January 20/27, 2020: Volume 35, Issue 15
By Steven Feldman
So here we are at Surfaces, the unofficial start to 2020. There will be a lot happening in these next 11 months (and one week) both in the flooring world and the world at large. So, what’s on my mind only five days from boarding that plane to Vegas? In no particular order….
I’m thinking the Karastan brand expansion into hardwood and rigid core will be a home run… Everyone is coming up with their own SPC iterations, but the biggest innovation this year may be digital printing on SPC. Raskin Industries will be the first to go to market as his Surfaces showstopper with Mannington to follow in the second half of the year. Not surprising—two companies with a legacy of style and design leadership… Speaking of Mannington and design, Terry Marchetta has followed in Joe Amato’s big footsteps quite seamlessly… Happy to see Piet Dossche inducted into the WFCA Hall of Fame. Our bad for not getting to him first with an FCNews Lifetime Achievement Award… Sitting with Bob Shaw for a couple hours makes me a smarter human being. Talk about time well spent… I’m betting on Michel Vermette and the new leadership team at Armstrong. Innovations forthcoming… You know what I despise more than anything else? Gate lice—the people who hover at the gate when they are boarding in zone 14, blocking the entryway for the other 188 passengers.
I’m thinking this is an election year and not looking forward to all those ridiculous political ads… Three sure things in life: death, taxes and seeing Joe Choflet from Michael Halebian at the gym every morning at 6:30 during Surfaces… I’m curious how many people believe a 1.2mm wood veneer on top of a rigid core should actually be called real wood. And I’m expecting to see 127 companies unveil more of this at Surfaces… Shaw’s carpet intros focus on the mid to upper end—where retailers can make money… Is it me, or is Doug Jackson continuing to do a phenomenal job at Cali Bamboo? Speaking of Jackson, I wonder how many thank-you gifts he received from his fellow importers for helping to get the tariffs on select LVT imports rescinded—at least for now… The Cosmopolitan is becoming my favorite place in Las Vegas to consume and imbibe… Marquis purchasing Lonesome Oak quietly creates a nice little carpet company.
I’m thinking you should visit us at Surfaces booth #421 for a free massage… Lori Kisner and Barbara Stroup are quietly doing a great job with their regional markets in Dallas and Atlanta. Dallas’ debut at Jerryworld exceeded everyone’s expectations… If I can stay away from Eye Candy the four nights I will be in Las Vegas I will be a much better human being… Excited for some big news coming from Inhaus in a few months… What Engineered Floors has done in 10 years blows me away… The WFCA needs to be commended for its Floor Covering Education Foundation initiative. Now, if everyone would get behind it… I’m going to miss seeing Tom Lape at all the shows… COREtec Grande from USFloors and TruCor Prime from The Dixie Group may be the longest and widest WPCs on the market. By the way, we’re seeing more WPCs being launched after a couple years of all rigid, all the time… Chiefs 27, 49ers 24 in the big game.
I’m thinking I really like this new team at Stainmaster/PetProtect. Their youth and enthusiasm will serve the company well… Recently heard old friend Ken Peden isn’t getting around so well due to a bad back. If you know him, wish him well… Keith Spano and Frank Chiera don’t get enough credit for what they are doing at Flooring America… You know what irks me? People who don’t return phone calls. Maybe I’ll publish my top 10 list soon… Finally, if you’re a retailer, please don’t forget to send us email addresses of your salespeople so they can receive a digital copy of our new quarterly magazine, RSA. Don’t worry; you won’t be getting any spam trying to sell you a new home climate control system.