By Ken Ryan
Embarking on what it called “uncharted territory,” Alliance Flooring kicked off Connect 2020 this week, the buying group’s first virtual buying and networking event.
The two-week program runs through Aug. 7 and features pre-produced, on-demand video content, product introductions, educational seminars, industry speakers and best practices from key members.
Connect 2020 ostensibly replaces the group’s biennial summit, which was scheduled to be held in August in Lockport, N.Y., but was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Kevin Logue, vice president of marketing for Alliance Flooring, addressed members at the start of Connect 2020 and praised retailers for their resourcefulness during these unprecedented times.
“I want to salute you guys for your strength and steadfastness in weathering this storm and getting out in the field and trying to grow your businesses and trying to maintain some normalcy,” Logue said. “It is very encouraging to see business come back so quickly and strongly in June and July—better than any of us anticipated.”
Piggybacking on that theme, Scott Sandlin, executive vice president, residential, for Shaw Industries, said the flooring industry is in a good place right now, even despite some challenges wrought by the ongoing coronavirus, which has hit the Southeast U.S. quite hard.
“Our industry is coming back, and in the next 36 months this is going to be a great industry to be in,” Sandlin said. “Housing and remodeling are really the bright spots of the economy, and I think we have some good times ahead of us.”
Welton Davison, vice president of national accounts, hard surfaces, demonstrated several new Shaw SPC offerings specifically for Alliance members, including products featuring 20-mil wear layers and 72-inch lengths, along with mixed width options. As well, Shaw showed an impressive engineered hardwood line as well as a ColorTile Pro waterproof performance display that can accommodate 48 unique samples that is ready to ship today.
FCNews.net will be providing exclusive, daily coverage of Connect 2020 through Aug. 7.