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FCNews and Warren Tyler featured in WONZ blog

Warren Tyler’s last column, “Wool: The lost carpet fiber” in FCNews’ June 14/21 issue went to substantial lengths touting the benefits of wool fibers. Those of us growing up with wool rugs can appreciate the memories it conjures. My earliest memory (I think) is being eye-level with our family cats on our red and gold oriental rug.  Years later my sister and I found the same rug in storage and used it to “define a space” in a fort we built in our barn. Mom and Dad were not too happy about that.

Nonetheless, if you missed the column you can read it here.

To read the Wools of New Zealand blog entry, click here. Thanks guys!

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Warren Tyler: It’s everything personal

ORLANDO, FLA.—Education plays such a huge role at Coverings every year, and 2010 was no different. Sales training was a key component of the program, and who better than FCNews columnist Warren Tyler to address attendees.

Tyler, who has spoken at just about every major event—and minor, for that matter—in his long and storied floor covering career, made sure all who joined him for his session, “Creating the Impregnable Architect Connection” know that people listen to, take advice from and purchase from people they like. “Although this criterion is fallible, people trust people they like,” he told the audience. Continue reading Warren Tyler: It’s everything personal

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Tyler’s ‘customer service’ column hits mark with Connecticut retailer

Here is a letter we received for Warren Tyler, our Salesmanship columnist. In reference to a column about company policy, this FCNews reader wrote to share his own frustrating experience with distributor policy. Perhaps this is something that has happened to you.

Hi Warren,

I just read your column on “Customer service vs. company policy” (FCNews, July 5/12). I have attended many of your seminars as well as read your “Unleashing Your Sales Potential” book. I am a believer in constantly learning to better serve my customers. Continue reading Tyler’s ‘customer service’ column hits mark with Connecticut retailer

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Moving on

by Warren Tyler

As a retailer, I focused on getting to know the leaders in flooring to learn as much as possible about the industry. Markets are the best venue for doing this. Most industry executives show up for these events. At one time there were several shows twice a year. Today there is but one giant market, Surfaces, which is not to be missed. In addition, there are dozens of regional markets, meetings and conventions that are important to attend.

One of the benefits of my exposure was whenever I entered a showroom or market space, I was afforded more attention from suppliers than my size as a retailer would indicate leading to better pricing, benefits and more especially, unfettered advertising money. Continue reading Moving on

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Get out of the store

by Warren Tyler

By now most retailers realize the long slog is over. The old, “press on regardless” philosophy still holds. If you have been reading this column as well as Floor Covering News’ “Retailer’s How-to Handbook,” you will see we are doing everything we can to help retailers not only survive, but to prosper.

My last few columns have been dedicated to separating yourself from the competition by becoming a contrarian retailer—unique display, products, sales techniques, merchandising and advertising methods. Many times my advice is not to sit around the store to die a slow agonizing retail death. Getting out and meeting your customers is where the business is. Continue reading Get out of the store

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Be creative

by Warren Tyler

When writing these columns the words of my mother come ringing through. Regular readers have read these so many times before: “If everyone is doing it, it’s wrong.”

Even though a recent Empire Today sale particulars are a complete fabrication, its TV ad showing a carpeted room with the homeowner saying, “I bought this much carpet, but I only paid for this much” (cut to a picture showing only 25% of the room carpeted), is creative, much better than the old 60% or 70% off. Continue reading Be creative

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Contrarianism revisited

by Warren Tyler

I first wrote on this subject last November and then again in February and can’t stress enough the importance of the concept.

My contrarianism even ran to underlayment. I never wanted to carry what other dealers offered. Years ago, bubble rubber held sway, but it was loaded to one degree or another with clay that dried and crumbled. Then came rebond. It sold because it was cheap and actually felt good, but it was only as durable as the worst piece of foam scrap in the product. It also seemed much of the density relied upon the adhesive within. We settled on densified foam, which was produced with new materials and protected us from other stores copying because it was a more expensive product. Continue reading Contrarianism revisited

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Things you do to survive

CLARIFICATION:  The Salesmanship column that appeared in the April 30/May 7 issue of FCNews misstated comments made by an Armstrong representative during a presentation in 2011 titled “How to Compete Against Large Discount Retailers.” When referring to inferior products or materials that are not usable, the speaker was not targeting the Bellawood line from Lumber Liquidators. Rather, he was talking about some promotional items sold by large retailers as traffic drivers that can be made of B grade or off-good materials which could lead to higher-than-average defects in a box.

by Warren Tyler

Just as consumers are desperate to save money, retailers are desperate to sell.

The big boxes—Costco, Empire Today and Lumber liquidators—have a leg up as they already have a reputation as fearsome price cutters. One look at these stores or Empire’s TV ads only enhances the feeling these giants can undersell the floor covering specialty stores by up to 70%. Continue reading Things you do to survive