Industry Rebound is Top Story of 2013

Chattanooga, TN, Dec. 31, 2013 -- Broadly speaking, our biggest story of 2013 is the flooring industry began a sustained turnaround, with roughly $1 billion in investments/expansion plans, much of it in North Georgia, touching every flooring category. However, most of the plans were in the carpet arena, and much of that focused on polyester.

1. Mohawk Industries was aggressive in 2013, acquiring tile maker Marazzi, closing the acquisition of laminate maker Pergo, and acquiring board maker Spano InvestNV. It also announced several expansion projects.
2. Engineered Floors announced a $450 million expansion in North Georgia.
3. The LVT category will continue to broaden its marketshare as Armstrong, Mannington, Mohawk and IVC all said they are ramping up production in the U.S. Also, carpet maker Beaulieu also began selling LVT.
4. Carpet tile also continued to take share. Shaw opened a plant in China, broke ground on a second tile plant in Adairsville, Georgia, and Interface rebuilt its plant in Australia.
5. The housing market rebounded, with sales of existing homes and new homes up sharply over 2012, as well as house prices.
6. Production in the U.S. became attractive to foreign firms. A few of the companies announcing expansion plans in the U.S. included Dubai backing firm Mattex, JN Fibers, a Chinese maker of recycled polyester fiber products, German dry mortar firm Uzin-Utz AG, and Chinese hardwood flooring company Zeyuan Flooring.
7. There was plenty of executive movement this year. Bentley Prince Street CEO Anthony Minte retired after 21 years and was replaced by Ralph Grogan. Beaulieu CEO Ralph Boe said he will retire in February after a transition period. Armstrong Flooring Products CEO Frank Ready retired and was replaced by Thomas Mangas. Don Finkell, who led Anderson Hardwood for more than three decades, also retired but is still very active in the industry. Scott Humphrey moved from Shaw Industries to become CEO of the World Floor Covering Association. Thomas Trissl, founder of Centiva, began a new company and promptly purchased subfloor company HPS North America. Bob Weiner, who had a long history with carpet firms Prince Street and Constantine, began Totally Enterprises LLC and Totally Carpet, to focus on the corporate carpet market.
8. There were troubles for Lumber Liquidators. The company's offices were searched by federal authorities, who suspected the company may have violated the Lacey Act by having some of its products made with illegally harvested wood abroad. The firm was also accused by an online investment site of having illegal levels of formaldehyde in some of its products. As a result of these problems, a number of class action suits have been filed against the company.



Other Archived Articles

Initial Unemployment Claims Fall Last Week   Full Article
Washington, DC, Dec. 4, 2014 -- Initial claims for unemployment benefits fell last week, according to the Labor Department.

Planned Layoffs Plunge in November   Full Article
Chicago, IL, Dec. 4, 2014 -- The number of planned layoffs by U.S. employers declined 30% in November from October, according to outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

TISE Says Education Program Space Filling Fast   Full Article
Dallas, TX, Dec. 4, 2014 -- The International Surface Event said that space is filling up fast for the TISE 2015 education program.

Stone & Pewter Accents Rebrands as Lunada Bay   Full Article
Torrance, CA, Dec. 4, 2014 -- Stone & Pewter Accents, a manufacturer of stone and pewter tile, said it has rebranded as Lunada Bay Tile.

Pantone Names Marsala 2015 Color of Year   Full Article
Dalton, GA, Dec. 4, 2014 -- Pantone said that its Color of the Year 2015 is Marsala 18-1438.

Services Sector Expands at Faster Pace   Full Article
Tempe, AZ, Dec. 3, 2014 -- The services sector of the economy grew faster than expected in November, according to the Institute for Supply Management.

Private Sector Jobs Increase by 208K in November   Full Article
Roseland, NJ, Dec. 3, 2014 -- The private sector added 208,000 jobs in November, according to the monthly ADP Employment Report.

Propex Rebrands ISIS Carpet Tile Backing   Full Article
Chattanooga, TN, Dec. 3, 2014 -- Propex said it is replacing the brand name “ISIS” with “ARTIS” for its woven post-consumer recycled PET primary backing for modular tile.

Home Purchase Mortgage Applications Rise   Full Article
Washington, DC, Dec. 3, 2014 -- Mortgage application volume fell last week as refinancing applications declined, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

Nora Sheet Flooring Wins Award   Full Article
Salem, NH, Dec. 3, 2014 -- Nora said that its Noraplan nTx has been awarded a 2014 Record Product Award from Architectural Record magazine.

WFCA Lobbies for Internet Sales Taxes   Full Article
Anaheim, CA, Dec. 2, 2014 -- World Floor Covering Association officials recently met with the staffs of top members of Congress about proposed Internet sales taxes and and other issues of importance to flooring industry retailers.

Construction Spending Edges Higher in October   Full Article
Washington, DC, Dec. 2, 2014 -- Construction spending in October was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $971.0 billion, 1.1% above the revised September estimate of $960.3 billion, according to the Commerce Department.

Distributor Belknap White Expands Armstrong Line   Full Article
Lancaster, PA, Dec. 2, 2014 -- Armstrong Floor Products said that distributor Belknap White (Patriot) will handle Armstrong residential products in Southern Connecticut, Metro New York and Northern New Jersey effective January.

Easy Turf Signs Tomlinson as Spokesperson   Full Article
Vista, CA, Dec. 2, 2014 -- EasyTurf has re-signed NFL Most Valuable Player LaDanian Tomlinson as a spokesperson.

Manufacturing Continues To Expand in November   Full Article
Washington, DC, Dec. 1, 2014 -- Manufacturing continued to expand in November but at a slightly slower pace, according to the Institute for Supply Management.

Carpetland USA Colortile Holds Buying Meeting   Full Article
Chattanooga, TN, Dec. 1, 2014 -- Carpetland USA Colortile held its 2014 Buying Committee Meeting in Chattanooga Nov. 17-18

FloorFolio Gets Second Patent for EnviroQuiet   Full Article
Edison, NJ, Dec. 1, 2014 -- FloorFolio Industries said it has received a second patent for EnviroQuiet luxury vinyl tile.

INSTALL Adds Five New Members   Full Article
Haddonfield, NJ, Dec. 1, 2014 -- INSTALL has added five new partner companies to its ranks. The newest companies are:

Durable Goods Orders Up on Military Spending   Full Article
Washington, DC, Nov. 26, 2014 -- Durable-goods orders rose last month mostly due to military spending, the Commerce Department said.

Consumer Spending, Income Rise in October   Full Article
Washington, DC, Nov. 26, 2014 -- U.S. consumer spending picked up at a modest pace in October, according to the Commerce Department.