Chattanooga, TN — 10/30/17 — CarpetsPlus COLORTILE®, the business networking and resource-licensing group, recently held its fourth annual buying committee meeting here at Holiday Inn Downtown Chattanooga, October 23-26, to evaluate, strategize, discuss and plan the group’s merchandising and other programs for the coming year.
Kevin Logue, co-COO and vice president marketing for CarpetsPlus COLORTILE, presented the main objectives on Monday morning to begin the event. The meeting included subjects such as product and merchandising plans for 2018, e-commerce, labor shortages for installation and other industry challenges.
During his opening remarks Logue thanked the buying committee for their efforts to attend the meeting. He stressed the importance of what they were about to do and gave them instructions for their meeting.
“The initial vision we had of the Buying Committee meeting was to have them in early enough to make decisions for the coming year for the group. The few days we spent together were busy but very important for the success and profitability of our entire group,” said Logue. “We really value their input and opinions and so do our suppliers.”
Jon Logue, co-CEO of CarpetsPlus COLORTILE, added, “It’s an exciting time to be in business right now with the strength of the economy and innovations in the flooring industry. Consumer confidence is high, unemployment is at its lowest levels in 16 years and the remodeling index is up 7%. We see a big growth opportunity for our members. They’re helping us make some key decisions this week.”
Seven member stores were in attendance this year with nine total representatives from those stores. Member Missy Montgomery, Venice, FL, was happy with the way things played out. “I feel the representation of this year’s committee was very diverse. We did a good job of representing everyone from the smallest of companies to the largest and I believe the decisions made will benefit all.”
Members were also able to engage with some of the group’s major suppliers that presented new product intros for 2018. Mohawk, IVC, Tarkett, US Floors, Dixie Home and Shaw were among the suppliers who were in attendance. Open discussions and feedback from all attendees ensued after each presentation.
The group reviewed new products and special buys as well as discussed 2018 strategies for proposed merchandising. They saw carpet and hard surface displays and provided excellent feedback for display improvements.
Some members were thankful to be a part of the experience and felt they gained some valuable insight not only into their own business but also the group’s vision as a whole. Member Bob Pireu, Canton, OH, said, “I consider the Buying Committee as a way for me to get outside my business and see what others are doing and what is good for the group, not just me.”
Members were also able to visit two Shaw plants during the meeting. They visited the Shaw LVT plant in Ringgold, GA and the Shaw hardwood plant in South Pittsburg, TN.
Members were impressed at the entire engineered hardwood production process. Ben Case, Lockport, NY, said, “From the veneers and core boards, to the staining and finish application, the number of steps involved are surprising. The quality control is also a big part of their operation. I appreciate that.”
At the end of the meeting, everyone was ready to move ahead with what the group had just accomplished. Member Josh Elder, Gainesville, FL, appreciated being able to pick product and give recommendations to the group, “Being able to give input is the biggest and best part of this group. Having a say in the product selection is a big deal and with the Buying Committee being from all different regions of the country, we got a lot of different perspectives.”
Logue spoke about the challenges they faced and the goals he felt they accomplished. “I believe we developed programs and selected products that closely align with the needs of our members’ retail customers. Getting input in advance from our CarpetsPlus Buying Committee is highly beneficial in creating an impactful product strategy for both carpet and hard surface.”
He continued, “We were looking for input from this focused group of members who represented different areas of the country, on strategies for merchandising, opinions about new products, products for our roll stocking programs and input on some new programs. Everyone seemed to be really pleased with how it went.”