Executive Forecast 2023: Laminate

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The resurgence of the U.S. laminate flooring category has been well documented. Over the past two years in particular, laminate has recouped market share lost to certain sub-segments of the resilient category (i.e., SPC and WPC) due to supply chain challenges surrounding some popular imported resilient products. This phenomenon forced specialty retailers and distributors to fill the void with domestically produced laminate flooring. 

The question now is, will this resurgence continue as supply chain issues surrounding imported SPC/WPC normalize and as domestic production of competing hard surface categories ramps up. While some industry observers are not expecting a seismic shift in the market share ratio between laminate and competing hard surface categories, they do believe the laminate category will continue to garner attention for the foreseeable future. 


David Moore
senior product director, wood and laminate,
Mohawk

Laminate category

What is your projection for category growth for the industry in 2023?
We think it’s going to be in the single digits.
What segments/products will fuel industry growth?
I think residential remodel is going to continue to grow, and laminate is still very relevant in the home centers. We are certainly seeing a slow down in builder; laminate is still a popular product as the builders look to transition to more of a value price product.
What are the growth projections for your company in particular?
We expect to exceed the industry average growth for laminate.
Cite a few of your major initiatives achieved in 2022.
We had a new production line start up in 2022, so I think that’s a big win for us. We actually got to realize some of the volume via the investments we’ve made in our domestic footprint. That was a very exciting win for us.
Identify the “X” factor that will impact business in general in 2023?
There’s a bunch of inventory flowing in now and retailers and distributors need to convert their inventory to cash. As a result, there may be a lot of pricing pressure because now they need to offload all the stuff they bought 18 months ago that’s just now coming in.
Where do you see the greatest opportunities?
I believe our laminate products have a very great selling story against SPC and LVT when it comes to durability, visuals, etc. So, our hope is that our customers got a taste of these products and are extremely satisfied with them and that benefit will play itself out into 2023 as they realize there is a substantial benefit story when you compare laminate against the SPC-type products.

 


David Sheehan
VP, residential hard surface
Mannington Mills

Laminate category

What is your projection for category growth for the industry in 2023?
The laminate category is projected to grow nominally.
What segments/products will fuel this growth?
We think this growth will come from a resurgence at specialty retail, combined with strong growth in remodeling. Home centers will continue to be a major player; however, some laminate real estate in that channel has been converted to LVT.
What are the growth projections for your company in particular?
Mannington is projecting to be above industry, with high single-digit growth.
Cite a few of your major initiatives achieved in 2022.
We continued to leverage our digital print technology with successful new introductions that deliver meaningful differentiation to the consumer and retailer. Mannington has contributed to the resurgence of laminate at specialty retail with winning patterns and design and domestic production.
Identify the “X” factor that will impact business in general in 2023?
The X factor has to be the rising interest rates and how they might affect consumer buying habits. 
Where do you see the greatest opportunities?
We see continued opportunity at specialty retail and select end-use markets.

 


Derek Welbourn
CEO,
Inhaus

What is your projection for category growth for the industry in 2023?
We remain bullish on the laminate sector. Overall, the year 2022 was good for laminate. However, it came with mixed results; a strong first half of the year and weaker fourth quarter. We expect the opposite in 2023, with a slower start and a stronger finish to the year.
What segments/products will fuel industry growth?
Specialty retail continues to fuel growth for laminate. We see the builder market continue to strengthen for laminate—despite some economic headwinds—as builders look for more reliable alternatives to rigid core vinyl.
What are the growth projections for your company in particular?
We plan to continue to offer new programs and products that are compelling for the consumer and our retail partners—allowing us to continue to grow our market share.
Cite a few of your major initiatives achieved in 2022.
We successfully concluded the launch of our new Lamdura laminate collection and completed some major innovations for product features and design, which will be released in 2023.
Where do you see opportunities for next year? Challenges?
Interest rates and the effect on the overall market—the housing market in particular—will be of interest to everyone. With the market in general operating at a high rate in mid 2022 and tapering off later in the year, it has created an overall high level of inventory at a peak cost. The market will need to deal with these challenges. 
What are some of your company’s biggest initiatives for 2023?
The best opportunities will lie in partnering with key customers on both supply and new programs.

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