Mohawk’s Edge Summit puts education front and center

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Edge SummitIn the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, consumer buying habits have significantly changed. Those retailers who understand these changes and adapt are the ones who are succeeding today and will continue to do so going forward. Mohawk understands this, which is why the company is providing a comprehensive array of educational opportunities at its highly anticipated Edge Summit in Nashville in mid-December.

Edge Summit will provide the opportunity for 500 of the top flooring retailers in the country to take some valuable learnings back home. “Post COVID-19, retailer enrichment has never been more important, particularly from peer-to-peer learning,” said Kelli Widdifield, senior vice president of marketing. “The world has changed so much in the last few years. It’s no longer about being the best flooring retailer. It’s about being a best-in-class retailer, period.”

After not only surviving but thriving through the last couple of years, Mohawk found that its customers have stories to tell, lessons that were learned on how to operate a better business. To that end, Mohawk set out to build an Edge Summit education curriculum based on this and other feedback from its retail partners.

Each education track is grounded in peer-to-peer discussions. The best part: No Mohawk executive or employee will be in the room. “Edge Summit gives our retail partners the opportunity to network and learn from their peers,” Widdifield said. “This is some of the most valuable information that can be provided. It’s invaluable to hear how your peers are solving their local business challenges along with successful tips and tactics that are bringing them success.”

That feedback was very clear in that retailers are looking for real-time, relevant business education opportunities to help them run their business better rather than sessions focused on Mohawk-centric initiatives. “They want to hear from third-party providers, experts in their fields, to deliver the most relevant training across fashion trends, social media, reaching the consumer of today,” Widdifield said. “So that’s exactly what we are going to give them.”

There is a heavy emphasis on digital marketing because of the aforementioned shift in today’s consumer. Consumers expect a simplified shopping experience that begins online. Mohawk wants to make sure its partners are prepared with everything they need from a digital standpoint to position their business for success. Providing a seamless shopping journey is no longer an option.

“After listening to our customers and gaining insightful feedback from our Edge Advisory Council members earlier this summer, we feel confident that our sessions and training workshops with best-in-class thought leaders, innovators and technology experts will allow attendees to kickstart their specialty retail businesses for the upcoming year,” Widdifield said.

Eye on installation

With installation still a challenge for many retailers, Mohawk has partnered with CFI to provide valuable tips. “Installation is still an issue for many retailers,” Widdifield explained. “That’s why we’ve partnered with the CFI, a first for Edge Summit, to help retailers address the challenges they might be having with installation, labor and training. Manufacturers, retailers and CFI installers are all stakeholders when providing consumers with the overall finished product in their homes. We can’t continue working in silos. We must work together to solve these problems, and I’m looking forward to CFI sharing their honest insights and new initiatives with the industry.”

Chris McKee, president of CFI, will be in attendance along with Dave Garden, executive director of education, to host education classes geared toward the retail owner on how to flip the installation crisis on its head.

Mohawk is working closely with CFI by providing resources and scholarship money. It is also participating in the TISE installation competition that culminates at Surfaces on Jan. 31, 2023.

The educational offering is arranged according to track/focus, including:

  • The Future of Retail
  • Driving Digital
  • Operational Excellence
  • Trends, Marketing & Inspiration

Following is a sneak peek of each track:

The Future of Retail

Building a Better Consumer Experience. Rethink both your online and in-store strategies to build a better connection with modern consumers who are increasingly prioritizing their buying experience. This session is based on Synchrony Financial’s groundbreaking major purchase journey research study, which highlights consumer trends around big-ticket purchases.

Driving Digital

Reimagine Your Digital Marketing Strategy. In this session, retail owners discuss how reimagining a digital strategy can improve and streamline the in-person buying journey, from in-store to installation.

Successful Digital Transformation. Learn how successful retailers have transformed their stores and gain insight into what’s needed to create a top-notch digital experience, including: The tech retailers really need; how to get staff to adopt new processes; and driving efficiency across the operation.

Optimize the Digital Experience with Omnify. Learn how to connect the online and in-store experience as well as the impact of new technology on selling flooring. Mohawk executives will share the cutting-edge feature and capability roadmap for Omnify along with guidance on leveraging these features to increase traffic to your site and generate leads in your market.

Operational Excellence

Edge 2.0: The Evolution of Edge. Mohawk sales and marketing leaders reveal exciting updates to Edge for 2023 while sharing their perspectives on the learnings and takeaways over the last three years that helped shape the next phase of the program.

Being Brilliant on the Basics. In this keynote, Bob Phibbs, The Retail Doctor, outlines the startlingly simple but mostly overlooked insight that will help you to not just grow your profitability, but reinvent your business as a whole.

Understanding Consumer Financing Trends in a Post-Pandemic Environment. Gain a current view of consumer sentiment trends in spending as well as payment preferences in a post-pandemic environment. Learn how new products through Synchrony allow you to connect with customers in a contactless yet personal way while enhancing customer understanding on the importance of consumer financing to help build sales.

Finding and Retaining Quality Employees. This session provides answers to one of the major challenges retailers face today: recruiting and retaining employees in a highly competitive job market. Leading retailers will share ideas and tactics that have worked in their stores.

Trends, Marketing & Inspiration

Selling Fashionable Flooring: Beyond Function. Successful retailers will discuss and demonstrate how to position flooring as a fashion accessory for the home.

The Home Design Trends Affecting Your Business. Patti Carpenter, the founder of carpenter and company and an award-winning creative director in globally sourced home décor, will help you respond to the interior design trends that will shape your business over the coming year, including how Gen Z consumers are reshaping shopping patterns.

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