By Ken Ryan—Designed to ease the sting caused when specialty dealers lost the Stainmaster brand to Lowe’s, The Dixie Group has unveiled the Premier Flooring Center (PFC), a multi-faceted selling system that effectively replaces and improves upon the Stainmaster Flooring Center. PFC launches with 218 locations of the former Stainmaster Flooring Centers taking on the new program.
Launched by The Dixie Group and the brainchild of Pami Bhullar, vice president – business development at TDG, PFC is positioned as a complete selling system emphasizing a “best, better, good” selling strategy with nylon 6,6 as the “best,” nylon 6 as the “better” and polyester as the “good.
PFC includes the catchy tagline, “It matters where you buy flooring.” As such, it emphasizes customers’ needs and values. For the consumer, PFC will be the “easiest, most confident way to buy, while saving time, money and hassle,” according to Bhullar.
For the retail sales professional, PFC will be the easiest way to sell flooring, with confidence, and simplicity. As Bhullar explained: “Every step in the selling process is repeatable—and if it is repeatable it is improvable. If it is improvable, it is perfectible.”
For the retail owner there will be more opportunities to make money and enjoy an “unparalleled competitive” advantage in each market. Manufacturers benefit as well. “When customers buy better products, there are fewer service issues, mills make better products—and everyone makes more money,” Bhullar said. “As the saying goes, ‘A rising tide lifts all boats.’ PFC helps the entire food chain.”
Seizing an opportunity
Stainmaster’s exit from the specialty flooring industry via its acquisition by Lowe’s created an opportunity that TDG quickly seized on. Bhullar and his team at TDG worked on the selling system and got immediate buy-in from flooring retailers. “We put together a team that had the vision to take the pain out of losing Stainmaster,” he said. “We moved quickly to fill a void—the stars were aligned.”
The selling system’s “best” product is nylon 6,6 which includes Dixie’s EnVision 6,6 fiber. However, the system is not limited to one brand or fiber. That makes it different than Stainmaster, which used the Invista fiber. In fact, Bhullar likened PFC to “Stainmaster 5.0,” meaning it is superior and offers better products and warranties while simplifying the purchasing process.
Bhullar and his team made its initial presentation within seven days of Stainmaster’s exit to members of the National Floorcovering Alliance (NFA), which was appropriate given the majority of NFA dealers were also SFCs.
NFA dealers and others who have already converted to the PFC selling system called it a seamless transition. “From sales training to product merchandising the PFC has given today’s retail sales professionals the tools they need for success,” said Scott Browne, president of Macco’s Floor Covering, Green Bay, Wis. “Keeping the selection process simple for our clients while delivering industry-leading service and warranties has allowed our team the ability to stand out in competitive market.”
Browne cited the system’s customer satisfaction warranty and happiness guarantee as key draws. “This alone gives our clients the peace of mind needed to make decisions knowing they are buying from the right place,” he said.
Ian Newton, general manager of Flooring 101, Oxnard, Calif., likes the fact PFC is open to multiple fibers. “In addition, we’re not going to have to pay a premium for the Stainmaster name, which means the mills can be more aggressive on their pricing.”
Newton praised the system’s graphics, saying they are user-friendly and will help with the selling process. “We have more flexibility on product placement, and the claims process will be more simplified and expedited in dealing directly with the manufacturer.”
Bill Nicholson, owner of Flooring Innovations in Palm Springs and Palm Desert, Calif., said his salespeople are excited about PFC on a number of levels. “The selling system provides them with an ongoing comfort level and differentiation from our competition. It’s a continuum of the SFC and what the SFC should have been. PFC has picked up where Stainmaster dropped off with some much-needed enhancements and improvements It’s not a complicated selling system and we need to keep things simple. The POP is very attractive and sophisticated.”