Focus 100 Retail - November 2013

By Darius Helm

 

The vast majority of the top 100 retailers and residential contractors report solid growth this year, making 2013 the healthiest year for the sector since the housing wave crashed in 2006. Years of plummeting sales followed, and those retailers that didn’t sink struggled against a crowd of competitors to stay afloat in the shallower waters of the diminished residential market. 

Finally, the water is rising. Home starts and sales are up, unemployment is down (marginally), housing inventory rates are falling and mortgages remain low—and for the first time in seven years retailers and residential contractors are in a position to really grow their businesses organically. The Top 100 averaged double digit growth. However, most of the players on the list are market leaders—they’re at the top of their game, they’re diverse, and they’re not scared to invest—so their performance is not representative of the overall retail floorcovering business. It’s likely that retailers on average will report mid single digit 2013 growth.

Arguably the most promising aspect of this year’s business has been the sustained, steady pace of revenue growth among both contractors and retailers. It’s been so long that a lot of people have forgotten what it feels like to have a strong economy, but what’s happening now feels a little like that. Over the last few years, in fits and starts, the flooring industry has been moving into positive territory, but the most significant turn in the road has come this year, in the form of the steady widespread growth.

However, some retailers are reporting that fourth quarter sales may not be as vigorous—it’s a slower quarter in general—because consumer confidence seemed to react to the partisan battles in Washington, D.C. Speculation about everything from the impact of the Affordable Care Act to the potential repercussions from the government shutdown and the threat of default on national debt seemed to create a pause here and there in consumer spending on big ticket items. 

The reaction to this political battle will likely shed some light on the inherent health of the economy. A stable economy is like a stable climate, with a natural movement toward equilibrium, and prevailing weather conditions outlast the storms that come and go. Though the U.S. economy might have been destabilized from an actual default on national debt, it would be reassuring to know that it can survive the fear of a default.

For the complete story of the Top 100 Retailers, see the November 2013 issue of Floor Focus Magazine.

Copyright 2012 Floor Focus 




Other Archived Articles

Initial Jobless Claims Beat Expectations   Full Article
Washington, DC, July 10, 2014 -- Initial claims for unemployment benefits fell 3.5% to 304,000 for the week ending July 5, according to the Labor Department.

McGrane Named Executive VP at Max Windsor   Full Article
Adairsville, GA, July 10, 2014 -- Joshua McGrane ?has been named executive vice president? of ?Max Windsor USA.

Tile of Spain Seeking Design Contest Entries   Full Article
Madrid, Spain, July 10, 2014 -- The 13th Tile of Spain Awards of Architecture and Interior Design is seeking entries.

Lumber Liquidators Lowers Forecast, Stock Plunges   Full Article
New York, NY, July 10, 2014 -- Shares of Lumber Liquidators fell as much as 15% in after-hours trading on Wednesday after the company lowered guidance for the full year 2014.

Soniclean Partners With Shaw on Soft Carpet Vacuum   Full Article
New York, NY, July 10, 2014 -- Soniclean said it has partnered with Shaw Industries to address the growing demand for a vacuum cleaner capable of cleaning soft style carpeting.

Teragren Names Vice President of Sales   Full Article
Bainbridge Island, WA, July 10, 2014 -- Teragren has named Mark Jordan vice president of sales.

Dixie Group Added to Russell Stock Indexes   Full Article
Chattanooga, TN, July 10, 2014 -- The Dixie Group said it was added to the Russell 3000 Index and Russell 2000 Index when Russell Investments reconstituted its comprehensive set of U.S. and global equity indexes on June 27.

Congoleum Closing New Jersey Warehouse   Full Article
Hamilton Township, NJ, July 10, 2014 -- The Congoleum flooring warehouse here will cease operations later this year.

CRI Posts Model Specification for Commercial Carpet   Full Article
Dalton, GA, July 9, 2014 -- The Carpet and Rug Institute said its Model Specification for Commercial Carpet is now available online at Carpet-Rug.org.

Bamboo Hardwoods Names Flooring Sales Director   Full Article
Seattle, WA, July 9, 2014 -- Bamboo Hardwoods has named Bruce Boulden as the company’s national flooring sales director.

Mortgage Application Volume Increases Last Week   Full Article
Washington, DC, July 9, 2014 -- Mortgage application volume rose last week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

Ardex Academy Sets Training Dates   Full Article
Aliquippa, PA, July 9, 2014 -- Ardex Academy offers free classroom and hands-on product installation training at eight locations throughout North America. Participants learn substrate preparation and the newest installation techniques.

Judge Ends Laminate Copyright Dispute between Home Legend and Mannington   Full Article
Rome, GA July 3, 2014 -- A U.S. District Court in Rome, Georgia ruled in favor of Home Legend in a legal dispute over similar looking laminate floorcovering. The judge ruled nature can't be copyrighted.

Job Openings at Highest Level Since 2007   Full Article
Washington, DC, July 8, 2014 -- Job openings in the U.S. rose in April to the highest level since September 2007, according to the Labor Department.

CARE Seeking Proposals for PET Market Project   Full Article
Dalton, GA, July 8, 2014 -- Carpet America Recovery Effort is seeking proposals for a 12-18 month project to demonstrate value-added uses for polyethylene terephthalate (PET) derived from post-consumer PET carpets.

Quick-Step Hosts Event for Shelter Charity   Full Article
Dallas, TX, July 8, 2014 -- Laminate maker Quick-Step recently co-hosted an event to benefit the local charity Dwell With Dignity.

Prince of Wales Hosts Wool Campaign Event   Full Article
London, England, July 8, 2014 -- To commemorate the fifth anniversary of the Campaign for Wool, the campaign's Patron His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales hosted a major celebration of wool at Clarence House.

Curacao Firm Develops New Locking System   Full Article
Willemstad, Curacao, July 7, 2014 -- Innovations4Flooring, a technology company formed last year to supply flooring installation products, said it has developed a unique locking system for flooring.

UK Carpet Recycling Presents Awards   Full Article
Birmingham, England, July 7, 2014 -- Inspiration for manufacturers to design new carpet products for recycling or reuse at end of life was a key theme at Carpet Recycling UK’s sixth Annual Conference.

Estillon Wins Export Award in Netherlands   Full Article
Uden, The Netherlands, July 7, 2014 -- Estillon, a provider of subfloors, carpet underlays and accessories, took third prize for the Fenedex Frank Hauwert Trophy.