with their valued retail partners to drive premium floor covering sales.
“We’re committed to elevating the discussion with our customers and providing them with a beautiful product mix that they’re eager to sell,” said Trey Thames, vice president of sales, Anderson Tuftex. “By offering bold, yet timeless patterns and foundational colors in both hard and soft surface flooring products, we’re empowering our customers to create a seamless shopping experience for consumers.”
Retailers buy in
For many Shaw retailers the announcement doesn’t come as a surprise, although it is welcomed news.
Todd Wheeler, owner of Wheeler’s Flooring in Salinas, Calif., said that while he initially questioned the merging of an East Coast line (Anderson) with a West Coast mill (Tuftex), he believes the pairing ultimately makes sense. “It goes hand in hand with the trends in the industry of carpet losing share and—in the last few years—the growth of hard surfaces. Tuftex has a good rug program; Anderson is a good hardwood brand. To have the brands merge and complement each other I believe will be a good marriage.”
As a result of the merger, Wheeler said his Tuftex rep will now also have the Anderson line, which makes sense instead of having two people. He also believes Shaw “needed to do something” with Tuftex and not let it fall away and be gobbled up like other mills. “Shaw really is trying to hold onto that brand, which is smart because Tuftex makes great carpet.”
In his Salinas showroom, hard surface products are generally positioned on one side of the floor, across from soft surfaces. However, when the Anderson Tuftex displays come in, Wheeler will likely pair them together in one common area, which he believes will stimulate sales. “As a Kool-Aid drinking Shaw customer who has had a great relationship with Shaw over the years, I am excited about this branding.”
Dean Howell, owner of two Moda Floors & Interior stores in Atlanta, got his first glimpse of the Anderson Tuftex pairing at the Shaw Flooring Network winter market earlier this year (FCNews, Jan. 30. Feb. 6.) Like Wheeler, he believes in the combined marketing strategy. “Shaw’s plans to re-energize the Anderson brand is exciting. They’re trying to elevate the image of Anderson the way they are doing with the Tuftex line.”