100% Resilient flooring?

We read this article and thought it was meaningful enough that we’d share. The macro impliplactions to this is meaningful, both to the industry as a whole and also for the Vancouver flooring market.

First, a definition:

Resilient flooring, also called vinyl flooring is a flooring created from carefully selected natural and synthetic materials. Today`s resilient flooring is a highly engineered combination of polymer materials. Polymers are large molecules composed of repeating structural units, which allow for increased strength and durability for the lifetime of the product. This product construction has changed over the years, just as products in other industries have incorporated new and better technology, resilient flooring has as well.

Quote from the Congoleum website and it will be apparent why I gave you this definition shortly.

So back to the article. The article is from Floor Trends and starts off with this introduction:

'Michel Vermette recently joined Armstrong Flooring as president and CEO after a successful career spanning more than two decades at Mohawk Industries, where he served in multifaceted positions across the company’s finance, investor relations, sales and marketing and business development operations. Floor Trends caught up with Vermette to gain insight on his new role and future plans.'

Now, remember, as seen in our post about the 2018 American flooring industry, Viny products have grown faster than any other segment in the industry. By a huge margin.

Vinyl Sheet & Floor Tile is up 9.3% and LVT (Luxury Vinyl Tile) is up 43.1%.

I think any flooring consumer in Vancouver has seen that if you walk into your local Home Depot or special flooring retailer… the vinyl options today vs 10 years ago are incredible. But this is from a CEO of one of the ‘big 3’ as I call them (Mohawk, Shaw, Armstrong) in the brand name North American flooring industry. To hear the new CEO make this claim was incredible: “Armstrong is this iconic name in the industry. I like the position of the business today, with a 100% focus on resilient.”

Wait, what? Armstrong as been known for decades for hardwood, engineered hardwood and laminate flooring. Is he suggesting they will now be a 100% vinyl (resilient) focused supplier? That is not only a bold statement, but it has massive repercussions if true.

Now again, remember why his statement could make sense. LVT is growing 43.1% a year! And, a stat that is amazing, is the overall size of the Vinyl market is now about the same size as the solid and engineered hardwood categories combined (in value sold). That is incredible to think about, as just a few years back it was a fraction of the size. Below graph is square feet sold (not dollars sold). LVT luxury vinyl tile sells more sq ft than hardwood flooring. By a wide margin.

Back to the article and his quote they will 100% focus on resilient. I can’t believe this is true, and seems likely the quote was either incorrect or misunderstood by the author. Think about this, Armstrong is the owner of Bruce Hardwood. Bruce, which is sold in Home Depot amount other channels, is very likely the most well known brand name in hardwood flooring industry. You can imagine my surprise when the new CEO of Armstrong is quoted that their focus is 100% on resilient flooring!

Bruce Hardwood flooring website

Further quotes from the article:

Resilient is very dynamic. It keeps changing with new products, new innovation, new capabilities, new providers. It comes from every angle, every source. It's the most dynamic product category in the industry. I've been in flooring for 25 years, and it keeps evolving. I think we'll have a major role play in what the future looks like, and I expect to play a major role with the product and innovation team to get us where we need to be so that we can win in the marketplace.

We're very fortunate that we operate in every category of the resilient marketplace. 

Armstrong is very well known among people my age, but there is definitely an opportunity to expand the awareness in the younger generations. With the history and the credibility that the brand has, we can definitely have an impact, but we have to tell our story.

All quotes are taken from the article written by Floor Trends on Sept 24, 2019, quotes are attributed to Michel Vermette, Armstrong Flooring President and CEO.

Floor Trends full article link





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