NWFA 2023 Wood Flooring Expo Underway Now in Milwaukee

Milwaukee, WI, May 3, 2023-Speaking at the kickoff for the National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA) Expo, which runs May 2 to 4, the organization's president and CEO, Michael Martin, reported that roughly 40% of members anticipate an increase in sales this year-led by a contingent forecasting more than 8% growth-while another nearly 40% expect sales to be flat. Only 5% are worried about sales being down significantly, he said.

Still, there are concerns: most notably the economy, supply chain challenges, an ongoing labor shortage and the global political climate. And members cite increasing encroachment from lookalike resilient products, which most expect will get worse in the coming years.

To help shore up category sales, the NWFA last week signed a contract with the Magnolia Network, headed by HGTV stars Chip and Joanna Gaines, to promote hardwood products through advertising on the channel. Martin asked for donations to help support the effort.

The NWFA also launched several legacy scholarships in honor of industry leaders Paul Stringer, Don Conner and Jorge "Tito" Borer, to help support a new generation in the business. 

Donations can be made at NWFA.org.

Wood products could also benefit from lobbying by the Hardwood Federation as the Farm Bill comes up for reauthorization. Executive director Dana Lee Cole said the organization is pushing for additions that would federally recognize the carbon benefits of wood products and provide funding for research on the benefits of using hardwood building products, professional and consumer education, and to increase the country's hardwood exports, among other things.

In the meantime, NWFA members report that they are working to streamline their operations while adding new product categories, lines or services and growing their teams.

Listen to the interview with Michael Martin here.

Pic: NWFA president and CEO Michael Martin

Related Topics:NWFA Expo