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Surfaces 1.31

January 31, 2013
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Emerging Trends Impacting Sales
By Wm R. Griffin, President, Cleaning Consultant Services, Inc.

The Surfaces Floor Covering Show started this week in Las Vegas. This is the annual event where manufacturer’s, installers and related industries show off what’s new in carpet, stone, wood, vinyl and other types of commercial and residential flooring. I try to attend every year or two as it helps me stay on top of trends and what we will be cleaning a couple of years down the road. Before the Surfaces Show started I sat in on a two day symposium with about 50 other floor covering professionals from around the country and Canada.

Here’s a sampling of what we heard from one speaker that will have an impact on how you find and reach customers in the future.

Presented by Sandy Montero, Publisher, Floor Covering Weekly

  • Gen X and Gen Y are changing the way everything is bought and sold, hasn’t impacted the flooring market much yet, but over next 10 years it will have a major impact
  • People are not reading the Sunday paper or using the yellow pages, now it’s online, TV, or referrals from friends. The younger generation communicates with each other about everything via text and social media. They don’t email or call. The way to reach people has changed forever. The smart phone will continue to change the world. Some have never seen or used the yellow pages.
  • Next generations are going to be bigger than baby boomer generation and these changes will be further amplified by advances in technology. Huge disconnect between how the generations think and act.
  • A shift is taking place, consumer preferences are changing as to what and where they buy products and services. The question is can the older generation adjust to sell to the younger generation. Younger generation doesn’t have the loyalty that their parents did to local businesses.
  • A growing proportion of Do It Yourself (DIY) sales are to younger generation buyers
  • Business owners need to link with college age/younger generation to get them involved to help market in a way that their generation will respond and where they frequent
  • Today Costco is becoming the biggest seller of floor coverings, Internet sales is a small percentage now, but will change when someone figures it out.

Many stores/businesses are hanging on by their fingertips waiting and hoping the market will turn around. 20% - 30% of flooring businesses have gone away due to consolidation; more will fail on the upturn.                            

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