By Reginald Tucker After postponing Edge 2020 due to the pandemic, Mohawk is going full speed ahead with its 2021 Edge Summit, which is scheduled to take place Dec. 1-4 at the Gaylord Opryland in Nashville, Tenn. In keeping with past events, the 2021 Edge Summit invites retailers to experience world-class digital programs, new product offerings and industry-leading networking opportunities designed to drive business growth and customer loyalty. But unlike past Edge summits, this one takes on a greater sense of urgency and excitement.
“After a year postponement, Mohawk is more than ready to host our customers in a big way,” said Jeff Meadows, president, residential sales. “We are coming together for the second Mohawk Edge Summit to celebrate our customers who have thrived in a year of uncertainty.”
Karen Mendelsohn, Mohawk’s senior vice president of marketing, agreed. “There has never been a more important time for our customers to leverage their Edge status with Mohawk. Winning isn’t just about your bottom line. It’s about knowing you seized every opportunity to set yourself apart in your market to gain share. And with the latest programs and innovative products, we have built what consumers want and can ultimately drive them directly to flooring specialty retailers.”
Trey Thames, senior vice president, residential sales, Mohawk, said he is looking forward to welcoming customers back again. “Obviously, we have been traveling and seeing our customers on the road, but Edge is one place where we get a lot of our best customers—many at the senior level—together for three days that we haven’t seen in a while.”
Thames said Edge Summit 2021 will be one of the biggest yet—and that’s not just in terms of numbers. “This is probably going to be one of the most important conventions we’ve had just because so much has changed in the last 18 months,” he told FCNews. “And so much has changed in retail with the consumer, with COVID-19, post-COVID-19, etc. And I think a lot of those changes will probably be somewhat permanent as far as buying behavior goes. Business has been really good for many of our customers, but I think they also have a lot more questions than they had at the last Edge convention as far as what the future holds. So I’m excited to see some of the solutions that we’ll be presenting and offering to help them navigate the future of retail.”
New programs, initiatives
Edge dealers will have no shortage of incentives to participate in the summit. On tap are several educational sessions organized by specific tracks: Future of Retail; Driving Digital; Operational Excellence; and Fashion Trends & Inspiration. Each track is grounded by peer-to-peer sessions along with presentations on key topics facing today’s business landscape. “They’re all designed and developed to really focus on what we see for the future,” Thames explained.
The educational session lineup was created around the areas where retailers said they need the most guidance and assistance. Online marketing is one of those areas. “The biggest is really the digital marketing and the overall online experience for the consumer,” Thames said. “The last 18 months have really driven that home with some who maybe didn’t have as much of a focus on digital advertising and digital/social marketing. That’s a place where we’ve offered a lot of help and solutions for our customers.”
Financing options is another area of focus. “A lot of our customers are looking to take advantage of the consumer financing that we provide and the buy-downs that we offer our Edge partners, which are substantial,” Thames said.
Another big draw, Thames noted, is the networking component that the Edge Summit provides. “When our dealers go to Edge, they’re away from their business and can sit down and network with other retailers who might not be in their market.”
For Edge retailers like Craig Phillips, president of Barrington Carpet, Cleveland, the opportunity to reconnect with fellow dealers and Mohawk executives is always welcome. “The convention gives us the opportunity to refresh and reenergize as we continue to move out of the pandemic and position our businesses to succeed in these challenging times,” he told FCNews. “The peer-to-peer connections are a critical part of the convention success for me. Talking with dealers from all over the country and sharing best practices has always been a key component of convention for myself and my leadership team that attend.”
Typhannie Watson, owner of Carpeting By Mike, Somerset, Ky., concurred. “One of my favorite things to do is network with industry professionals, the team at Mohawk and other like-minded dealers,” she said. “It is an opportunity to learn more about what other dealers are doing and where Mohawk is going in the future.”
That’s not the only draw for Watson. She said she also likes what Mohawk offers from a lead-generation standpoint. “I am a firm supporter of their marketing campaigns,” she said. “I have seen what it has done for me and for my company’s profit margins. They found a way to capture the attention of a customer and drive them to my store with matching campaigns and aligning myself with them.”
Barrington Carpets’ Phillips agreed, citing Mohawk’s strength on the digital side. “Mohawk is making big strides as the leader in the digital marketing side of our industry,” he explained. “This convention promises to give us the tools for continued success as independent retailers.”