Southeast Flooring Market Underway Now in Atlanta
Atlanta, GA, February 8, 2024-The Southeast Flooring Market kicked off yesterday, welcoming 34 exhibitors, roughly half of whom were new to the market.
“They’re trying regional markets for the first time, looking to expand or looking for more buyers in this region,” explained Flooring Markets marketing manager Sammie Nipper, referencing companies including Kahrs, Prima Floors and Lions Floor.
Culminating today, the event is normally held in January--before Surfaces--but Nipper said the market is timed to coincide with Shaw’s regional showcases, which this year also ran February 7 to 8 in the Cobb Galleria Centre. One longtime exhibitor mused early in the day that not being one of the first markets of the year, as is typical, had an impact on attendance, but traffic picked up into the afternoon.
The displays were a mix of promotional goods and pared-down running line offerings, some of which were just introduced at Surfaces. The biggest displays, by far, were distributors’: Belknap-Haines and Cain & Bultman, both of which encompassed a variety of brands alongside private label lines.
Cain & Bultman, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, introduced a new European walnut collection, Carriage, which features five selections with a herringbone option--both firsts for the Southeastern distributor, which is growing into Tennessee and North Carolina with new locations.
The collection also marks the company’s first foray into commercial-grade hardwood. While walnut is prized by designers, the domestic variety is too soft for flooring, whereas the European counterpart is twice as strong, reported sales director John Neugent.
Another interesting introduction seen at the show was artificial turf, which may soon join Tarkett’s residential offerings. Retailers Erika and Render Godfrey of North Coweta Kitchen and Bath reported that interest in the material is growing in the Atlanta area, both residentially and commercially, so they had come to source some.
“We’ve seen a lot of distributors excited about it,” added Chip Fariss, regional business manager for Tarkett Home, noting that the company’s sheet vinyl also drew a lot of interest.
Debuted at Surfaces, Tarkett Home's new soft surface launches were positively received at the market. Meanwhile, Revolution Mills managing partner Zach Kennedy said the value-oriented LCL’s were of particular interest at the regional event, a contrast to Surfaces, where the new 95-ounce Everest collection drew the most interest.