The Art of Navigating Change

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D igit al 3 | 2020

The official magazine of the World Floor Covering Association

Premier FLOORING RETAILER

The Art of Navigating Change Websites Education & Training Contracts Technology & Software


BECAUSE TOGETHER WE HELP SHAPE THE FUTURE OF OUR INDUSTRY.

With the help of our Associate Members, we are making a difference! Through membership, Associate Members (manufacturers, suppliers, distributors) invest in the WFCA and make what we do possible. Because of you, we are able to further our mission of transforming lives and passionately advocating for the success and profitability of our members and the industry as a whole. #BecauseofYou

Please support the WFCA to help shape and secure our collective future by joining today. Please visit wfca.org or call 855.330.1183.


The official magazine of the World Floor Covering Association

Premier FLOORING RETAILER Digital 3 | 2020

3 What are You Doing Today That is Worthy of Outliving You? Scott Humphrey, CEO, WFCA

4 Why Flooring Software Is Necessary to Grow Your Business RollMaster

8 Link Leads from Your Website to Your Software Chad Ogden, QFloors President/CEO

14 Mohawk Group Builds on Success of Digital Learning Series with Additional CEUS 16 Virtual Estimating Services (VES) RJ Petersen, Director of Training & Implementation, RFMS

20 Free Tools From Measure Square For Flooring Retailers 22 Your Website is Your New Front Door Charles Stiles, Business Evaluation Services

26 Tips to Help You Control Moisture and Mitigate the Risk of Flooring Failure Jason Spangler, Wagner Meters’ Flooring Division Manager Karndean products from Opus range: Tenebra Walnut WP330 and Fumo SP216

30 Property & Casualty Insurance Market Outlook and Proactive Steps You Can Take to Ensure a Smooth Renewal Stacy Eickhoff, Senior Vice President for Risk Strategies Company

34 How Focused Is Your Menu? Tom Jennings, Retail Training Expert

36 Magnetic Building Solutions “Goes Hollywood” 42 Common Myths about Concrete Moisture and Mitigation David Seland, Principal and Founder of ISE Logik Industries

46

Metroflor Makes Wayfinding and Social Distancing Easy!

52 Contracts in the Age of COVID-19: Some Suggestions to Protect Your Business Jeffrey W. King, Legal Counsel for the WFCA

58

From Design to Function, Everything Clicks with Korlok Select Stones

62

New, Patented Subfloor Technology – Game Changer from Schönox

66 For Your DIY Customer — SMART SQUARES: Seamless Residential Carpet Tile from Engineered Floors 68 Installation is Your Best Investment to Improve Your Profit Center Lisabeth Calandrino, Flooring Specialist and Associate Publisher, Fabulous Floors Magazine

70

How to Know if your Marketing is Working Eric Wagner, Wagner Meters

74 Carpet Padding or Carpet Cushion. There’s a difference. Healthier Choice

78 Why Age in Place When We Can Age Actively? Denee Bruce, HandiProducts®

Premier Flooring Retailer | Digital 3 2020

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For more information, please visit wfca.org or cfiinstallers.org or call (816) 231-4646. 2 Premier Flooring Retailer | Digital 3 2020


TAKING THE LEAD

What are You Doing Today That is Worthy of Outliving You?

W

hat are you doing today that is worthy of outliving you? Notice how I phrased that question? I didn’t ask you what you were doing that would outlive you, but what is worthy of carrying on your legacy. The older I get, the more I am Scott Humphrey confronted with the reality CEO, WFCA that much of what I spend my time on is simply busywork. In fact, I'll make this simple for you. I have found that the things I enjoy most and that have the greatest potential to impact the world after I am gone all relate to people. I would challenge you to evaluate the percentage of time you spend daily investing in the lives of those who look to you for leadership. Years ago, I had the privilege of working alongside a gentleman that understood that what mattered were those things that impacted someone's life…not simply their livelihood. He inherently knew that it was not simply about finishing the task at hand but investing in the ones responsible for completing that task. His name was Bill Napier — also known as Coach. I had just returned to North Georgia from serving as a sales rep in Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Virginia when Coach Napier reached out to see if I would be willing to serve as the Chaplain for the local High School Football team. Having been a late bloomer who was considered too small to play when I was in high school, I relished the opportunity to be on the sideline, build relationships, and pour myself into these young athletes. Truth be known, it was in one of the most fertile training grounds for leadership I would ever experience. Coach Napier allowed me unfettered access to the coaches and players. I was also blessed to build a relation-

ship with his family. Many a man can wear the leadership title at work, but few are those consistent enough to allow you behind the scenes into the family dynamic. Because he lived a life of integrity, he had nothing to hide. There are so many memorable games and experiences that stand out from those years. There were amazing wins, last-second comebacks, state playoffs, and young men and women (as we welcomed the cheerleaders into our family circle) who made decisions that would forever shape their lives. At the time, legacy was the last thing I had on my mind. Several years ago, many years after serving alongside Coach Napier, I was informed that he was diagnosed with ALS — a terminal disease that attacks the body and most often ends in respiratory failure. Coach Napier only lasted a couple of years, but in those years, he continued to impact hundreds of lives — including mine. Today, his legacy lives because he invested in me and others who carry his teaching and passion onto the next generation. But don't take my word for it. Coach Napier has three sons. The youngest, Kurt coaches, for the same team his Dad coached when I served by his side. His middle son Matt is the Head Coach at LaGrange High School in GA, after serving as Offensive Coordinator for 15 years at perennial powerhouse Callaway. His oldest son Billy coached under Dabo Swinney and Nick Saban before stepping out to become the head coach at Louisiana Lafayette, home of the Ragin Caguns. How is that for a legacy that outlives you? In their first game of this season, Billy's team upset top 25 ranked Iowa State University. After the game, he was interviewed. Instead of focusing on the outcome of the game, he focused on the character of his team. I couldn't help but think how proud his father would be and how right he was to focus his legacy on people and not simply process. So allow me to ask you again, “What are you doing today that is worthy of outliving you?” ❚ Premier Flooring Retailer | Digital 3 2020

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SHOWIN’ OUR STUFF

Why Flooring Software Is Necessary to Grow Your Business

T

he days of doing inventory by hand or processing paper invoices are long gone for much of the flooring industry. Technology advancements have become a regular part of

our day-to-day lives, improving our ability to get work done and grow a stronger business! A flooring-specific software like RollMaster Flooring Software allows businesses with niche needs to make optimizations that can’t be found elsewhere.

Help Your Team Become More Efficient We all know time is money. When your team can do their tasks quickly and efficiently, it saves your business time that can then be used for more profitable tasks. We can’t create the relationships your sales team builds with your customers, but we can give them the tools they need to impress prospects! RollMaster was built to work with your business every step of the way, from finding those prospects to installation, inventory, and accounting. All of our efficiency tools work in tandem with the core RollMaster system to allow for the smooth flow of information. This means no need to double-check with different programs or enter the same information in multiple locations, saving hours every month.

Streamline Your Inventory and Sales Our innovative approach to inventory management gives not just your warehouse the tools they need to be efficient, but your sales team too. At RollMaster, we’re all for giving your whole team the tools they need to be successful. When your sales team knows exactly what flooring you have on hand, they’ll be able to create a smooth sales process for your customers. With easy-to-use smartphones that also work as barcode scanners, your sales team can also easily scan your products’ pricing on the spot! No more needing to waste time sorting through spreadsheets and other programs. Plus, it allows you to be more organized with where your inventory is located within your store and warehouse. Plus, you’ll know instantly whether inventory is currently available, on order, or needs to be ordered. You’ll never lose control of what’s going on with your warehouse, and you can get as detailed as you like. Rollmaster continued on page 11

The days of doing inventory by hand or processing paper invoices are long gone for much of the flooring industry. Technology advancements have become a regular part of our day-to-day lives, improving our ability to get work done and grow a stronger business! 4 Premier Flooring Retailer | Digital 3 2020


Flooring Software That Makes Doing Business Easier

RollMaster Flooring Software is the complete solution

for managing your flooring business. Whether you provide flooring for large commercial projects, single family homes, or anything in between, our core software is designed to help you grow your business and become more profitable.

Get in touch for a FREE DEMO

info@rmaster.com | 866.822.4904 www.rmaster.com Premier|Flooring Retailer | Digital 3 2020 5


FLOOR ED Karen George, Managing Editor with Lisbeth Calandrino

Why Women’s Groups in the Flooring Industry Matter

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hen people talk about networking, there are plenty of groans and exasperated looks. Networking and building relationships equal work. When it comes to women and networking, my experience is different. Put twenty women in a room, and the excitement starts. Even before we get to know each other, there’re lots of smiles and energy. It’s just a matter of time until smaller groups form, and people are laughing and getting to know each other. Women immediately have things in common that have nothing to do with business but have everything to do with being women. Sharing who we are the first step in networking. In the early ’70s, things were rocking for women. Consciousness-raising and feminism were beginning to be topics of conversation, along with women’s changing roles in society. The nature of personal development and in these groups is intricately related to and reflected in women’s roles and status in society. More women were working, although attitudes and behavior were often in opposition to societal roles. We were becoming more outspoken, and the world was listening. In 1972, I established a women’s organization at the YWCA in Hudson, New York. It was called the Women’s Group, and we discussed everything from work attitudes to and changes in social roles and norms concerning women. This was about the same time I went into the flooring business with my sister, Sonna. We experienced not being able to apply for credit until 1974, nor get a business loan without a male cosigner! To get an idea of what it was like, it’s worth reading the Women’s Business Ownership Act of 1988.

Women immediately have things in common that have nothing to do with business but have everything to do with being women. 6 Premier Flooring Retailer | Digital 3 2020


It should be recognized that these changes in women’s attitudes and behavior were often in opposition to established social roles and norms concerning women. The US Census Bureau, in 1972, reported 402,000 women-owned businesses in the United States. The American Express OPEN reports, the number of women-owned firms increased a dramatic 31 times, reaching 12.3 million in 2020. As women-owned businesses grow, we need to share our personal experiences and ideas with other women. Our backgrounds are different, as are our attitudes to society and work. COVID-19 has made work-life balance even more difficult for working women. Flexible work hours should be positive, but the lack of childcare in many areas has affected women’s productivity levels. Several months ago, organizer Michelle Winters and Rachel Berlin asked me to be part of their start-up group on Facebook, Women of the Flooring Business. How exciting to again be part of a women’s group is dedicated to an industry that I love. Several other groups are dedicated to women; one of the most active groups in our industry is Women and Stone, which provides resources and opportunities to recruit, retain, and advance women in the stone industry. Shannon Bilby Vogel hosts Fabulous Females in Flooring, and a Carpet One Group hosed by Julie Kerkochian, owner of United Carpet One in Fresno. When I first started coaching business owners in the ’90s, the owners were mostly men who set the standards. As women became recognized as the primary flooring buyer, women were called upon to provide insight into ‘one of their own.’ In my opinion, women business owners became more visible, and the industry was more diversified and fashionable. I brought the idea of our group at the virtual TISE education committee meeting and was amazed at everyone’s support. All promised suggestions, and over the past months, they have all come through. I love our group members; they’re involved, offer their ideas, and are willing to share. I get the feeling I could call any of them and get an invitation for dinner, a glass of wine, or ideas for a business. Our group continues to grow, 1000 members are our goal; we dream of a fantastic event at Surfaces to celebrate. We hope to meet you there! As it’s been said, “We’ve come a long way, baby.” ❚

The US Census Bureau, in 1972, reported 402,000 women-owned businesses in the United States. The American Express OPEN reports, the number of women-owned firms increased a dramatic 31 times, reaching 12.3 million in 2020. As women-owned businesses grow, we need to share our personal experiences and ideas with other women.

Looking for new ideas for your business? Lisbeth Calandrino has been promoting the independent retailer for over twenty years. For more information about Calandrino, check out her website, lisbethcalandrino.com. or connect with her directly, Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com. Premier Flooring Retailer | Digital 3 2020

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The Next GIG

Link Leads from Your Website to Your Software QFloors continues to blaze new technology trails in the industry, with the release of QLeads. This innovative program takes leads from external sources (like your company website or other lead generators), stores them, and then populates them into the QFloors Leads screen. This integration delivers a lot of really valuable benefits.

Save Time and Dropped Balls. QLeads means there’s no need to re-enter leads gained through your website and other external websites. They are uploaded via QLeads to your system. This ensures all leads are taken care of, and that information is accurate, so you can focus on quickly following up and

Chad Ogden QFloors President/CEO

turning those leads into sales.

Chad Ogden is the CEO/

Track Trends and Performance

President and developer

Are the leads coming in from your website primarily looking for a particular product type…

of QFloors flooring soft-

for instance, LVT? How do your close rates of website leads compare to close rates from

ware. He grew up in the

other sources? How well is your sales team following up? The many tracking reports that our

flooring industry, has a

QFloors Leads screen provides you helpful insight and direction.

BS in Computer Engineering, and worked many years in the technology field before coming back to his flooring roots. He currently serves as the Secretariat of the fcB2B committee and is a widely recognized industry leader in floor covering technology. To contact him, email chad@qprosoftware.com

or call 801-563-0140.

QLeads means there’s no need to re-enter leads gained through your website and other external websites. They are uploaded via QLeads to your system. This ensures all leads are taken care of, and that information is accurate … 8 Premier Flooring Retailer | Digital 3 2020


NEVER LOSE MONEY ON A JOB AGAIN QFloors business software job costs instantly and accurately, as proposals are created.

Ask about Black Friday Savings! www.qfloors.com sales@qprosoftware.com 801-563-0140

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Share and Integrate Information When a lead turns into a sale in your QFloors system, it is automatically updated in your QLeads system. Information about the sale, materials, ticket price, and the customer is shared as well. QLeads facilitates the easy flow of information between your QFloors system and your website (or other external sites).

Trailblazing Innovation QLeads is breaking new ground. As websites become more and more important in lead generation, QLeads will help you stay ahead of the game. For more information on QFloors or QLeads, email sales@qprosoftware.com or visit www.qfloors.com. â?š

When a lead turns into a sale in your QFloors system, it is automatically updated in your QLeads system. Information about the sale, materials, ticket price, and the customer is shared as well. 10 Premier Flooring Retailer | Digital 3 2020


Rollmaster continued on page 11

Make Real-Time Critical Decisions With RollMaster’s partnership with Tableau, users can get insights into their sales in realtime. This means no need to process huge amounts of data yourself. Using the many custom-designed dashboards, you can easily track all areas of your business, including sales margins, inventory usage, overall profitability, trending products, and so much more, to see how improvements can be made now, instead of at the end of the month or end of the quarter. RollMaster also makes it easy for your sales team to track themselves! Giving them the tools to see how they’re performing, what their commission will be, and motivating them to make more sales. RollMaster Flooring Software is built to suit the specific needs of the flooring industry. As flooring professionals ourselves, we know this industry inside and out. We built our software to solve the unique problems flooring stores often encounter, so they’re able to grow to new heights. Request a demo today to see how RollMaster can optimize your business and make it more profitable! ❚

RollMaster also makes it easy for your sales team to track themselves! Giving them the tools to see how they’re performing, what their commission will be, and motivating them to make more sales. The official magazine of the World Floor Covering Association

Premier FLOORING RETAILER A Special “Thank You” to all the manufacturers and their marketing departments who provided outstanding editorial to make this publication a success. Publishing Staff Margo Rodgers Locust, Publisher Karen George, Managing Editor Stan Michelson, Communications Director Toelke Associates/Ron Toelke, Creative Director Editorial and Advertising Offices: Fabulous Floors Magazine, LLC Phone: 678-761-5002

This Issue’s Guest Columnists David P Seland, Founder ISE Logik Eric Wagner, Wagner Meters Contributing Writers RJ Petersen, RFMS; Charles Stiles, Business Evaluation Services; Denee Bruce, HandiProducts; Chad Ogden, QFloors; Frederik Langston; Jason Spangler, Wagner Meters

Email: Margo@pfrmag.net

Although every effort has been made to ensure accuracy and timeliness of information, Premier Flooring Retailer Magazine cannot be held responsible for discrepancies, typographical errors, discontinuance of product nor color reproduction.

WFCA Scott Humphrey, Chief Executive Officer Freida Staten, VP of Marketing, Communications and Member Relations Steve Abernathy, Chief Financial Officer Kay Wiley, Executive Assistant to the CEO

All rights reserved. No portion of this publication may be reproduced in any way without written consent from Fabulous Floors Magazine, LLC or the WFCA.

Contributing Columnists Lisbeth Calandrino, Lewis Davis, Scott Humphrey, Tom Jennings, Jeffrey King, Stacy Eickhoff

Premier Flooring Retailer is published quarterly in print and digital by Fabulous Floors Magazine, LLC located at 741 Main Street, Andrews, NC 28901 and the World Floor Covering Association located at 855 Abutment Road, Suite 1, Dalton, GA 30721.

The World Floor Covering Association (WFCA) Phone: 855-330-1183 Email: wfca@wfca.org Premier Flooring Retailer is a joint initiative of the World Floor Covering Association and Fabulous Floors Magazine, LLC. Copyright© FABULOUS FLOORS MAGAZINE and WFCA 2020.

Change of Address: in order to ensure the uninterrupted delivery of Premier Flooring Retailer, notice of change should be made at least 5 weeks in advance.

Postmaster: Please send address changes to WFCA, 855 Abutment Road, Suite 1, Dalton, GA 30721.

Premier Flooring Retailer | Digital 3 2020

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FLOOR ED

International Certified Flooring Installers Association (CFI) Unveils Premiere Issue of Flooring Specialist

C

FI is continuing to expand the ways in which it helps its members by creating and publishing their own digital magazine dedicated to the flooring installation community, up to

date with the latest news, trends and technologies in the field. Flooring Specialist is delivered quarterly to over 6,000 installers and other flooring industry professionals. The 44-page premiere issue is filled with articles, insights and advice from industry experts, designed to motivate and inspire both the experienced and seasoned installer. “CFI was built on making a difference,” said Robert Varden, executive director, CFI. “We are continually looking for ways to support our members who are striving to be the best, regardless of the number of years they’ve been in the industry. Flooring Specialistis yet another step forward in achieving our goals of elevating the trade and continuing to lead the way in installation training.” Flooring Specialist is developed in partnership with Kimberly Oderkirk, president of Association Services, who will serve as senior editor, and JG Media Group, who will design and publish the magazine. CFI is a division of the WFCA that is devoted to installation training and certification through a team of dedicated trainers who share their experience and knowledge to help others help themselves. All CFI members and those who have signed up with “CFI News and Updates” will automatically receive a subscription as part of their membership benefits. You can also view the magazine here.

“CFI was built on making a difference,” said Varden. “We are continually looking for ways to support our members who are striving to be the best, regardless of the number of years they’ve been in the industry. Flooring Specialist is yet another step forward in achieving our goals of elevating the trade and continuing to lead the way in installation training.”

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WWW.CFITHEFLOORINGSPECIALIST.COM

WINTER 2020 | VOL. 1 NO. 1

Flooring SPECIALIST

THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF CFI

Flooring SPECIALIST

THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF CFI

Know Before You Go: Climactic Conditions The Basics of Jobsite Safety Pattern Match Carpet Success Read the Fine Print Before Installing Waterproof Laminate

Premiere Issue Brought to you by:

Premier Flooring Retailer | Digital 3 2020

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SHOWIN’ OUR STUFF

Mohawk Group Builds on Success of Digital Learning Series with Additional CEUS

F

or commercial architects and designers currently looking for learning and other professional development opportunities in the midst of a non-traditional workplace and social landscape, Mohawk Group is offering free digital CEU programming. The Resourceful CEU Series was created to provide outlets for the design community to revitalize their knowledge and renew their well-being while many are working remotely. “In launching our CEU series earlier this year we saw that it filled an important void. As lifelong learners who want to grow in our respective disciplines, we

are hungry for knowledge and that’s more evident now than ever,” said Jackie Dettmar, Mohawk Group’s vice president of design and product development. “We are excited to build on our accredited program’s success with new and engaging content that provides meaningful professional development experiences for our colleagues in the design community,” added Dettmar. ❚ All Mohawk Group CEU listings: http://go.mohawkgroup.com/ceu

Integrating Health and Wellbeing into the Foundation of the Built Environment November 11, 2020 Recording of class available online Click here for recording

A full listing of the CEU events is available on at Facebook.com/MohawkGroup/ events. For specific questions about

Mohawk Group’s Resourceful CEU Series, please click here. To register for Mohawk Group’s Resourceful CEU series and stay up to date on the latest information, please visit https://bit.ly/MGFallWinterCEUs.

About Mohawk Group As the world’s leading producer and distributor of quality commercial flooring, Mohawk Group believes that better floor coverings emerge from better design, innovation, sustainability, project solutions and operational excellence. Mohawk Group addresses the unique challenges and opportunities in contract interiors with

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a comprehensive carpet and hard surface portfolio of all types and price points. As the commercial division of Mohawk Industries, the company has a heritage of craftsmanship that spans more than 130 years. To learn more about our full line of flooring products, please visit MohawkGroup.com.


Scrap Culture: Sustainable Design Practices in a World of Waste November 16, 2020 Recording of class available online Click here for recording

Dematerialized | Rematerialized November 16, 2020 Recording of class available online Click here for recording

Biophilic Design December 9, 2020 12:00 pm — 1:00 pm EST Click here for registration Premier Flooring Retailer | Digital 3 2020

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SHOWIN’ OUR STUFF RJ Petersen Director of Training & Implementation

Virtual Estimating Services (VES)

R

FMS is excited to announce our newest service, Virtual Estimating Services (VES). Our goal in offering VES is to provide you with a fast and accurate way to help your company

bid on more jobs by doing the estimating for you. With a quick turn around and decades of estimating expertise, VES just makes sense. The process is easy! Meet with one of our Virtual Estimators, submit the blueprint and that’s it! We will have the takeoff back to you in a couple days so you submit your bid to your contractor. By outsourcing estimating work, it gives you the ability to bid on more jobs or even bid on something you didn't have time to bid before. Additionally, using VES can help you to expand into new markets and job types. Our solution is designed for flooring businesses that need extra resources to enhance

VES has several packages designed to fit any budget.

their current estimating staff. VES is not designed to be a replacement for experienced estimators — it is designed to be an additional resource whenever needed to assist with existing workloads or to increase bidding capacities. VES has several packages designed to fit any budget. We offer subscription options or on-demand services to help your flooring business increase your estimating capacity with only a small increase in cost and no increase in your overhead. To learn more about VES, visit www.rfms.com/ves or send an email to sales@rfms.com. ❚

Our goal in offering VES is to provide you with a fast and accurate way to help your company bid on more jobs by doing the estimating for you. 16 Premier Flooring Retailer | Digital 3 2020


Virtual Estimating Services Let our team of knowledgeable and experienced Measure estimators perform quality and efficient takeoffs for your projects. By outsourcing your projects, you can increase the number of bids submitted and increase the chances of winning more jobs. Imagine being able to submit multiple bids for a fraction of the cost of an additional estimator.

Cost-Effective

Comprehensive

Fast

Our services cost significantly less

Takeoffs include a digital set of

Completed takeoffs will be

than hiring a similarly experienced

room plans including dimensions,

returned in 3 business days

estimator or estimating service.

quantities, labeled rooms, seam

or sooner.

and cut diagrams, and more.

Experienced

Increase Sales

Accurate

Our team of Measure professionals

Bid on more jobs that you don’t have the time to do the takeoff.

Using Measure and industry

has years of Measure and realworld flooring experience.

best practices, your takeoffs are exceptionally accurate.

Premier Flooring Retailer | Digital 3 2020

www.rf ms.com/VES | sales@rf ms.com | 800.701.7367

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FLOOR ED By Fredrick Langston

OK. What now?

E

merging from COVID-19, where do we go from here? Labeled a “black swan” event, the American Marketing Group observed, “In a blink of the eye, consumer spending shifted from discretionary to necessity purchases and has remained that way throughout the first five months of 2020.” So, this virus kills economies, too. Large or small, businesses have struggled to keep their balance and invent ways to cope. In so doing, some macro-trends have emerged that will likely remain for some time to come. Understanding, adapting, and even capitalizing on them is a pathway to not only survival but to success.

Businesses from retailers to manufacturers Customer safety No question that customer and associate health and safety consciousness will be here have, for the most part, done to stay, even as the Pandemic subsides and restrictions loosen. Businesses from retailers to manufacturers have, for the most part, done an admirable job in adapting to an admirable the COVID reality — at least the ones that are still in business. For the marketers of job in adapting those businesses, the challenge now is to make anti-virus protocols a part of their on-going brand culture. to the COVID reality — at least the ones that are still in business. For the marketers of those businesses, the challenge now is to make antivirus protocols a part of their on-going brand culture.

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Understanding and capitalizing on these economic trends is one thing; managing it by good brand stewardship is another. ● Continue to communicate the care you have for the health of all concerned by making it part of your brand story ●O wn and brand your protocol and PPE by private labeling sanitizers, masks, and policies ● S tay current on guidelines and training while keeping your customers informed

DIY growth If you’re unaware of DIY’s growth over the last few months, you don’t drive by Big Box store parking lots on Saturdays. Unencumbered by COVID-related restrictions and filled with bored homebound shoppers, the Boxes have experienced unprecedented volumes of cash and carry flooring business. A lot of this has spilled over to specialty retail, too. While many are urging flooring stores to jump on the DIY bandwagon, consider this: ● Research indicates that the DIY trend is starting to cool off a bit, so proceed cautiously ● By embracing the cash and carry business, you’re now competing with the Boxes, where they have a definite advantage in size and selection. Don’t completely give up the specialty in specialty retail—it’s what makes you special

Sustainability Many suspect that the Pandemic, along with weather extremes and calamities, have increased consumer consciousness and preference for responsibly made and sold products. This also affects the importance and preference of indoor quality of life and health concerns. Flooring that touts a good indoor and outdoor story is no longer relegated to tiebreaker status but is becoming more sought-after as an outright preferred choice.

U.S. Made Controversy and adverse publicity during the Pandemic regarding the origin of the virus, supply chain issues, or tariff wars have a way of seeping into consumers’ collective consciousness and perception. Foreign-made flooring that is building capacity in the U.S. has done so, not a moment too soon. The recession that has accompanied the Pandemic will likely galvanize U.S.-made preference for all consumer goods for the foreseeable future.

Affluent consumers Certainly, not all businesses can address this, but for those who can cater to higher net worth consumers, that should be strongly considered. The Pandemic-caused recession has widened the spending disparity with household incomes above $100k carrying more of the spending load on discretionary purchases (like replacement flooring) in most cases, according to The American Marketing Group’s white paper “Finding Your Brand’s Best Prospects to Penetrate America in a Post-Pandemic Market.” Appealing to affluent consumers is not just the right merchandise but also the style of service, the shopping experience, the marketing approach, and the attention to detail. Understanding and capitalizing on these economic trends is one thing; managing it by good brand stewardship is another. Navigating a way out of this mess requires resolve, with one eye on the horizon and the other on key performance indicators. Nevermore important than now, KPIs will inform your journey’s progress and brand vitality online with all of its metrics and accountability. ❚

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The Next GIG

Free Tools From Measure Square For Flooring Retailers

W

e all know a big part of our business is being able to be in front of our customers to give them an estimate and quote, and then close the deal. Currently, that has become

a bigger hurdle than normal. So Measure Square is dedicated to giving flooring retailers more tools and options to help out your retail flooring business during these strenuous times alongside our retail floor estimating apps.

Online Calculators We have a number of online calculators that can be accessed by customers to input their self-measured rooms and then can be emailed to your sales reps. They can use these for quoting purposes or input the measurements into the Measure Square software for a more accurate takeoff. These can also be embedded in your website very easily. Learn more about these calculators: https://www.measuresquare.com/Free_Tool_Sets.shtml Click here for Online Calculators: http://www.carpetcalc.com/flooring

Augmented Reality Measure App We also have a free Augmented Reality app that uses the camera on the device to measure the perimeter of a room. The lead or customer can then email the diagram to your team and then input the dimensions into the Measure Square software to do the takeoff. Find the app

We have a number of online calculators that can be accessed by customers to input their self-measured rooms and then can be emailed to your sales reps.

by going on the Apple App Store and searching “M2 AR�.

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Measure Square is dedicated to giving flooring retailers more tools and options to help out your retail flooring business during these strenuous times alongside our retail floor estimating apps. Webinars Want to see a quick demo of our calculators? These are really easy tools to use but if you would like to see them demonstrated and ask a few questions, sign up below. We can also make some resources available if you would like these embedded in your website directly. https://calendly.com/measure-square-customer-service-team/free-tools-meeting Register now!

Free Software Trials and Learning Resources If you are looking to modernize your team and now have the time to evaluate field tools that can help preserve your profits and increase your close rate check out MeasureSquare Mobile on the Apple App Store. MeasureSquare has great free self learning resources on Udemy and YouTube to make the most of your free trial. â?š

MeasureSquare Mobile

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FLOOR ED

Your Website is Your New Front Door

Charles Stiles, Business Evaluation Services Business Evaluation Services was founded by the current President, Charles Stiles. Charles comes from a background in retail; owning several retail gourmet food and gift stores in national malls for over 8 years. Quickly realizing the only way to differentiate his stores and stand out from the competition was to develop a consistent service culture and create a process for measuring the success of the training that was implemented. Through this process in 1996, Business Evaluation Services was founded. Today, BES is an International Mystery Shopper Company with over two decades of experience, serving a variety of industries.

G

uess what, with COVID guiding how your customers’ shop, your new front door is now your website. With this newfound convenience for your customers, it’s highly likely they will continue this trend even after we recover from COVID. Clutter and lack of consistent visual content is usually an immediate turn off for potential customers. Here are some steps to head you in the right track. With more than 300 million images uploaded daily, it’s clear that the world we live in today is predominantly visual. The benefits of visual content are endless: it can be used to: ● ● ● ●

tell a story drive engagement break down complex content and more.

Brands who adopt a visual content strategy are able to build customer engagement and attract a broader audience. Follow along to read more for best practices to elevate your social media management strategy’s visual content in 2020.

Guess what, with COVID guiding how your customers’ shop, your new front door is now your website. With this newfound convenience for your customers, it’s highly likely they will continue this trend even after we recover from COVID.

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#1 – Develop Your Visual Theme A visually appealing social media management strategy starts with a consistent visual theme. Large brands like McDonald’s and Coca Cola have been strategically aligning their visual content with their brand to create a strong visual aesthetic. The key ingredients to a successful visual aesthetic on social media include: ● A color theme — Well known brands repeatedly use the same colors throughout their visual content, whether on social media, their website, mailers, and more. Use a consistent color scheme for stronger brand recognition and familiarity. For example, notice how all of Coca Cola’s main colors of red, white, and black are present throughout all their social posts. This creates a unified aesthetic that consumers will pair immediately with the brand when they see these colors.

● Consistent imagery and filters — Use imagery with a consistent theme and is in line with your brand’s personality. Images are one of the best ways to tell your brand’s story and convey emotion. Think about how you want your audience to feel when they interact with your brand. The example below shows how Red Bull uses imagery that creates excitement throughout their social media to give an “adventurous” feel to their Instagram feed. Some brands also leverage brand filters to create a consistent emotion throughout all of their visuals. Social media apps like VSCO Cam and Snapseed allow you to save filters and edit your images for a cohesive presence.

#2 – Share Information Through Infographics Infographics can increase your web traffic by 12% . Any data you want to share in the form of charts, diagrams, or icons should be included in infographics to present information. When creating an infographic, it needs to be relevant to your brand, industry, and products or services that you sell. Take our infographic, for example.

Here, we used visuals to break down the complex data we process daily, from reviews to geotagged images. No matter what industry you’re in, infographics will help your business share easily digestible data instead of trying to describe it all through words. Infographics can also be used as a teaser on social to your other Premier Flooring Retailer | Digital 3 2020

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marketing collateral, such as surveys and whitepapers. Canva, Venngage, and Visme are great places to start for building an infographic design template.

#3 – Leverage User-Generated (UGC) Content User-generated content (UGC) is content created by consumers about your brand. They can fall under photos, videos, hashtags, and comments and be leveraged across all social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, and Pinterest. Your UGC shouldn’t just live on your social media platforms alone, either. They can be shared through your Google Posts, business listing photos, website, email newsletters, and other relevant marketing messaging. Incorporating UGC into your social media management strategy has multiple benefits. 90% of consumers say authenticity is important for choosing a brand to support. UGC content shows your target audience what real customers have to say about your brand, increasing your credibility. Leveraging UGC also helps you work smarter – it saves you the time of creating content on your own!

#4 – Expand Your Video Content Creating social media video content can seem like a daunting task – it can take a lot of time and resources, but it’s a worthwhile investment. Not including video content can lead to a loss in engagement and revenue. Here are some powerful stats that show the impact of video content today on your social media management strategy: ●M ore video content is uploaded in 30 days than the major U.S. television networks have created in 30 years. ●O ver half a billion people are watching videos on Facebook every day. ● S ocial video generates 12 times more shares than text and images combined. ●M arketers who use video grow revenue 49% faster than non-video users. When planning your video content, always think about what you want to achieve from the start. Are you looking to create brand awareness, drive customers to a certain product or service, or have consumers enter a contest? Next, what story are you going to tell with your video? Sometimes the most viral video content is created from a low-budget but resonates with people because of the story. GoPro’s viral video tells a simple yet emotional story of a fireman saving a kitten shot on a GoPro device. GoPro did a great job of authentically showing

UGC content shows your target audience what real customers have to say about your brand, increasing your credibility. GoPro: Fireman saves kitten, courtesu GoPro

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consumers how their camera can be used to shoot brave moments. Whether it’s to educate, entertain, or inspire, storytelling and creating an emotional connection can help you create an impactful video that speaks to your audience. Social media apps like Videorama and Splice help your brand create and edit creative social videos. Creating video content can be made simple and easy, especially through Facebook Live and Instagram Stories. Through these social media features, you create engaging video content where you share the latest updates in your products and services, customer testimonials, introduce employees, host Q&As all for free or cheap.

doesn’t just have to stop at just replying; you can follow up with a question or incentivize them to purchase from your brand by sharing discounts. Next, you’ll want to track analytics such as post impressions, engagements, clicks, comments, and any other feedback. This will help you get an understanding of how much engagement and traffic you’re receiving, as well as your top-performing content over time. This is crucial in understanding how to reach your target audience and increase brand awareness.

#5 – Organize, Monitor, and Measure Your Performance Now that you’ve gone through all this effort to develop and implement different types of visual content, you need to understand which content is driving the best results. Using a tool that can house all your content within one area can help you create content ahead of time and stay organized. Our Social Suite lets users create a content calendar and publish to Instagram, Google Posts, Twitter, Facebook for multiple social accounts within the dashboard.

Monitoring your social media performance is imperative to building long-lasting relationships with your social media fans. Your brand needs to be there to respond quickly to all comments, questions, and concerns through social media, so the consumer sees you care about them. Strive toward continuing the conversation with your fans throughout social as well. It

Tracking and analyzing your content as a brickand-mortar brand with hundreds of locations can get pretty tricky unless you’re automating your social media management strategy. Being proactive by using a social media management tool can help you streamline your content management process – leaving extra time for creative content creation. Check out how Business Evaluation Services Social Suite can take your brand’s content marketing strategy to the next level with our free brand audit . ❚

888-300-8292 https://www.mysteryshopperservices.com/solutions/ https://www.mysteryshopperservices.com/ Premier Flooring Retailer | Digital 3 2020

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FLOOR ED

Tips to Help You Control Moisture and Mitigate the Risk of Flooring Failure

W

hen it comes to floor coverings, moisture problems are all too common. It doesn’t matter what type of flooring we’re talking about — wood, carpet, vinyl, tile, or something

else — if water vapor inside the concrete makes it to the surface, you’re going to have big problems. This is because as moisture deep in the concrete rises to the surface, it brings along with it soluble alkalis that raise the pH level and break down adhesives. You end up with swelling, blistering, cupping, etc. In North America, flooring failures cost billions annually to fix. Fortunately, they’re easy to avoid if you understand the moisture dynamics of concrete slabs and conduct moisture meaJason Spangler Wagner Meters’ Flooring Division Manager Jason Spangler has more than 25 years’ experience in sales and sales management across a broad spectrum of industries. He has successfully launched a variety of products to the market, including the original Rapid RH® concrete moisture test. Jason, who received an MBA from West Texas A&M University in 2018, has extensive industry involvement, including the National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA), the International Certified Flooring Installers Association (CFI), and is Vice Chairman of Associations for The Flooring Contractors Association (FCICA). Call Wagner Meters today at (800) 634-9961 and ask for Jason or www. wagnermeters.com.

surements of every floor installed over a slab.

History of Concrete Moisture Testing Two main ways have been used to perform concrete moisture readings: ● the calcium chloride (CaCl) test (ASTM F1869) that was improvised in the 1940s ● the in situ relative humidity (RH) test (ASTM F2170), which today is the most reliable method for testing concrete moisture levels We’ll go into more detail about the CaCl test and the in situ RH test below.

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How Concrete Dries Concrete is poured wet, and as it releases water vapor, it dries. According to the Portland Cement Association, every one inch of concrete slab takes around 30 days to dry on average. Of course, this assumes an environment with low RH and a consistently warm temperature. We should note here that curing is not the same as drying. Curing is the hardening process that starts immediately after pouring. It’s complete after about 28 days. However, concrete will continue to harden for some time afterward as well. It’s important to remember that just because a concrete slab looks dry doesn't mean it is. There’s still huge amounts of water that must evaporate out if you don’t want it impacting your floor. This is why moisture testing is essential.

The CaCl (ASTM F1869) concrete moisture test

Tip #1 — Use the Most Reliable Moisture Test The two most widely used concrete moisture tests today are the CaCl test and the in situ RH test. But, which one is the most reliable? The CaCl (ASTM F1869) concrete moisture test was an industry-standard that was created around the 1940s. The problem is there’s no science behind it, and it only measures the top ½-¾ inch of the slab. What if there’s moisture deeper in the slab? The CaCl test won’t detect it, and if when it rises to the surface, you’ll have problems. In contrast, the in situ RH test (ASTM F2170) provides you with information about the moisture condition deep within the slab. It’s also backed up by scientific research. You can use a pinless moisture meter to find out where to place the probes (see ASTM F2659).

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Wagner Datamaster L6

Tip #2 — Ensure Complete Compliance with Whichever ASTM Standard You Use

Tip #4 — Closely Monitor Ambient Conditions — Even If You Can't Be There

The ASTM F2170 standard states that probes must have

Although it isn’t mandatory, we highly recommend monitor-

NIST-traceable calibration equal to or better than plus or

ing ambient conditions on the job site to avoid unpleasant

minus 2% RH when the RH is between 50-90%. While other

surprises.

in situ test systems come close, the sensor used in the Rapid

The Wagner Meters’ Smart Logger is an ambient RH and

RH L6 fully complies with this standard. Other sensors may

temperature data logging device that utilizes Bluetooth tech-

not meet these criteria.

nology. It’s very small, so you can easily hide it somewhere on the job site. This way, you’ll be able to monitor, document,

Tip #3 — Ensure That You Are Using the Appropriate Equipment for the Test That You Are Employing

and store ambient RH and temperature data, even when

Even the best test or tool can produce inaccurate results if used improperly. For example, the sensors on the Rapid

Tip #5 — Follow the Manufacturers Specifications Closely

RH L6 could be damaged if you do not properly push them

It goes without saying that you need to faithfully fol-

into the concrete. Another example of improper use of the

low the floor covering manufacturer’s specs regarding

Rapid RH L6 would be not placing the cap on the sensor.

optimum moisture conditions in the concrete slab. You can

This could allow dirt or other contaminants to get into the

see a list of them at rhspec.com.

sensor. In both cases, you'll probably not get an incorrect reading; or just no reading at all, and you would have to perform the

you’re not there.

Visit wagnermeters.com for more information about products and access to an extensive library of educational videos. ❚

test again. So make sure you follow installation guidelines.

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FLOOR ED

Property & Casualty Insurance Market Outlook and Proactive Steps You Can Take to Ensure a Smooth Renewal

T

By Stacy Eickhoff Stacy Eickhoff is senior vice president for Risk

he 2020 insurance market has been the most challenging market I have seen in the last ten years. Before Covid-19, and as early as 2018, the insurance market was beginning to harden, with firming expected to continue well into 2022. Prompting the market’s hardening was significant catastrophic losses in 2017, 2018, and 2019 impacting property, nuclear jury verdicts affecting casualty lines, and the cost of reinsurance increasing. While 2020 losses have yet to be fully realized, an early fire season, a more active than normal hurricane season, and COVID-19 all but guarantee further market hardening. Reinsurance treaty pricing is up significantly in 2020, and mid-year Facultative reinsurance pricing was up approximately 40%. The Fitch Ratings 2021 Outlook on Global Reinsurance predicts a negative outlook for 2021, citing the reduction in global premium volumes, coronavirus losses, and ultra-low interest rates. Insurance companies will pass this cost onto their policyholders by increasing rates.

Strategies Company. She has worked in the insurance industry over 25 years with a focus on

●G lobal average commercial insurance prices increased by 19% in Q2 2020, according to the Global Insurance Market Index published by Marsh, a leading global insurance broker. 2021 is expected to bring more of the same.

property and casualty within the floor covering and construction industries. Ms. Eickhoff

●P roperty, Automobile, and Excess have seen the largest pricing increases. Insurance carriers are reducing capacity, applying stringent underwriting guidelines and pricing in an attempt to get back to underwriting profitability.

holds licenses in over 40 states. Risk Strategies Company is

● I nsured’s with losses or poor controls can expect to see higher than average increases and should be prepared for a difficult renewal process.

the endorsed provider for the World Floor Covering Association.

Due to the market’s hardening, insurance carriers see a higher number of submissions, and increased underwriting scrutiny has significantly slowed the process. We suggest you start the renewal process well in advance of your insurance effective date.

To prepare for your renewals, a thorough review of your insurance program, including coverage, limits, and exposures, should be conducted. Make sure you understand the coverage provided within your policy, including any enhancements provided by your policy. 30 Premier Flooring Retailer | Digital 3 2020


To prepare for your renewals, a thorough review of your insurance program, including coverage, limits, and exposures, should be conducted. Make sure you understand the coverage provided within your policy, including any enhancements provided by your policy. This will allow you to better estimate your exposures and limit requirements. Policies with inflation guard protections can outpace your actual coverage needs as coverage often is increased by 4% annually. Be prepared to identify any improvements in processes, procedures, measures taken to reduce losses, and policies to provide a safe environment for your employees and customers. You may also be required to complete additional applications not previously required due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Finally, your insurance broker must be aware of any business operations changes that may impact your insurance program. Your insurance broker will be able to guide you through the process. â?š

Due to the market’s hardening, insurance carriers see a higher number of submissions, and increased underwriting scrutiny has significantly slowed the process. We suggest you start the renewal process well in advance of your insurance effective date.

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What the best dressed brands will be wearing:

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INTRODUCING THE NEW BADGE FOR SMART, DURABLE AND RESPONSIBLY MADE RIGID CORE FLOORING The fastest growing flooring category is now becoming the most rigorously tested and quality assured. Introducing the ASSURE CERTIFIED™ program–specifically created for rigid core LVT. Applicable to all WPC and SPC constructions, ASSURE CERTIFIED™ upholds manufacturing standards and tests for indoor air quality, performance, heavy metals and ortho-phthalates. From now on, rigid core quality will be easy to see. Just look for the ASSURE CERTIFIED™ badge. To learn more, visit RFCI.com/AssureCertified. Manufacturers, contact SCS Global directly to start your certification process.

Certified by

Developed by

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IT’S YOUR UP

How Focused Is Your Menu?

W

Tom Jennings Retail Training Expert Tom Jennings is a lifelong member of the flooring business. Since selling his family’s retail business in 2006, he has served the industry as an educator and speaker.

hen describing a retail flooring store's operation, I often use the analogy of running a restaurant. There are two basic elements of a restaurant — presentation and preparation. Most restaurants get their basic ingredients from common industry wholesalers daily — just as most flooring retailers do. Successful restaurants take ingredients that come in the back door in cartons and present them to their customers as tasty entrees priced fairly but profitably. Less successful operations never quite master either the presentation or preparation aspects. Since they can't command quality operators’ prices, they often try to play the giant selection of mediocre offerings at a lower price game. Lacking focus, they rationalize that someone might want liver or pancakes for lunch, so they include these items on the menu just in case. They seem to pride themselves in offering items that no one asked for prepared and presented rather unremarkably. Starting to sound familiar? How many times have you looked at a large and complex menu and thought to yourself, “there's no way that all of this can be fresh or well prepared.” Many lessons can be learned from the foodservice industry. There is a growing trend in the restaurant business that I have long felt the flooring business would benefit from — cutting the menu items. I recently read a newspaper article stating that the total number of entrée items at the nation’s top 500 restaurant chains was down nearly 9% last year alone, continuing a trend in recent years.

He is a past board chairman of the WFCA and is currently the board chairman of WFCA Services, Inc. He may be reached at tomg.jennings@gmail.com

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Many lessons can be learned from the foodservice industry. There is a growing trend in the restaurant business that I have long felt the flooring business would benefit from — cutting the menu items.


I say that it’s high time that most flooring stores take notice and start pruning their menu items. Highly successful operations recognize that too many selections do not increase sales but only add confusion for the customer and complexities to the preparation process. Don’t believe this? Try finding the dollar menu at Five Guys, Chick-fil-A or In-n-Out Burger. They don’t need them. They have mastered the art of focused menus and a quality product priced at fair market value. By doing so, they are dominating a category where extensive menu boards get you frustrated with all of the combinations available. I say that it’s high time that most flooring stores take notice and start pruning their menu items. Great flooring retailers do not attempt to show every product available to them in their vendors’ lines — just the ones they feel will be important to their customers. They show them in large pieces. They accessorize them well. They use proper lighting to highlight them. Ask yourself, when a customer enters your store, can they immediately determine which products are important? If not, then why not? Good restaurants have not only specials but specialties as well. Can customers easily recognize your specialties? Does each display serve to impress the customer — or do they merely confuse her? If you have displays that cannot build a compelling reason for the customer to desire the product shown — then get rid of them. I don't care if the rack was free. There may be no greater expense to a retailer than a cheap sample of a product that the customer wasn’t asking for in the first place. These products — unwanted by the customer — only serve to create confusion and get in the way. Also, it’s been my experience that sales associates have the greatest close rates when working with a logical, focused product selection that they are truly comfortable with and understand its value. To maximize the value and beauty of a given product, it is imperative to allow the customer enough space to stand back and create a vision. Never forget that your primary mission is to serve your customer, not to assist the manufacturers in their apparent quest to place one more wing rack of the same or similar product on each corner of a given intersection! Now, seemingly more than ever, shoppers don’t venture into any retail selling environment without cause. When potential customers come into our stores, they are hungry for something more than they have presently. They want to be wowed. They want to create an area in which they can express themselves and be proud of. While the price is always a factor, it is seldom the prevailing issue if one gets emotionally engaged. This can best happen in our stores if we strategically reduce the number of products in our showrooms. Are you giving your customers a chance to dream? Or are they stuck in a maze? ❚

Great flooring retailers do not attempt to show every product available to them in their vendors’ lines — just the ones they feel will be important to their customers. Premier Flooring Retailer | Digital 3 2020

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SHOWIN’ OUR STUFF

Magnetic Building Solutions “Goes Hollywood” — Home Renovation Programs Showcase MBS!

Magnetic Building Solutions (MBS) technology was developed by the World Floor Covering Association to facilitate safe and efficient surface installations. The magnetic underlay system can be utilized with almost all types of flooring and wall surfaces.

N

o adhesives or click locking systems are required for installation. Products with the MagneBuild™ brand of MBS technology stay in place using magnetism: a flexible

sheet magnetic underlayment attracted to the top surface layer containing a ferrite powder. For the installer, that means an easier and faster installation without the mess, smell, and VOCs that are a common by-product of traditional floor or wall covering replacements. Our experience shows that once the MagneBuild concept is embraced and given a try, it is used repeatedly. Metroflor has done a fantastic job of providing stylish designs in their product offering. For all of these advantages and more, it’s easy to see why the MagneBuild brand continues to gain recognition, and now it has gone Hollywood! Several “Home Renovation” networks came to MBS unsolicited when they heard about these unique attributes of the magnetic system branded MagneBuild. Check these out!

Food Network: Restaurant Impossible Metroflor Corporation’s Déjà New with Attraxion Magnetic Attachment Technology was the fast-installing flooring solution in the restaurant-makeover Restaurant Impossible cable TV series. Restaurant Impossible Host/Chef Robert Irvine tries to turn around restaurants across America facing an impending demise if things don’t improve. With a $10,000 budget and two days to work, Irvine uses his creativity and resourcefulness to turn the eatery’s fortunes around — including making aesthetic changes — in preparation for the grand reopening the following day. Restaurant Impossible started using MagneBuild products about a year ago, and the hits to our website continue to grow. The reduced installation time and flexibility in design were key factors in their decision to use our product. While 48 hours is typical for a Restaurant Impossible renovation, it’s not for the vast majority of projects. But speed and ease of installation is an important feature for any commercially installed flooring.

Restaurant Impossible started using MagneBuild™ products about a year ago, and the hits to our website continue to grow. The reduced installation time and flexibility in design were key factors in their decision to use our product. 36 Premier Flooring Retailer | Digital 3 2020


No adhesives or click locking systems are required for installation. Products with the MagneBuild™ brand of MBS technology stay in place using magnetism: a flexible sheet magnetic underlayment attracted to the top surface layer containing a ferrite powder.

Restaurant Impossible host Robert Irvine with construction manager Tom Bury and designer Taniya Nayak.

The Perella Restaurant transformation is complete with 1,700 sq. ft. of Déjà New with Attraxion DN821823 Worn Beige Saw cut finish.

Installers left to right: Jay Zurn from Metroflor, Nick Wilcox, Roland Thompson, Donald Perkins, Brandon Henshaw, George Johnson III.

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For all of these advantages and more, it’s easy to see why the MagneBuild™ brand continues to gain recognition, and now it has gone Hollywood! Several “Home Renovation” networks came to MBS unsolicited when they heard about these unique attributes of the magnetic system branded MagneBuild™. HGTV: Ty Breaker hosted by Ty Pennington In September, we were privileged to be on the set of HGTV’s new series called Ty Breaker! In this series, Ty Pennington of Trading Spaces fame as carpenter and designer is starring in his own show, Ty Breaker. The eight-episode series, premiering in early 2021, will follow Pennington as he helps families create their dream home by either choosing to overhaul their current residence or start over with a new renovation. For a dose of friendly competition, in each episode, Pennington will be trying to encourage the family to stick with their existing home. At the same time, one of his HGTV costars — either Alison Victoria (Windy City Rehab), Grace Mitchell (One of a Kind), or Sabrina Soto (The High Low Project) — will push for the alternative option. CFI’s Robert Varden gave Ty instructions for installing the MagneBuild product using Metroflor’s LVT. Ty showed his backsplash ceramic installation to one of the designers to get her opinion during the filming. She was NOT impressed, but Ty was ready! He simply removed some of the tiles, changed the design, and re-installed! The designer was elated that she could “correct” Ty’s original blunder… which was planned, of Ty Pennington

course!

CFI’s Robert Varden is shown giving Ty Pennington instructions for installing the MagneBuild product using Metroflor’s LVT.

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Netflix original: Remodeling Show

Recognition for MagneBuild™

Netflix has a new show coming up called (Can’t tell you…but

The hits to our website have continued to grow substantially

it’s going to be fantastic!), the first of its kind for them! The

after our exposure on Food Network’s Restaurant Impossible

show will involve a season of a NEW Netflix Original Remod-

episodes. We expect once HGTV airs, Ty Breaker and Netflix

eling show!

produces and airs its new original remodeling show, those

MBS was chosen to be used on this show as well! The

hits will increase exponentially. Stay-tuned, and if you are a

filming of this series has been delayed somewhat by the

Metroflor dealer, this could be a hidden profit center that pro-

Covid-19 virus, but filming should start soon.

pels your business to the contract, commercial and high-end

All happens on the world’s biggest stage for television

consumer into the next millennium. ❚

content. Netflix continues to grow with over 158 Million subscribers representing over half a billion viewers in 190 countries worldwide. This series will be promoted globally, so expect viewership well beyond broadcast networks.

CFI Installers, Roland Thompson, Jen Zurn, and Nick Wilcox installing MBS flooring at Blue Orleans in Chattanooga, TN

L to R Michael Bennett, Global VP Sales and Marketing, Magnetic Building Solutions, Scott Faulknor, CFI Installer, Robert Irvine, Host Restaurant Impossible, Tom Bury, Construction Manager and Roland Thompson, CFI Installer.

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TAKING THE LEAD

What’s in it for Me?

I

get this question quite often when talking with suppliers about fcB2B. For the retailers, there are plenty of efficiency opportunities to be found when using fcB2B. A few are listed below.

Lewis Davis Senior Director of Technology and Research

● Automating price updates via the product catalog ● Price check to ensure the current price is correct ● Checking for available stock ● Reserving stock for an order ● Placing the order electronically ● Receiving the order confirmation ● Checking order status ● Receiving the ship notice to facilitate receiving ● Receiving the invoice for a 3-way match However, suppliers typically see fcB2B as a cost. They fail to see the long-term savings and efficiencies they can get by implementing fcB2B with their customers. The suppliers can save money on printing and postage for price catalogs and invoices. Efficiencies come from reallocating resources from phone calls to other important functions. Most suppliers have websites that allow these same functions but fail to think how inefficient that is for their customers. As a retailer who orders from five suppliers, not utilizing B2B, they potentially have five different web sites they must log into and navigate to place an order. Suppose the supplier doesn’t provide a website with these functions. In that case, the retailer must find and potentially call multiple times, confirming the current price, finding out if stock is available, placing a reserve, and then finally calling back to place an order. This takes time for the retailer and for customer service to perform these checks. With most Flooring Management systems, these functions are built-in. This allows the retailer to remain in one system and become much more efficient.

As a retailer who orders from five suppliers, not utilizing B2B, they potentially have five different web sites they must log into and navigate to place an order. Suppose the supplier doesn’t provide a website with these functions.

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Suppliers that implement B2B can benefit from fewer claims associated with incorrect orders being entered; fewer complaints from customers that haven’t received the latest price update in a timely manner to get their system and store updated; fewer calls to check stock, place reservations, and checking the status of orders. As more and more retailers see the benefits of using B2B, they demand B2B of their suppliers. Suppliers that have B2B may notice an increase in orders. This could be because the retailers find it easier and faster to place an order via B2B than placing it via the web or phone. Suppliers, if you are already doing business with the big box stores, then you are probably already using X12 EDI with them per their requirements. fcB2B utilizes the language of X12 EDI, and it has been used by retailers in the flooring industry for over 15 years. B2B allows retailers to become more efficient, profitable, and they may even try a little harder to sell your product than a competitor who doesn’t support fcB2B. So back to the supplier’s question, “What’s in it for me?” More efficiency; fewer claims for wrong products, quantity or price on the order; and best of all, potentially more sales from happy customers. Are you a manufacturer, distributor, or retailer that’s curious about how fcB2B can help but don’t know where to start? Contact me at ldavis@wfca.org or 706-2171183 x 132, and we’ll set a time to talk you through the steps. Be sure to check out the website to start the learning process at www.fcb2b.org. ❚

Suppliers, if you are already doing business with the big box stores, then you are probably already using X12 EDI with them per their requirements. fcB2B utilizes the language of X12 EDI, and it has been used by retailers in the flooring industry for over 15 years.

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SHOWIN’ OUR STUFF

Common Myths about Concrete Moisture and Mitigation Q: How did you become an expert in moisture mitigation in concrete? A: In my 20+ years as a flooring claims investigator and my role since then as founder and principal of ISE Logik, I’ve encountered a lot of misconceptions about moisture and concrete. (In fact, some of these have been held by people you think would know better!) In our company, our business is to help everyone in the flooring and construction industry avoid the time consuming and costly impact of vapor transmission through concrete slabs with both our admixture formulas and topical coatings. Over time, moisture can simply ruin a beautiful flooring installation. So, we know all the ins and outs about moisture — we have to!

David P. Seland David Seland is a Principal and Founder of ISE Logik Industries. Over the past 35 years, he has worked in a wide range of positions in the building products industry, including floorcoverings, coatings, and substrates. As one of the top independent building products failure analysts focused on coverings and coatings applied to substrates, David directed over 5,000 on-site field inspections throughout the Americas. David’s expertise and determination for innovative and proactive solutions for concrete moisture control led to the formation of ISE Logik Industries — dedicated to stopping moisture vapor in its tracks.

Q: What’s a common misconception when the concrete surface is wet? A: That the moisture is coming from the concrete. In many cases, it may simply be from moisture in the air. Condensation. Check the dew point and ambient conditions and if 50° Fahrenheit or less from dew point. This is common with job sites where the ambient conditions are not effectively controlled. (Note that as time progresses during the day and the dew point spread increases, resulting in evaporation, the concrete surface will become dry.) Q: What are some common moisture testing errors or misconceptions? A: Four common mistakes come to mind. First, moisture tests are often conducted when the job site is not at service temperature and relative humidity for occupied normal use. When this happens, it goes against the ASTM requirement. Secondly, the required number of tests per ASTM is three tests for the first 1000 ft2 and at least one additional test for every 1000 ft2 after that. This required number of tests is not often done, especially on larger projects.

42 Premier Flooring Retailer | Digital 3 2020


Unless many months of very favorable drying conditions are provided (HVAC running; and which projects don’t have), it is unlikely that new project concrete slabs will meet the flooring industry requirements. Thirdly, another misconception is the belief that new concrete will even pass the moisture tests. Unless many months of very favorable drying conditions are provided (HVAC running; and which projects don’t have), it is unlikely that new project concrete slabs will meet the flooring industry requirements. Lastly, and perhaps the biggest error is that moisture tests predict resilient flooring success; this is simply not the case. ACI 302.2R-06 pointed this out and reported no correlation between the relative humidity of the concrete and the adhesion of resilient flooring. Q: What’s the latest misconception? A: We hear a lot more lately that using a high-moisture tolerant adhesive will adequately protect you. If a 95% or even a 99% RH tolerant adhesive is used, what occurs when the RH of the slab increases above that with a failure present? The building owner now has a failed system that offered only partial protection going in. This is why utilizing a moisture control system that covers to 100% RH and blocks the moisture from adversely affecting the floorcovering is vital for full long-term protection. More information about concrete moisture and mitigation can be found at ISElogik.com. ❚

Over time, moisture can simply ruin a beautiful flooring installation. So, we know all the ins and outs about moisture — we have to!

Premier Flooring Retailer | Digital 3 2020

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STOPPING MOISTURE VAPOR TRANSMISSION BETTER THAN ANYONE, ANYWHERE. We stop moisture migration inside the concrete.

FROM THE

BOTTOM

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Our MVRA 900â„¢ is the money and time saving admixture for new concrete. When used with coverings and coatings, it stops moisture migration and is warranted to 100% RH with no moisture testing required.


TO THE

TOP We stop moisture migration from reaching the surface flooring.

Our topical MVEC 710™ Moisture Vapor Emission Control is an effective 1-part system that eliminates moisture testing and cures in just 8 hours. Check out our complete line of topical coatings.

We are the flooring industry’s #1 specialist in vapor mitigation science for new slab construction or floor renovation over existing concrete. No one is more knowledgeable and more dedicated to stopping moisture vapor in its tracks than we are. Get to know us at ISElogik.com (877) 549-5159.

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Concrete science for moisture mitigation.


SHOWIN’ OUR STUFF

Metroflor makes Wayfinding and Social Distancing Easy! Metroforms with Attraxion Leads the Way

Restructuring your floors for social distancing

Style and design are key elements

Signage that dictates direction has long been a part of many

Materials that offer trendy and current designs are always

business and commercial locations, especially in areas with

important to businesses that see numerous guests. But

higher than average traffic levels. In today's world of COVID-

when they’re also just as easy to clean, reposition, replace,

19 social distancing protocols, that signage is more import-

repair, and, more importantly, restructure, they become

ant than ever before as we navigate in a way that seeks to

highly sought after as the world around us changes. In addi-

reduce the spread of the virus. To make this process eas-

tion to basic signage, Metroflor uses shape and color to cre-

ier for everyone involved, Metroflor now offers new flooring

ate easy to identify directions in every space, regardless of

design options utilizing the Attraxion Magnetic Attachment

traffic levels.

Technology for streamlined social distancing at every turn.

Specific directives Easier redesign options when necessary

The products used to create one-way and distanced traffic

Long before social distancing became a necessity, Metro-

flows include chevrons, triangles, squares, and X’s, utilizing

flor offered products known for their ease of redesign when

the well-known red and green colors, much like those used

a business owner was ready for an updated style. These

on the roadway. Even better, you’ll need no elaborate restruc-

products are highly customizable, easily installed, and easily

turing to get back to a beautiful design after social distancing

transformed as requirements change. Add social distancing

restriction ease and disappear. The unique challenges you

cues in areas where they are most needed, without the per-

face today, as a business owner, can create a unique style

manency of glue-down materials, and then back to a fash-

and design options in the future as you make use of products

ionable design as restrictions are removed.

utilizing the very best in modern technology and standards. ❚

Retail space COVID-considered floor

Retail space post-COVID floor

46 Premier Flooring Retailer | Digital 3 2020


DISTANCING SOLUTIONS FOR NOW… AND LATER Metroforms™ with Attraxion Magnetic Attachment Technology™ offers functional and fashionable solutions to distancing and wayfinding challenges as the world adjusts to a new normal. Metroforms’ pre-cut shapes and patterns offer the advantage of being repositionable, removable, and reusable, allowing for proper distancing now, along with the flexibility to be reimagined into an entirely new design later.

888-235-6672 | metroflorusa.com

REFRESH AND REUSE. Aesthetic distancing cues to keep individuals mindful are able to be easily remixed once guidelines are relaxed.

on SKETCHBOX Premier Flooring Retailer | Digital 3 2020See it 47


SHOWIN’ OUR STUFF

T

Metroflor’s Déjà New with Attraxion Makes Social Distancing a Breeze

he COVID-19 pandemic has presented unique chal-

“Any commercial space,” said Gary Keeble, vice presi-

lenges in design, as people strive to maintain distance in

dent of marketing for Metroflor Corp., “now needs to have

order to stay safe while not sacrificing the normalcy of going

clear social distancing messaging.” One example is defin-

about everyday activities, such as grocery shopping or even

ing social distancing boundaries in an office environment

returning to the office.

that allows office workers to feel safe in their workspace.

That being said, there has been an increased need to

Déjà New with Attraxion presents the perfect solution to the

assist consumers in navigating the world, as social distancing

social distancing problem, as it can be used to make dis-

becomes crucial to stopping the spread of the virus. Metro-

tancing cues more obvious, and subsequently reconfigured

flor’s Attraxion Magnetic Attachment Technology has high-

as restrictions ease. For example; tiles are 2" × 2" — to

lighted design configurations using Déjà New with Attraxion

create 6 feet of distance, 2" × 2" size is a great measuring

that make social distancing a breeze.

stick to create that 6-foot boundary you need to have been

It’s one of Metroflor’s solutions to this unique design

employees in an office setting. ❚

problem.

“Any commercial space,” said Gary Keeble, vice president of marketing for Metroflor Corp., “now needs to have clear social distancing messaging.”

Above: Office space COVIDconsidered floor; at right: Office space post-COVID floor

Products featured: Déjà New with Attraxion; Smooth Concrete Clay, Zinc | Oak Framing Beige

48 Premier Flooring Retailer | Digital 3 2020


DISTANCING SOLUTIONS FOR NOW… Déjà New with Attraxion Magnetic Attachment Technology™ blends fashion with function to make it easier to comply with social distancing guidelines in the workspace. Two-foot square tiles combine easily to create effective visual cues while offering the flexibility to be reimagined into a new design when distancing restrictions are eased. Quick change artist! Magnetic technology means the same flooring can be easily rearranged and reused in a new layout when desired.

888-235-6672 | metroflorusa.com

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SHOWIN’ OUR STUFF

E

Get Ready for the Big Reveal….

ngage Inception Solid Polymer Composite (SPC) floors

Design and Function Versatility

are the latest innovation in multi-layer, rigid core, water-

● Combines the beauty of hardwood, the durability of LVT,

proof LVT floors. It offers a durable yet budget-conscious

and the ease of DropLock 100™ fold-down installation

option for the rigid core LVT consumer. Initially designed

● Various formats with plank sizes 7" × 48" and 9" × 60";

for the builder market, it provides a lower-cost alternative to WPC.

tile format of 12" × 24" ● FX2 Surface Protectant™ provides best-in-class abrasion resistance and stain repellency

The “Right Stuff”

● Preferred product for multi-family installations

Engage Inception provides a higher resistance to temperature changes and is extremely resistant to indentations. The

Making the Sale

premium attached HDPE (High-Density Polyethylene) foam

Metroflor’s new Engage Inception waterfall display is ideal

underlayment provides sound absorption, reduced trans-

for helping sales associates make the sale. It features an

mitted sound and foot fatigue, and conceals minor subfloor

eye-catching graphic story with 16" × 24" samples allowing

imperfections. Wear layers are offered in 6, 8, 12, and 20-mil

the customer to see and feel the product — a true represen-

with a robust overall gauge up to 5.2 mm that is thicker than

tation for visualizing the flooring in place. For the retailer, it

many SPC floors.

provides a two-pronged “Better/Best” strategy for a multilayer waterproof flooring solution at different price points for a wide range of applications. ❚

Engage Inception provides a high resistance to temperature changes and is extremely resistant to indentations.

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•Family Friendly •Pet Friendly Engage Inception™ SPC makes life less complicated. Spills, splashes and leaks are no match for Engage Inception. Available in wear layers ranging from 6 to 20 mil, this 100% waterproof flooring offers superior dent resistance and helps hide minor subfloor imperfections too. An attached HDPE underlayment offers enhanced comfort and reduces sound transmission while FX2 Surface Protectant delivers the ultimate in abrasion and stain resistance.

NOW SHIPPING – check with your Metroflor distributor for details.

Subfloor Hiding

888-235-6672 | metroflorusa.com

Premier Flooring Retailer | Digital 3 2020

51


LEGAL MATTERS

Contracts in the Age of COVID-19: Some Suggestions to Protect Your Business.

C

OVID-19 has caused flooring retailers and contractors to face delays due to government-imposed stay-at-home orders, supply chain disruptions, cost increases, and the lack of installers. With the anticipated surge in COVID-19 cases over the next several months, flooring retailers and contractors may again face delays and costs like those experienced last spring. Accordingly, retailers and contractors should consider taking some precautions to deal with these issues.

Contract Review Jeffrey W. King Legal Counsel for the WFCA Jeffrey King has more than 35 years’ experience in complex litigation with a focus on contracts, employment, construction, antitrust, intellectual property and health care. He serves as legal counsel for WFCA and other trade associations, and is a LEED Accredited Professional. For more information, contact him at (561) 278-0035 or jeffw@jkingesq.com.

The first step is to review your contracts. It is important to understand your contractual rights and make appropriate modifications to minimize potential problems and costs. Whether a retailer or contractor can avoid liability for delays and increased costs from the COVID-19 pandemic will depend on the language in the relevant contracts. While each situation is different, some of the key construction contract clauses to consider are discussed below. 1. Force Majeure and Delay Clauses Force majeure is an unforeseeable circumstance that prevents someone from fulfilling a contractual obligation. A force majeure clause can excuse a delay and may allow the retailer or contractor to terminate the agreement as a result of an unforeseen event specified in the force majeure clause. The right to terminate could allow them leverage to renegotiate the agreement to cover increased costs. Most contracts include a force majeure or a delay clause, but the language of what is covered can vary. The issue of whether the COVID-19 pandemic is covered is likely to depend on whether the clause covers “epidemics,” “government action,” or “acts of God.” In the commercial market, for example, one of the most commonly used series of construction contracts is the AIA 2017 “A Series” Owner/Contractor agreements. The AIA contract does not include a force majeure clause but does address “Delays and Extension of Time.” (AIA Contract at § 8.3.1). The AIA contract provides for an extension of the contract time for excusable delay as a result of “labor disputes, fire, unusual delay in deliveries, … adverse weather conditions,” etc. The AIA contract, however, does not include epidemics, government action, or acts of God as justifying any delay. On the other hand, the ConsensusDocs, and EJCDC forms, also commonly used in the commercial market, include force majeure concepts in the

The first step is to review your contracts. It is important to understand your contractual rights and make appropriate modifications to minimize potential problems and costs. 52 Premier Flooring Retailer | Digital 3 2020


delay clause that expressly mention “epidemics” as an example of delay outside the control of the contractor. For federal government contracts, the Federal Acquisition Regulations also cover pandemics. In addition, the retailer or contractor must show that the COVID-19 pandemic was not foreseeable at the time of contracting. Accordingly, the force majeure or delay clause may provide protection for delays on contracts entered into before the COVID-19 pandemic. For contracts entered into after March or April 2020, however, a COVID-19-related force majeure claim is unlikely to satisfy the standard of unforeseeability because the parties were aware of the COVID-19 pandemic when they signed the contracts. Accordingly, it is recommended that every retailer and contractor review its contract’s force majeure clause to ensure it covers epidemics, government action, and acts of God. In addition, it is recommended that new contracts include a separate provision that specifies: The parties recognize the potential for delays as a result of the COVID19 pandemic and that the retailer/contractor is not liable for any delay, including any direct or consequential damages, as a result of COVID-19, including but not limited to government actions, delay in supplies, or the unavailability of installers, including any consequential liability. The force majeure provision will help protect the retailer and contractor in the event of new unforeseen events. The COVID-19 provision will help protect them from delays and liability in the event of a COVID-19 resurgence. 2. Doctrine of Commercial Impracticability If a contract does not contain an express force majeure clause or other similar language, there is still hope. The common law doctrine of commercial impracticability may apply to excuse a delay because of COVID-19. While not all states accept impracticability as a defense, it is generally recognized and could be applied to COVID-19 delays. The retailer or contractor must show that COVID-19 made it impractical to complete the contract on time and that the pandemic was not foreseeable. While this may provide some protection, the better practice is to include both a force majeure clause and a clause specifically covering delay and liability as a result of COVID-19 in any new contracts, as explained above.

Most contracts include a force majeure or a delay clause, but the language of what is covered can vary. The issue of whether the COVID-19 pandemic is covered is likely to depend on whether the clause covers “epidemics,” “government action,” or “acts of God.”

3. Increased Costs The potential delays and disruption of supply chains can lead to increased costs. Some contracts may include an escalation clause, which allows a contractor to increase its contract price if the costs go up under circumstances described in the clause. Most common is a clause that allows the retailer or contractor to pass on any increase in the goods sold. Premier Flooring Retailer | Digital 3 2020

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Some contracts also provide that the retailer or contractor can terminate a contract if the work is stopped for a period of consecutive days through no act or fault of the retailer or contractor.

Many, if not most, contracts set a fixed price and do not contemplate passing through cost increases. For these contracts, the retailer and contractor need to consider whether there is a basis to pass on the increase in costs. The first step is to review the contract to see if it allows any pass-through of cost increases. Second, consider whether the delay was at the customer’s request, such as delaying installation over-concern with COVID-19. In that case, a retailer or contractor may be able to argue that the customer caused the increased cost. Third, discuss the issue with the customer to see if the cost increase could be shared. To address the issue, it is recommended that any new contract include a provision that specifies: The price quoted is based on the current prices of the flooring ordered. If there is a delay in performing the contract that is caused by events specified in the force majeure or by the customer, the retailer/contractor can pass on any increase in the price of the flooring ordered. If the customer is concerned or objects to an open-ended price, the retailer and contractor may want to limit the right to pass on costs increases that are a result of delays or supply interruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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4. E mergency and Safety Clauses Many form contracts, like ConsensusDocs, authorize the contractor to act in an emergency affecting the safety of persons or property and to obtain compensation for the costs incurred, such as buying personal protection equipment (“PPE”), disinfectants, and similar items. As suggested above, whether or not the contract contains an emergency and safety clause, the retailer or contractor should give the customer prompt notice of the additional costs and try to work out sharing these unanticipated increases. 5. Suspension and Termination Provisions Some contracts allow the owner or contractor the right to suspend the work without liability. If the contract allows suspension, it is important to determine who has that right, when and the reasons that allow suspension, and whether notice of suspension is required. Such a provision allows delays without liability even without a force majeure clause. Some contracts also provide that the retailer or contractor can terminate a contract if the work is stopped for a period of consecutive days through no act or fault of the retailer or contractor. The AIA contract, for example, allows termination if the work is stopped for 30 consecutive days, including as a result of an “act of government, such as a declaration of national emergency that requires all work to be stopped.” The right to suspend or terminate may provide an opportunity to negotiate new terms to cover increased costs and other issues. It is important that the retailer or contractor know these rights to protect itself.. 6. “Pay-if-Paid” or “Pay-When-Paid” Provisions A retailer or contractor may not have been paid because the general contractor has not yet been paid. It is key to check whether a contract has a “pay-when-paid “or a

“pay-if-paid” clause. The courts in most states consider a “pay-when-paid” clause as simply a timing mechanism and generally will require the prime contractor pay the subcontractor whether or not the owner paid the prime contractor. In contrast, courts generally have found that a “pay-if-paid” means exactly what it says: the prime contractor has no obligation to pay subcontractors unless the owner first pays the prime contractor. In some states, payif-paid provisions are not even enforceable. If you find you are not being paid under a subcontract, check to see if the general contractor can hold pay until and unless it is paid by the owner. For more information on paywhen-paid verses, pay-if-paid clauses, see What’s in a Word? “Pay-if-Paid” or “Pay-When-Paid” Provisions— There May be a Big Difference, in WFCA’s Premier Flooring Retailer (2nd Quarter 2018).

Insurance Coverage Business interruption insurance is typically purchased as part of a company’s commercial property insurance policy but can be a stand-alone policy. In many commercial property insurance policies, business interruption coverage is triggered when the policyholder sustains “direct physical loss of or damage to” insured property. In the event of a claim for Coronavirus-related business interruption, the issue is whether this “physical loss” requirement has been met. Arguably the Coronavirus, which causes the disease COVID-19, creates a physical loss. Courts across the country have not settled upon a uniform rule for when insured property has suffered a “physical loss.” To date, the courts have split on whether COVID-19 causes physical loss that is covered by the business interruption insurance policy. Some policies specifically exclude business losses caused by bacterial or viral infections. Claims under policies with these exclusions have not generally fared as well in the courts. Premier Flooring Retailer | Digital 3 2020

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The bottom line is coverage will depend on the language in the policy and how each state court has interpreted that language. In addition, many commercial property insurance policies provide coverage for business income losses sustained when a “civil authority” prohibits or impairs access to the policyholder’s premises. Accordingly, in the event that a federal, state, or local governmental authority issues orders limiting or prohibiting access to a store or facility, there may be coverage under a business interruption policy. The bottom line is coverage will depend on the language in the policy and how each state court interprets that language. Lawsuits, including class actions, have already been filed over whether business interruption insurance covers losses from the Coronavirus. The results of these cases will impact whether a flooring retailer or contractor has coverage, but they need to have filed a claim. A flooring retailer or contractor may be told by its insurer or broker that the policy does not cover loss of business due to COVID-19. They should not just accept such a denial of coverage. Rather, file a claim. Many policies have time limits on when a claim must be filed, and a business does not want to miss the deadline. If the next wave of COVID-19 infections result in shelter-in-place orders or cause losses, retailers and contractors should file new claims. There may or may not be coverage, but there certainly is no coverage without filing a claim. Finally, Congress is considering the Pandemic Risk Reinsurance Program, which would provide federal funding for business interruption insurance for pandemics, including COVID-19. To have access to the funding, the insurer must voluntarily elect to join the program, and it would cover only losses incurred after January 1, 2021.

states have issued standards, and some have mandated that these standards be applied. Insurers and other groups have also issued suggested precautions employers and retailers should take. Whether mandated or just considered suggestions, these guidelines should be applied to minimize risks to employees and customers and the possible liability if a customer or employee becomes ill with the Coronavirus. These federal and state guides can be reviewed at WFCA.org under its Coronavirus section (https://wfca.org/page/ resources-and-useful-links). Floor covering retailers and contractors should also consider having customers sign liability waivers to limit claims for damages if a customer contracts the Coronavirus. It is important to understand that some states view liability waivers more favorably than others, and some states (Connecticut, Montana, and Virginia) will not enforce liability waivers. Moreover, it is unclear whether a Covid-19 waiver would be enforceable. The courts have simply not ruled on waivers under the unprecedented circumstances presented by the pandemic. It is possible that COVID-19 waivers in some jurisdictions will be held to be against public policy. Nonetheless, waivers are recommended because they are easy to employ and, if drafted properly, may well be enforced and avoid liability. A sample form for Residential Customers can be assessed on WFCA.org at https://wfca.org/sites/default/files/document/LiabilityReleaseForm_Residential_0.pdf, and a form for Commercial Projects can be assessed at https://wfca. org/sites/default/files/document/LiabilityReleaseForm_Residential_0.pdf.

Protect and Notice Claim Operating Safely The Center for Disease Control (“CDC”) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) have issued guidance on preparing workplaces to guard against COVID-19. In addition, some 56 Premier Flooring Retailer | Digital 3 2020

COVID-19 shutdowns, stay-at-home orders, slowdowns in the supply chain, or lack of labor does not mean that the deadlines applicable to certain aspects of the project have stopped running. Deadlines and other time periods will continue to run on mechanic’s lien and bond


Floor covering retailers and contractors should also consider having customers sign liability waivers to limit claims for damages if a customer contracts the Coronavirus. claims. Accordingly, it is critical to determine and preserve applicable deadlines for notices of claims, lien rights. For more information on mechanic liens, see Mechanic’s Liens—Little Mistakes, Big Problems, in WFCA’s Premier Flooring Retailer (2nd Quarter 2020).

Conclusion With the likely resurgence of COVID-19, retailers and contractors need to be prepared for new restrictions, supply and labor interruptions, delays, and added costs. It is recommended that each retailer and contractor take the following actions: ● Review and Revise Your Contracts: Retailers and contractors should include new language in their construction contracts, specifically addressing their rights and responsibilities concerning COVID-19. Specific language is a better option than wondering how standard clauses might apply to the pandemic. ● Check with Legal Counsel: Retailers and contractors should have legal counsel review and advise on all contracts, any new provisions, and other legal rights that may provide relief from COVID-19 losses. ● Communicate with Customers: Maintain communication with clients, contractors, and keep them informed of any issues. It is important to work with your customers, contractors, and suppliers to resolve delays and cost issues that result from the COVID-pandemic. Pre-planning will avoid many issues. ❚ Notice: The information contained in this article is abridged from legislation, court decisions, and administrative rulings and should not be construed as legal advice or opinion, and is not a substitute for the advice of counsel.

There already have been lawsuits, including class actions, over whether business interruption insurance covers losses from Coronavirus. Premier Flooring Retailer | Digital 3 2020

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SHOWIN’ OUR STUFF

From Design to Function, Everything Clicks with Korlok Select Stones

A

fter introducing the Korlok Select waterproof rigid core range three years ago, Karndean Designflooring is adding 17 new stones to the award-winning line, offering original Karndean visuals in an alternative to

ceramic and porcelain tile that is quicker and easier to install. Known for traveling the world in search of expressive and intriguing natural forms to inspire its product designs, Karndean Designflooring new stone visuals include antique French cotta, Italian Calacatta marble, Australian slate, English limestone and Moorish-inspired stenciled tiles.

Right: New Palazzo Marble bordered by Shadow Oak. Below: Aged Parchment

Antique French Cotta Unlike the bold, earthen-baked look of Spanish adobe cotta, the Korlok Select cotta design was inspired by a northern European reclaimed cotta. The understated character of these faded and more neutral tiles will instantly add history to a home. 58 Premier Flooring Retailer | Digital 3 2020


Italian Marble Sourced from the Apuan Alps and renowned for its striking beauty, Calacatta marble has graced palaces and cathedrals throughout Italy. Both limited and rare in its natural form, this highly desired look is available in two sizes: 18" × 24" tiles and 6" × 24" herringbone format.

Brunella Marble, available 18" × 24" tiles and a 6" × 24" herringbone format, allows added design flexibility.

Coastal Fog

Slate Developed from hand-selected

pieces

of

natural

slate that lined the steps of the former Australian Parliament building in Melbourne, these tiles feature deep veining and clefting marks for an authentic slate appearance.

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Limestone With the intent of creating neutral, understated stone design, we looked to limestone as a source canvas. After lightly sandblasting gray English limestone to expose the face, it was acid-etched and evenly colored before undergoing a “satino� process to add a smooth, satin-like feel to the product.

Stencil Stenciling has been used throughout interior design for centuries. By experimenting with stenciling and color, Karndean transformed a plain limestone into a unique flooring design. The suggested Moorish patterning within the visual lends time-worn appeal.

At right: Limeston Metro Grey. Below: Stencil Alpine Lace

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Easy-to-Clean InteGrout™ Eliminates Grouting Process Entirely Original visuals are not the only aspect of Korlok Select that is

process entirely. Unlike products with painted bevels, Inte-

unique to Karndean Designflooring. Except for the two sten-

Grout™ does not harbor dirt or bacteria and easily wipes

ciled visuals, each product features InteGrout™, nonporous

clean. InteGrout™ offers an easy to clean selling point to any

and color-coordinated grouting that is seamlessly attached

homeowner who loves the look of ceramic without the hassle

to the product. InteGrout™ greatly reduces time spent on

of scrubbing typical grout. With Korlok Select, homeowners

the job by eliminating the messy and consuming grouting

can simply wipe tiles clean or mop with a pH neutral cleaner.

Above: Nonporous and color-coordinated InteGrout™ eliminates the hassle of scrubbing typical grout. At right: Korlok Select with InteGrout™ is backed by the HoldFast® Lifetime Residential Warranty.

Designed to Perform Like Korlok Select woods, the new stones are equipped with a 5G® fold-down locking mechanism whose performance is guaranteed by the HoldFast® Lifetime Residential Warranty, along with waterproof K-Core® technology that allows for fast installation over most existing hard floors. A pre-attached, closed-cell acoustic foam backing reduces noise transfer to the level below by 22dB and does not pool water or encourage mold, mildew or bacterial growth. Like all Karndean floors, Korlok Select is finished with K-Guard+® surface protection to provide a hygienic, durable and easy to clean finish. ❚

EMBED VIDEO

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SHOWIN’ OUR STUFF

New, Patented Subfloor Technology Called a Game Changer by the Flooring Industry

A

few years ago, at a laboratory in Rosendahl, Germany, a group of Schönox product

Their goal was to create subfloor products that would offer strength and speed with minimal to no shrinkage of the material.

development researchers and technicians undertook an initiative to develop what the

flooring industry had long since felt was impossible. Their goal was to create subfloor products that would offer strength and speed with minimal to no shrinkage of the material. At first reading, this seemed a reasonable combination of qualities; however, the science of the available materials produced a barrier. Unfortunately, for decades, this barrier had become accepted as an industry standard. Some background. Cement-based patches and self-leveling materials, long admired for their drying speed, can expeditiously be covered with flooring. Conversely, gypsum-based products found favor in challenging subfloor environments where the product's shrinkage was not an option, and versatility was necessary to cover various irregular subfloor conditions. That versatility, however, came at the cost of speed. The Schönox team was optimistic. They developed and pioneered synthetic gypsum-based technology in previous years, creating a new category of patches and self-leveling products. Those products allowed many subfloors to be renovated rather than demolished, and with outstanding environmental and performance positives, thus diverting millions of tons of construction waste from landfills. Another environmental positive, the products themselves,

A glimpse inside one of the Schönox labs used to develop Hybrid Active-Dry Technology.

made in part from recycled content reclaimed from the process used to purify the emissions from coal-fired energy plants, provide minimal shrinkage. Flooring installers raved about the minimal shrinkage of synthetic-gypsum subfloor products just as environmental voices heralded the positive impact of the products on the manufacturing, use, and impact sides of the equation. The positives were substantial, but the issue of speed remained. The Schönox team, determined to develop a technology with all the positives and none of the cement and synthetic gypsum negatives, continued their plight. Months into the process, the researchers realized the answer would not be a variation of the existing subfloor products but rather a new technology altogether. Years of additional development work were poured into the effort with an underlying goal to revolutionize subfloor projects. Much of the development process remains confidential and the methods used today to manufacture the resulting products are closely-guarded secrets. Schönox will say the development pathway moved the team to create a new binder used with cement and gypsum elements, combined

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Schönox HS Sturdy

Hybrid Solution = No dust. No Shrinkage. No HVAC.

we’re ön it.

SCHÖNOX HS STURDY WITH HYBRID ACTIVE-DRY TECHNOLOGY

©2020_HPS_PFR_HS STURDY_Q3_20-0313

The new Schönox HS Sturdy, rapid-drying, repair and smoothing compound, incorporates patented hybrid active-dry technology creating a powerful solution with versatility and strengths previously unseen in the flooring industry. From featheredge to 2” depths, HS Sturdy repairs, patches, and smooths combining tasks while drying independently of the job site’s environmental conditions with minimal shrinkage. From 2” patches to featheredge thickness

Ramping to 2” thicknesses

Take your business to a whole new level. Call 855.391.2649 or visit hpsubfloors.com to learn how your projects run smoother with Schönox Ön It.

Premier Flooring Retailer | Digital 3 2020

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Flooring professionals are excited by the performance characteristics of Hybrid Active-Dry Technology, including its safety attributes. with additives to control the overall product system. The result was Hybrid Active-Dry Technology and the award of a new patent for the proprietary creation. Once developed, Schönox moved quickly to use the new technology in a series of self-leveling compounds. Just two months ago, Hybrid Active-Dry Technology was incorporated into Schönox HS Sturdy, a repair and smoothing compound. Now, flooring installers and contractors can repair, patch, smooth, finish, and self-level using fully integrated products. Drying times slashed and the versatility of synthetic gypsum-based products retained, all with subfloor products with minimal shrinkage or expansion. Flooring professionals are excited by the performance characteristics of Hybrid Active-Dry Technology, including its safety attributes. The Schönox research and development efforts yielded a product series with low pH, very low emissions, and special dust-reduced properties delivering on the industry-leading safety goals the company has in place. The launch of Schönox HS Sturdy completes the development initiative begun so many years ago. In the short intervening time since the HS Sturdy launch, R&D's operational tempo at Schönox has not decreased. When asked what initiatives are underway now, Schönox R&D team members said many, smiled, and went back to work. ❚ Above: Developing new technologies is an exhaustive process involving thousands of experiments, product tests, and formulation exercises. At right: The new Schönox technology received a patent, advancing the possibilities with every subfloor project.

The launch of Schönox HS Sturdy completes the development initiative begun so many years ago.

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When it comes to the need for speed , Flooring Professionals know who to call.

PORSCHE 918 COURTESY OF TRISSL SPORTS CARS

TM

©2020_HPS_PFR_NEED FOR SPEED_Q3_20-0309

Being first is important. Helping customers finish first is outstanding! At Schönox, our research and development work has propelled us to many firsts: first with a moisture-resistant patch, first with synthetic gypsum levelers, first with hybrid active-dry technology. Those firsts support the work of flooring professionals, which is what really counts. Every time we help installers to finish a project with a tough timeframe using Schönox solutions, it’s a shared win we celebrate together. Schönox Need for Speed™ touches every part of what we do. Fast service, quick project consults, timely support in the field, and fast product solutions, of course. Every day, the proof of our word is demonstrated in the performance of our products and the actions of our team. Call us first and raise your expectations. We’re ÖN IT and coming fast.

Take your business to a whole new level. Call 855.391.2649 or visit hpsubfloors.com to learn how your projects run smoother with Schönox Ön It.

Premier Flooring Retailer | Digital 3 2020

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$$ HIDDEN PROFIT CENTERS

S

For Your DIY Customer: Seamless Residential Carpet Tile from Engineered Floors

mart Squares are the most affordable all in one flooring

Color® Fiber system that is not only durable but also stain,

solution for every space in the home. We have taken our

bleach, and fade resistant. No additional pad is required,

most popular broadloom products and transformed them

as Smart Squares come with an attached cushion back-

into 18" × 18" tiles. We use proprietary technology to cut

ing system for unmatched comfort under foot. This is the

the tiles and never touch the face fibers, leaving a virtually

only soft surface DIY product available on the market today.

seamless appearance. Using our unique Peel n’ Stick sys-

Simply prep, peel, and press Smart Squares to transform

tem, Smart Squares can be easily installed on most flooring

any room in your home. ❚

surfaces. Each Smart Square is built with our own Pure-

1 PEEL

2 PREP

SmartSquares Installation

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3 PLACE

4 PRESS

This is the only soft surface DIY product available on the market today. Simply prep, peel, and press Smart Squares to transform any room…


Help Flooring families get through hard days.

 � � � �

 �

Donations Needed! Give today at fcif.org $1,000 $2,000 $5,000

Genesis Bronze Silver

$10,000 $25,000 $50,000

Gold Platinum Diamond Premier Flooring Retailer | Digital 3 2020

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FLOOR ED

Installation is Your Best Investment to Improve Your Profit Center

T

Lisbeth Calandrino Lisabeth Calandrino, Flooring Specialist and Associate Publisher, Fabulous Floors Magazine

here are many articles on flooring installers, posts on social media about unhappy customers, and photos of their creative talents. There are few articles on what goes into good networking and their ability to get along with customers. As a previous retailer, I always looked for personable installers that would work with me as equals. As a previous retailer, all things being equal, the installers I gave the most work to were competent and easy to get along with. They made good business partners, and I was happy to reciprocate; they shared their contacts with me or told me when a customer needed new flooring. In turn, I could get them more work. I think we should all strive for this type of relationship. I’ve always disliked the word ‘installer ‘and referred to installers as ‘craftsmen.’ The process is called ‘installation,’’ but a ‘craftsperson accomplishes it.’ I would also suggest we call what we do ‘custom installation.’ There is no such thing as a ‘one size fits all’ installation; it is all ‘custom work,’ and to maximize our brand with customers, we should refer to what we do as ‘custom installation.’ I decided to reach out to Roland Thompson, CFI Level II Master Installer, and discussed my ideas with him.

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Without installation, our products have no personality; I’ve always believed that installation is the most crucial part of our business. 1. You must know your trade well and market your accomplishments. Roland spends time connecting in online flooring groups and posts regularly on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. It’s essential to get known and to know other people. Roland continues to connect with manufacturers, buying groups, and hone his skills. He has taken numerous courses and continues to reach out to people he has worked for. Yes, it takes time, but social media is the key to getting known and meeting people these days. 2. Roland spent considerable time talking about ‘kindness.’ “Being kind to people pays off, says Roland; it’s a small world, and I’m always networking. I am continually learning and reaching out to people I can help and hope they will help me. It’s all about sharing.” 3. Be likable; it builds trust, and once you’re trustworthy, work will come your way. It takes time to build trust and one minute to lose it! 4. Don’t take anything personally. These days we are all nervous about what’s to come and are always protecting ourselves. Wearing a mask, carrying shoe covers, and looking neat is undoubtedly a plus. You can discuss mask-wearing when you’re with the customer. Installation is hard work, and it isn’t easy to breathe while working. 5. Never forget the people you meet. Most of us meet hundreds of people yearly; how many of them do you stay in touch with? I always find out about their professions and what they like most about their jobs. I ask if I can put them in my database so that I can send them my blogs. Most people are delighted to get something useful for free, especially if you tell them you think they would enjoy it or the information would be helpful. 6. Often we forget to market ourselves or feel uncomfortable showcasing our accomplishments. We all should get over this! People want to know who you are, what you do, and how you do it. This is especially true if what you’re doing will benefit me! Please take photos of your installations and feature them on your social media pages or YouTube.

As a previous retailer, all things being equal, the installers I gave the most work to were competent and easy to get along with. They made good business partners, and I was happy to reciprocate; they shared their contacts with me or told me when a customer needed new flooring.

Without installation, our products have no personality; I’ve always believed that installation is the most crucial part of our business. ❚ Premier Flooring Retailer | Digital 3 2020

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Eric Wagner, Wagner Meters

FLOOR ED

How Do You Know If Your Marketing Is Working?

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ithout knowing the answer to this one simple question, your marketing will never be on target. If you do not know which of your efforts are effective, you will always either be overspending or leaving money on the table. So how did the professionals know whether or not their marketing efforts are worthwhile?

Call Tracking The world of marketing has changed significantly with the advent of the Internet and the prevalence of digital devices. It used to be for clients, and that we would place hundreds of ads in different printed magazines, each with a different phone number. At the end of the month, the phone bill could tell us how many calls came into each number, and with a little spreadsheet work, we could track each campaign’s individual success. That methodology worked, but technology today has allowed us to take it to the next level. Companies that provide call tracking services 1 today still allow you to use the same methodology, but with automated analytics and reporting. To take it to the next level, though, you can use a service that inserts a snippet of code on your website. When a person visits your website, this code will replace the phone number the visitor sees with a number that is unique to them and then forward the call to your main number. If that person calls, this system can link that call with the actions they have taken on the site already or take in the future. This allows us to track a call or conversion from start to finish. We can see the visitor arrived on our site after searching for “android cell phones,” visited a few informational pages, a product page, and then called a salesperson to get more infor-

mation. If they come back and purchase via the website, we can track that too. Knowing how many calls a marketing campaign is driving is a key to understanding whether your efforts are worth the cost.

Conversion Tracking Any decent web analytics platform, including free Google Analytics, can track conversions and goal completions. Those are two separate things, and if you’re not tracking both, you’re probably not getting the full picture. A surprising number of small and medium-sized businesses aren’t tracking conversions. This means that they will never know how many people ended up buying based on search engine queries, or online ads, or people typing their URL directly, or after a tracked phone call if they have that setup. While it all comes down to conversions, eventually, there are often intermediate steps that you want to track to optimize your efforts. These trackable “goals” might be a webinar or newsletter signup, the download, chatting with a customer service rep, or something as specific as reading through most of a very important page on your website. Ideally, you’ll be able to track the success of each campaign through conversions or one or more of these goal completions.

Any decent web analytics platform, including free Google Analytics, can track conversions and goal completions. Those are two separate things, and if you’re not tracking both, you’re probably not getting the full picture. 70 Premier Flooring Retailer | Digital 3 2020


Longer-Term Effects My favorite marketing campaigns have a clear, positive immediate ROI that we can track via the above methods. If you stop there, though, you will not see the full picture. Brand awareness is proven to influence buying decisions and is a legitimate (and measurable) marketing goal. Follow-up surveys of the targeted audience often measure this. The more your targeted industry is aware of your brand, the more future sales you’re likely to get. It’s an investment in the future. Beyond simple awareness, many brands use marketing and ad campaigns to convince future customers of their needs over the long run. In general, remember that emotions and desires are infinitely more memorable than features. The “Get a Mac” ad campaign2 that Apple ran from 2006 to 2009 (where they started each ad with something like “I’m a Mac… and I’m a PC”) wouldn’t necessarily have trackable results within the first month or two, but by the end of their 2006 fiscal year, Apple saw a 36% increase in sales. The emotionally engaging, carefully crafted content lad longer-lasting effects, too – sales continued to grow prodigiously over the next half-decade. Finally, at some point, you may have to incorporate expert judgment to determine whether a campaign is performing effectively. That may be expertise on the marketers’ side, or it may involve interviews of the client to determine their perceptions on how the marketplace is being influenced. Those companies willing to take this on faith risk spending more on a campaign that is really worth, but is often the companies who see and take advantage of opportunities that no one else is willing to pursue.

Conclusion There are dozens of strategies and software platforms that professional marketing companies use to better target their efforts. That knowledge can make a professional marketing company many times more effective than those without immersion in the marketing world. I’m certainly biased as someone who started a marketing company, but I strongly believe that any significant spending of marketing dollars should accompany strategic advice from a professional. Those that are worth it will be able to prove it using the results of your campaign. ❚

NEED A PROJECT FAST-TRACKED? YOU NEED SCHÖNOX ÖN IT.

AP RAPID • AP RAPID PLUS EPA RAPID • HS STURDY • KH FIX SHP • ZM RAPID

Condensed hours, smaller crews, behind schedule, or whatever the challenge, Schönox is here to meet customer needs. Although all our products are engineered with an eye on performance, health, and speed, these products are specifically designed for critical jobs. ©2020_HPS_PFR_NEED FOR SPEED_Q3_20-0317

1. Two of the call tracking companies we’ve used before are CallRail and DialogTech. 2. Get a Mac Campaign Analysis — Kelton Rhoads, Ph.D. January 10, 2007 Take your business to a whole new level. Call 855.391.2649 or visit hpsubfloors.com to learn how your projects run smoother with Schönox Ön It.

Premier Flooring Retailer | Q1 2020

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SHOWIN’ OUR STUFF

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Engineered Floors Brand hile Engineered Floors is well known in the soft surface category, this recent arrival into the world of hard surface looks to build upon that reputation of unparalleled performance and aesthetics.

ENSIGINIUM, the new rigid core collection from Engineered Floors Hard Surfaces, is the next step

in what can be expected in premium hard surface flooring. ENSIGNIUM disrupts the industry’s coequal rigid core segment and offers a unique waterproof product with unmatched quality and natural aesthetics. Unlike other collections, ENSIGNIUM’s low repeat wood patterns are digitally printed directly on each planks’ rigid core. This low repeat allows for a much faster, easier installation. There is no paper film covering the plank giving the illusion of real wood, but rather the clean grains, natural wood feel, and natural colors are engrained directly on each plank.

Ensignium in style Hawthorne

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There is no paper film covering the plank giving the illusion of real wood, but rather the clean grains, natural wood feel, and natural colors are engrained directly on each plank. Each distinguished grain looks and feels like the real grain from a tree without the worry and maintenance of actual wood. The clarity in the visual is two times that of regular printed film. Protecting these beautiful wood prints is our Evertuff coating which is AC4 rated and suitable for both residential and commercial applications. Evertuff has a matte finish giving the product a more natural look than that of a glossy film. For natural beauty coupled with unparalleled toughness, look no further than Engineered Floors Hard Surface. ENSIGNIUM brings the power of nature into the home. â?š

Ensignium in style Beckham

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SHOWIN’ OUR STUFF

Carpet Padding or Carpet Cushion. There’s a difference.

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hen it comes to carpet, people tend to focus on what they see and feel—that is the top side of the carpet. After all, it's why we select carpet, right? Well, not entirely. Carpet, unlike any other type of floor covering, provides a cushiony softness underfoot. But that cushiony softness is not totally attributable to the fiber, pile density, or tufting style. A lot of that enjoyment of carpet actually emanates from beneath it — from the carpet cushion itself. To be sure, carpet cushions aren’t the glamor part of choosing and buying a new carpet, but they are every bit as important. However, most carpet customers (and surprisingly carpet retailers for that matter) don’t give carpet cushion its just due. To them, all carpet cushions are pretty much the same. They believe they are begrudgingly necessary but certainly not worth much attention (out of sight, out of mind). Even the term "carpet padding" still persists, just like those bizarre multi-colored recycled bits and chips of foam (and whatever else) welded together with heat, pressure, and glue. Thank goodness those things are hidden under a beautiful carpet! Because of this common under-appreciation for the benefit of carpet cushions (stemming from an uninformed consumer and a retailer anxious to make a quick sale), significant opportunities are often missed. A REAL carpet cushion, like the kind made with high-density memory foam by Healthier Choice, creates several advantages for the carpet retailer. Here are just a few:

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A REAL carpet cushion, like the kind made with high-density memory foam by Healthier Choice, creates several advantages for the carpet retailer. Increased customer satisfaction. Perhaps no greater, long-lasting advantage to the retailer is a happy, satisfied customer. Memory foam carpet cushion ensures a better installation, a longer-lasting and easier to clean carpet, as well as luxurious comfort your customer will brag about. Easier customer education. Most people understand the concept of memory foam and equate it with the unrivaled comfort of premium mattresses and pillows. Using the same technology for unrivaled comfort underfoot is an easy “dot-connecting” moment in the sales associate’s presentation. Opportunity for customer up-sale. So the customer has already invested in a beautiful, quality carpet. For just a little more, that customer can now protect their enjoyment and purchase with a state-of-the-art carpet cushion worthy of their new purchase. Empathizing with customer quality concerns. As people spend more and more time in their homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a growing consciousness of the quality of flooring and other home improvements that go into the home as they relate to general health and wellbeing. A quality, U.S. made memory foam cushion-like Healthier Choice is the ultimate, responsible choice. Not only does the memory foam cushion provide comfort and softness, but Healthier Choice also prevents mold and mildew growth with Ultra-Fresh … and it’s even sustainable and recyclable! There are carpet pads, and then there are carpet cushions like the kind made by Healthier Choice. There is a big difference. You owe it to yourself to offer this difference to your valued carpet-buying customers. ❚

There are carpet pads, and then there are carpet cushions like the kind made by Healthier Choice. There is a big difference. You owe it to yourself to offer this difference to your valued carpet-buying customers.

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100% HIGH DENSITY MEMORY FOAM CARPET CUSHION

The World’s Best Carpet Cushion 76 Premier Flooring Retailer | Digital 3 2020


100% HIGH DENSITY MEMORY FOAM CARPET CUSHION

Made of 100% high density memory foam, Healthier Choice Carpet Cushion offers the luxurious comfort you want while providing the support your carpet needs.

Healthier Choice Cushion’s dense, micro-cellular structure cushions every step by acting like millions of tiny shock absorbers, allowing your carpet to look newer and last longer. NEVERCRUSH

TM

The appearance retention warranty for any brand of residential carpet is instantly doubled when installed over Healthier Choice Carpet Cushion.

The only carpet cushion to be awarded the UL GREENGUARD® Gold Certification for indoor air quality as an extremely low VOC emitting product.

Healthier Choice Cushion is infused with Ultra-Fresh® antimicrobial protection to prevent the growth of harmful mold, mildew and bacteria.

A revolutionary Breathable Moisture Barrier keeps liquid spills from penetrating down into the cushion while allowing moisture vapor to escape.

The only carpet cushion made with more than 50% soybean oil and natural minerals which reduces the use of fossil fuels while supporting sustainable alternatives. Premier Flooring Retailer | Digital 3 2020

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SHOWIN’ OUR STUFF Denee Bruce, HandiProducts®

Why Age in Place When We Can Age Actively?

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here are over 2,000 active adult communities, and more than 28,900 independent living communities in the US. These communities offer various amenities, services, activities, sometimes even restaurants and on-call care assistance. More and more people want to stay in their homes and keep their life as active as possible. Let us face it; we are all getting older. I look at my friends, my family, my coworkers, the customers that call into HandiProducts®, and realize that story is being lived every day. HandiProducts’® CEO Thom Disch is diligent about taking 10,000+ steps daily, my 80-year-old aunt that seems never to sit still, my friends that are riding their bicycles 15 miles a day to the ones riding their motorcycles hundreds of miles in a weekend, and the customers that call BEFORE a fall happens that can impair their active lifestyle. Take a moment and reflect on what you enjoy doing to keep active? My activity is riding my motorcycle to new places and hiking around the area, exploring nature’s marvels. I slipped on wet hardwood, fractured two ribs, and nearly missed out on a season of riding and hiking. My injury was minor compared to some slips and trips. How would a slip, trip, or fall injury impact your activity?

There are over 2,000 active adult communities, and more than 28,900 independent living communities in the US. These communities offer various amenities, services, activities, sometimes even restaurants and on-call care assistance. 78 Premier Flooring Retailer | Digital 3 2020


. . . you and your customers can turn to HandiProducts® full line of anti-slip solutions. Handi Treads® ClearGrip® is the perfect solution for many of the same areas you would place a rug on a hard surface. An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure Start with safety in and around the home. Of course, there are the obvious ways to prevent fall injury, such as keeping clutter clear, nightlights to illuminate dark hallways, and ensuring clear pathways with your furniture placement. There are many hidden trip hazards in your home, as well. The plushy bathmat in front of your shower, the rug in front of your kitchen sink, the mat just inside your front door, even the suction cup anti-slip mat in your bathtub are all slip, trip, and fall areas. Corners of those mats can fold, the mats themselves can slide, not to mention the health hazard of moisture build-up and the hassle of keeping them clean.

This is where you and your customers can turn to HandiProducts® full line of anti-slip solutions. HandiTreads® ClearGrip® is the perfect solution for many of the same areas you would place a rug on a hard surface. The soft rubberized finish prevents slipping and is comfortable on bare feet (and pet paws). The strong adhesive backing prevents buckling, so there is no fear of tripping on the folded corner of that bathmat or rug, yet they are easy to remove without damaging your hard surfaces. ClearGrip® is nearly invisible, so the beauty of your floors will still shine through. Plus, they are easy to clean. Just sweep and mop, and you are done. ClearGrip® is available in

four sizes and can be easily cut to fit custom needs. HandiProducts® keeps you safe in your bath and shower as well. HandiTreads® Bathmats, Shower mats, and Bath Treads stick flush to the floor of your bath or shower; they are mildew and mold resistant, easy to clean, and comfortable to sit or stand on. They are available in 3 sizes and two colors to give your bathroom a perfect look and fit. Find out more here: https://www.handiproducts.com

Become a dealer by contacting Denee Bruce: https://www.handiproducts.com/ contact-us/ ❚

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SHOWIN’ OUR STUFF

Keep You and Your Pet Comfortable and Safe

A

s of 2018, there were 84.9 million households with pets, and, according to the ASPCA, there was a 70% increase of animals going into private foster care due to Covid-19. An article on Phys.org outlines how our pets are being treated more and more like humans. It also points out the Millennials are the largest pet-owning demographic ever. A look at any social media outlet will show that to be completely true. People love their fur babies. Our pets are often our most valued companion; we take them on rides, walks, to the vet, we care for their well being, and they provide us endless love and comfort. We buy the best food we can, adorable custom treats, spa visits‌remind me to come back as a dog! This all amounts to a lot of strain on our backs and our pets, though. Each trip means our fur baby must jump in and out of the car or be lifted in and out. Think of the repeated strain on animal and pet parents over the year. One wrong leap, and it could be an injured leg. Bending to pick up your pooch and twisting to put fur baby in the car could become instant back pain.

Think of the repeated strain on animal and pet parents over the year. One wrong leap, and it could be an injured leg. 80 Premier Flooring Retailer | Digital 3 2020


Save Both of Your Backs with PetSTEP™ PetSTEP™ is a premier quality folding pet ramp that has continuously been rated as one of the top ten pet ramps. A few reasons why veterinarians, pet groomers, and pet parents recommend PetSTEP™ ramp: ● Holds up to 500 lbs, more than any other ramp on the market ● Folds to fit conveniently in your car ● Easy operation ● Lightweight, just 18.5 lbs ●E asy to clean, rubberized finish that is comfortable for pets ● Secure rubber feet to prevent slipping ●F ull line of accessories to provide for multiple ramp uses For more information and learn how to become a dealer in the ever-growing pet category here: https:// www.handiproducts.com/petstep-ramp-and-accessories/ ❚

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FLOOR ED

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It’s Back to Work We Go!

F

Margo Rodgers Locust Publisher, Fabulous Floors Magazine and Premier Flooring Retailer; Flooring retailer in Northwestern North Carolina

Here are some tips that have helped re-build our residential business. With today’s new shopper and the many Covid-19 restrictions, we have discovered incorporating some of these ideas have been very profitable.

ive years ago, I went back into retail after 30 years of being a Retailer in upstate NY for 20 years. As much as things have changed, much has stayed the same. I had the privilege of beginning my career in the flooring industry under the tutelage of industry icon the late Sonna Calandrino and her sister Lisbeth in the early 1980s. Three decades later, my husband and I and our dear friend restarted in flooring retail with a small 600 sq. ft. showroom in a sleepy little town in the foothills of the Great Smokey Mountains of NC. We are a minority-owned business (Cherokee Indian), with a rapidly growing Main Street and Commercial contract business. We have had to overcome challenges, figure out who we were in the community, and what products our customers look for. We learned that carrying products complimentary to flooring was a big part of our business. Just when we thought we had it all figured out… The COVID-19 Pandemic hit! While the commercial business slowed down due to stay-at-home orders and restrictions, it eventually kept moving steadily forward, adhering to schedules. On the residential side, we had to re-find our niche and re-invent our business to reflect moving forward profitably during the COVID-19 crisis. Here are some tips that have helped re-build our residential business. With today’s new shopper and the many Covid-19 restrictions, we have discovered incorporating some of these ideas have been very profitable.

82 Premier Flooring Retailer | Digital 3 2020


Creating Profit Centers We’ve all heard the terms “valued-added,” “back-end,” and “after-sales” selling. What do they mean, and how does a business provide something valuable for the customer? The greatest cost of any transaction is in the first sale. You will need additional sales from the same customer to be profitable. Let’s say the cost of each customer acquisition is $100.00. This means you need to add $100.00 to the sale for every customer. If you discount the sale, there’s a good possibility you won’t make very much money. To keep the customer coming back, you must have products they will want or need to purchase after the sale. Cleaning products. Every product needs a different kind of cleaner, so why not find one that you can private label? In addition to cleaners, some flooring products need polishes and sealers. Make sure you have them all in stock for your customers. Extended warranties. Don’t think that flooring warranties have no value! I don’t know a product on the market, particularly electronics, that doesn’t have an extended warranty, no matter how cheap the product may be. It becomes a problem when the salesperson doesn’t explain what it means. Most stores have a warranty on the installation, with exclusions.

Consider offering a paid warranty to pick up the exclusions? If you have a two-year installation, offer a lifetime one. Installation is the most important part of your business, so provide as much coverage as possible. Never underestimate the power of your website. Especially during the pandemic, it has created a whole new way of the customer connecting with us. I never thought people would be buying flooring products online, sight unseen, but it is happening time and time again. Make sure your website is up to date on technology. (A topic for another article onto itself!) DIY Products. Why should the big box stores and online retailers get all these customers??? Also, many people don’t want anyone from the outside to come into their homes. Our industry has many do-it-yourself products for consumers: Smart Squares Carpet, from Engineered floors; Déjà New with Attraxion with magnetic technology, from Metroflor; and anti-slip solutions for aging in place, or items for our beloved pets including ramps and non-slip products, from HandiProducts®. Professional carpet cleaning. All carpet must be professionally cleaned. Are you doing the cleaning or allowing someone you don’t know into your customer’s Premier Flooring Retailer | Digital 3 2020

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We’ve all heard the terms “valued-added,” “back-end,” and “aftersales” selling. What do they mean, and how does a business provide something valuable for the customer? house? Eventually, the customer will need new carpet and will ask the cleaner where to get it. If they work with someone else, you’re out of luck. Why not sell a discounted cleaning package? Commercial jobs. When it comes to the commercial business, beware! Start small. Chances are you won’t be paid as quickly as you are used to, so cash flow may be a problem. Look for jobs that make you money. Keep margins up, not volume. Consider providing the flooring, not installation, and doing the final building cleaning. This can be very profitable. Construction Products. How about supplying other products needed for a remodel project? Floor leveling materials, floor preparation, repair items, subfloors, underlayments, moisture proofing products, adhesives, mortar, grout, moldings, trims, etc. Keep your customers out of the big box stores! Profitable products. Can you provide window treatments, shutters, painting, or construction? If you have the skills and the personnel, they are all a good fit. Shower doors go with bathrooms; kitchen cabinets are a natural with kitchen floors.

84 Premier Flooring Retailer | Digital 3 2020

Selling vacuum cleaners. Vacuum cleaners go hand in hand with flooring products. Today, vacuums perform well on both hard surfaces and carpet, including thick carpet, which has been causing problems for years for the consumer. The Powers of a Buying Group Buying groups are designed to provide independent retailers with a menu of professional tools to grow a successful floor covering business. Every program and benefit helps members increase revenue, decrease the cost of goods, and streamline operating costs. You will find networking opportunities with fellow retailers sharing best practices, website and social media presence, POP kits, advertising options, and more. Don’t overlook this very important certification: Minority or Women-Owned Businesses. If you qualify, apply! It can be advantageous and very lucrative. Bottom line: It’s about to be a new year! 2020 certainly has had its share of challenges, and 2021 will hopefully provide us with fresh opportunities. Start it off with a plan for growing your business while keeping your customer acquisition costs at a minimum. ❚


Articles inside

SHOWIN’ OUR STUFF: Get Ready for the Big Reveal…. article cover image

SHOWIN’ OUR STUFF: Get Ready for the Big Reveal….

1min
pages 52-53
How Do You Know If Your Marketing Is Working? article cover image

How Do You Know If Your Marketing Is Working?

4min
pages 72-73
For the DIY Customer: Seamless Residential Carpet Tile from Engineered Floors  article cover image

For the DIY Customer: Seamless Residential Carpet Tile from Engineered Floors

1min
page 68
Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It’s Back to Work We Go! article cover image

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It’s Back to Work We Go!

5min
pages 84-86
Keep You and Your Pet Comfortable and Safe article cover image

Keep You and Your Pet Comfortable and Safe

2min
pages 82-83
Why Women's Groups in the Flooring Industry Matter article cover image

Why Women's Groups in the Flooring Industry Matter

3min
pages 8-9
Why Age in Place When We Can Age Actively? article cover image

Why Age in Place When We Can Age Actively?

3min
pages 80-86
Carpet Padding or Carpet Cushion. There’s a difference article cover image

Carpet Padding or Carpet Cushion. There’s a difference

2min
pages 76-79
Installation is Your Best Investment to Improve Your Profit Center article cover image

Installation is Your Best Investment to Improve Your Profit Center

3min
pages 70-71
New, Patented Subfloor Technology from Schönox – "Game Changer" article cover image

New, Patented Subfloor Technology from Schönox – "Game Changer"

3min
pages 64-67
From Design to Function, Everything Clicks with Korlok Select Stones article cover image

From Design to Function, Everything Clicks with Korlok Select Stones

3min
pages 60-63
Contracts in the Age of COVID-19: Some Suggestions to Protect Your Business article cover image

Contracts in the Age of COVID-19: Some Suggestions to Protect Your Business

13min
pages 54-59
Metroflor Makes Wayfinding and Social Distancing Easy article cover image

Metroflor Makes Wayfinding and Social Distancing Easy

1min
pages 48-49
Common Myths about Concrete Moisture and Mitigation article cover image

Common Myths about Concrete Moisture and Mitigation

3min
pages 44-45
Magnetic Building Solutions “Goes Hollywood" article cover image

Magnetic Building Solutions “Goes Hollywood"

4min
pages 38-41
How Focused Is Your Menu? article cover image

How Focused Is Your Menu?

4min
pages 36-37
Property & Casualty Insurance Market Outlook and Proactive Steps You Can Take to Ensure a Smooth Renewal article cover image

Property & Casualty Insurance Market Outlook and Proactive Steps You Can Take to Ensure a Smooth Renewal

2min
pages 32-35
Free Tools From Measure Square For Flooring Retailers article cover image

Free Tools From Measure Square For Flooring Retailers

2min
pages 22-23
Your Website is Your New Front Door article cover image

Your Website is Your New Front Door

7min
pages 24-27
Virtual Estimating Services (VES) article cover image

Virtual Estimating Services (VES)

1min
pages 18-19
Mohawk Group Builds on Success of Digital Learning Series with Additional CEUS article cover image

Mohawk Group Builds on Success of Digital Learning Series with Additional CEUS

2min
pages 16-17
Tips to Help You Control Moisture and Mitigate the Risk of Flooring Failure article cover image

Tips to Help You Control Moisture and Mitigate the Risk of Flooring Failure

4min
pages 28-31
Link Leads from Your Website to Your Software article cover image

Link Leads from Your Website to Your Software

1min
pages 10-12
What are You Doing Today That is Worthy of Outliving You? article cover image

What are You Doing Today That is Worthy of Outliving You?

3min
page 5
Why Flooring Software Is Necessary to Grow Your Business article cover image

Why Flooring Software Is Necessary to Grow Your Business

2min
pages 6-7, 13
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