Eight major hardwood flooring manufacturers are charter members of the Real Wood Coalition, a promotional campaign that is launching this month in partnership with Floor Covering News.
The goal of the group is to promote solid and engineered hardwood flooring by educating retailers and retail salespeople through the pages of FCNews as well as its digital platforms. The initiative will make its launch in the Feb. 15/22 issue.
The charter members bring a global perspective. They include three of the top hardwood manufacturers in the U.S.: AHF, Mullican and Somerset; two of the top Canadian mills in Boa Franc, makers of the Mirage brand, and Mercier; the leading South American hardwood manufacturer in Indusparquet; Nature, a global leader which operates manufacturing facilities in China, Cambodia, Poland, France, Peru and Gabon; and Torlys, a supplier of hardwood from Indonesia and Belgium.
“Hardwood flooring suppliers have been losing market share over these last few years to the increasingly popular SPC/rigid category,” said Steven Feldman, FCNews publisher. “These suppliers are seeing a decline in both solid and engineered wood sales while many flooring retailers are experiencing an uptick in general sales. The issue for them is that there can be twice as many profit dollars in a hardwood sale than other categories. That’s not to say these products are not great—they certainly are. The Real Wood Coalition is simply designed to put the spotlight on hardwood and re-educate retailers and their salespeople on wood’s features and benefits. As the leading trade magazine, FCNews is providing the forum.”
Manufacturers say there is no better time than now to retrain retailers on the value of hardwood flooring and the opportunity it presents for increased sales dollars. These days, people are relocating in droves. Whether to escape city life, the need for larger living spaces or simply to reside in a state with fewer restrictions, the existing home sales market is booming. And the fact remains that flooring is often replaced within a year of people moving into new homes.
That’s not all. So many people have been stuck in their homes looking at their old flooring for months. They’re not taking lavish vacations anytime soon and in many places, they can’t go to a restaurant. The have plenty of disposable income. What are they doing? Renovating. And flooring is a big part of that. “This represents an opportunity for hardwood; retailers and salespeople just need to be retrained on the value of wood and taught how to sell it to consumers,” Feldman added.
The Real Wood Coalition will put forth multiple messages, from the natural aspect of the product—which is often mimicked—to the fact it adds value to consumers’ homes, to how retailers can make more profit dollars. The campaign is designed to educate retailers and RSAs on the product itself as well as how to successfully promote, market, position and sell hardwood to consumers.
Coverage will appear in many issues of FCNews throughout 2021. In terms of content, each edition will contain a number of pieces:
- A main story that consists of pure education, trends or issues surrounding the hardwood flooring category.
- A selling article that will consist of interviews with retailers on upselling, trading customers up to wood, positioning, marketing and merchandising, etc. In other words, successful tips for their peers to employ.
- A profile on a coalition member demonstrating their value proposition to retailers and consumers. In other words, a story to tell consumers.
- A new product photo and caption from one of the coalition members.
- An existing, successful, tried-and-true product from a coalition member.
This initiative will hopefully increase sales for hardwood manufacturers and generate greater profit dollars for flooring retailers. The campaign will include both print and digital exposure using FCNews’ many platforms as well as those of each member. Webinars/videos will be added to the campaign over time.