Retailers React: Inflation effects

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Every two weeks, FCNews seeks out flooring dealers across the country to offer their advice on hot topics of the day. This week we asked: How is business faring in your market?

Here are their responses:

Business is still strong, but we do a lot of new construction—jobs that “have been in the works for six months or so. Our walk-in retail traffic is still good, and I feel like we will have a strong second and third quarter. That said, with rising interest rates and the high price of gas—as well as increases in material costs and freight—something has to give.

– Jeremy Wirges, 3 Kings Carpet, Fort Wayne, Ind.

Business has slowed down vs. last year and I anticipate that trend to continue into and through the summer months. Inflation certainly is playing a negative role with the consumer. Discretionary income is being devoured by basic needs—groceries, utilities, fuel, etc. With inflation on the rise and the stock market’s decline, we will continue to see business slowing for the balance of 2022.

– Eric Langan, Carpetland USA, Davenport, Iowa

Sales remain solid though traffic has softened. We continue to see high close rates and good order sizes. It’s unclear if the softening traffic trend will be short-lived. Significant stock market declines traditionally will slow sales, although increased home values may offset that in this case.

– Adam Joss, The Vertical Connection, Carpet One, Columbia, Md.

Foot traffic has slowed substantially, although we commonly experience that around this time of year. We’re concerned about the financial markets and inflation affecting business—at least until the mid-terms. In the meantime, we’re using this time as an opportunity to fine-tune our showroom, marketing and follow up on leads.

– John Bretzloff, Barefoot Flooring, Castle Hayne, N.C.

Our market is resilient, and we’re blessed with continued growth across all segments. Retail has dipped in the past month, but we are seeing a steady increase to within 10%-15% of where we left off before the brief decline. New construction remains strong, with some builders exercising additional caution in future starts or shifting specifications to target a marginally more affordable home. Commercial/multi-family remains a stronghold.

– Kyal Wilson, Tampa Floors and Interiors, Tampa, Idaho

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June 6/13, 2022

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