Chattanooga, TN — 12/5/14 CarpetsPlus COLORTILE, the business networking and resource-licensing group, recently held its first ever buying committee meeting at the Spring Hill Suites at Cameron Harbor. Select CarpetsPlus COLORTILE members from around the country convened in Chattanooga, TN, November 20 – 21, to evaluate, strategize, discuss and plan the group’s merchandising and programs for the coming year.
Four main objectives were presented on Thursday morning to kick-off the event. The meeting included subjects such as roll stocking program strategies as well as product and merchandising strategies for 2015. After this short session, the group hit the road and traveled south down I-75 to Calhoun and then to Dalton for mill visits.
Kevin Logue, co-COO and vice president marketing for CarpetsPlus COLORTILE, said “This is a big step forward for CarpetsPlus COLORTILE. We have never had a meeting like this for CarpetsPlus so we decided the time was right to move forward and raise the bar to add even more value to our group.”
When asked why leadership decided to move ahead and do something that CarpetsPlus had never done before, Logue responded, “If you’re staying the same, you’re actually going backwards. We have to constantly update and scan the horizon for better ways to operate. This is one of those times and a great opportunity to get input directly from dealers, who operate on the front lines of retail and hear all the questions and requests from their customers. So to bring them in and get this information when we’re making product decisions makes so much sense.”
As they visited their destinations, the group reviewed new products and special buys as well as discussed 2015 strategies. Their last stop was to review new 2015 proposed merchandising. They saw carpet and hard surface displays and provided excellent feedback for display improvements.
Open discussions of each objective, with feedback from all attendees, ensued during each destination stop. Copious notes were taken to record what would come out of the group’s first event of its kind. At the end of the meeting on Friday, everyone was excited and were ready to move ahead with what the group had just accomplished.
Logue spoke about the challenges they faced and the goals he felt they accomplished. “I believe we developed programs and selected products that align with the needs of our members’ customers. As we filtered through the new styles, I believe we are choosing new products that will mesh with our members’ customers in their specific regions. We also developed a carpet stocking strategy for hundreds of individual stores in all areas of the country that should resonate with their customer base.”
Members were asked for reaction to new products they had seen, Cindy Maddy, designer at 3 Kings CarpetsPlus COLORTILE in Fort Wayne, IN, said, “I love to see what’s coming next and all the new styles. The grays, the purples, I love the new colors.”
Stacey Pape, owner of SP Floors in Pittsburgh, PA, had a similar reaction, “The color trends and styles, they’re amazing. I love getting the previews. This is very helpful for my store.”
Todd Ramsey, owner of 3 Kings CarpetsPlus in Fort Wayne, thought the meeting was a success. “We were very impressed with the way the meeting went. We didn’t really know what to expect but I think we got a lot accomplished, especially for our first meeting. I was excited to see the new products and I was happy to give input into the merchandising and helping pick products for our stocking program. I also thought it was helpful to speak with Shaw’s executive team – Vance Bell, Randy Merritt and Ken Jackson – about what they were doing and getting some insider information to take back with us. Overall it was great and can’t wait until next year.”
Logue said, “We were looking for input from this focused group of members who represented different areas of the country, on strategies for merchandising, products and to select products for our roll stocking programs. Everyone seemed to be really pleased with how it went and we plan on making this an annual event. Mission accomplished.”