Every two weeks, FCNews seeks out flooring retailers across the country to offer their advice on hot topics of the day. This week we asked: What is the No. 1 challenge facing your business today?
Here are their responses:
“The Federal Reserve’s actions to slow the economy remains our biggest challenge. The rising interest rates have hampered our builder sales now for well over nine months. Most of our builders are reporting a significant drop in new contracts. In addition, many consumers are putting off big-ticket purchases.”
—Craig Phillips, The Flooring Edge Akron, Ohio
The No. 1 challenge our company faces is making enough profit margin to take care of our customers adequately. Our staff has really focused on raising bottom-line profits this past year. As more competition moves into our markets, our focus is keeping expenses at a minimum so the bottom line will be higher.”
—Chris Kemp, Kemp’s Dalton West Flooring Newnan, Ga.
Finding craftsman installers has always been a challenge in an industry where certified labor isn’t a necessity. The challenge we continue to face is how can we find the best skilled and knowledgeable installers among the sea of ‘I can install everything’ folks and how can we support those who can make-or-break our reputation.”
—Rebecca Tonowski, BFC Flooring Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
The No. 1 challenge facing our business today is the lack of young people interested in becoming qualified installation professionals. This problem will continue to worsen unless we figure out how to generate interest among young people in the installation trades.”
—Chris Cosentino, Hadinger Flooring Naples, Fla.
We had issues getting qualified installers but have handled that by raising our pay. The issue now is making sure we have enough traffic to keep our sales up. The last three months have been very good since we specialize in residential replacement; the higher interest rates are affecting those who concentrate on new home construction.”
—Bob Gaither, Quality Carpet Akron, Ohio