Mohawk Edge Summit kicks off with fervor

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Nashville—After a pandemic-related hiatus, several postponements and years of planning, FCNews is here as Mohawk finally kicks off its much-anticipated Mohawk Edge conference here. This year’s theme, “Ignite Your Edge,” reflects Mohawk’s commitment to give its retailer partners the tools and support they need to succeed in today’s changing retail environment.

“This year’s focus is about sparking a Retail Renaissance,” said Jeff Lorberbaum, Mohawk chairman and CEO, in his opening remarks on day one. During the original Renaissance, he said the emphasis was on arts and culture. Today’s Retail Renaissance, he said, is also about adjusting to the way consumers shop today. “It’s about impacting your consumer before she enters your store. We’re going to give you all the tools you need to help you succeed,” he said.  

Paul de Cock, president of Mohawk Flooring, North America, echoed Lorberbaum’s sentiments. “Today’s consumers have found new ways to shop,” he said. “While we know more consumers are doing more research and shopping online, we are also seeing more and more new retail sales connected to brick and mortar stores. Consumers still find a trip to the local store relevant. They want to work with knowledgeable salespeople and they seek a purposeful in-store experience. In store and online co-exist in the consumer’s mind, and we must be able to capitalize on that to win.” 

One way Mohawk plans to do that is by investing in its suite of digital tools and lead-generation programs—areas where its retailer parts said they needed more assistance. “The last couple of years has changed the way we do business,” Kelli Widdifield, senior vice president of marketing, told attendees. “We listened to you loud and clear. You wanted ways to drive more leads to your store. Mohawk is investing in all our digital platforms, and we’ve also revamped Mohawk Today. On the whole, we’re focusing on making it easier to do business with Mohawk.” 

(Look for more on the Edge Summit in the Dec. 19/26 edition of FCNews. Also check our social media channels for coverage of daily events from the Summit.)  

At the show

Jeff Lorberbaum, Mohawk CEO, welcomed attendees during the opening general session of the Edge Summit. He kicked things off with comments about the challenging economy and what retailers can expect from Mohawk in 2023. Themed “Ignite Your Edge,” he noted the conference will feature cutting-edge products and technologies.

Paul DeCock, president, North America, spoke to retailers Tuesday morning about a “retail renaissance” about to ignite for flooring dealers, and how dealers can win with Mohawk products and services.

Rather than focus on the challenges inherent in a business slowdown Mohawk president of sales, Jeff Meadows, focused on the opportunities in remodeling. He cited an aging housing stock and homeowners who have “trillions” of dollars in equity as reasons for hope. Meadows urged Edge dealers to work with Mohawk to meet their flooring needs.

Kelli Widdifield, SVP, chief marketing officer, outlined ways in which Mohawk will help its retailers be even more successful in 2023—from products to platforms.

Scott Humphrey, WFCA CEO, raises a glass with Typhannie Harker, owner of Carpeting by Mike, Somerset, Wis.  

Ashlie Butler, president of the 17-store-chain Bob’s Carpet & Flooring, with Jimmy Poulos, owner of Flooring 101, a seven-store operation based on Northern California.  

Jason Randolph (right), vice president of sales, Mohawk, greets Alison and Brett Bentz of Pennsylvania-based Harrisburg, Wall & Floor Covering.

Dealers were introduced to new features to the Edge program, including Edge Store, which is designed to give retailers the resources they need to grow their businesses, expand their reach, drive customers in store and close sales. Here, Sam Ruble, VP of sales for Foss Floors, a Mohawk Home brand, meets with Flooring 101’s Ian Newton and Jimmy Poulos.

Day 2 of Mohawk’s Edge Summit kicked off with a keynote from Daymond John, founder of the fashion line Fubu and regular on “Shark Tank.” He encouraged retailers to think like a shark in going after business.

Colleen Osses (left) and Denise Silbert of Mohawk demonstrate the stain-proof properties of SmartStrand Ever Clean. The company’s new pet-proof guarantee: “If your pet stains it, we will replace it.”

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