What’s on my mind heading into Surfaces 2022

SurfacesHere we are at Surfaces. So are many of you. And many of you are not. your loss. But I say that every year to those who choose not to attend the floor covering industry’s most important event. Let me begin by calling out those naysayers who barked for the last three months that Surfaces wasn’t going to happen. Or tried to spread fake news that Surfaces was canceling. I’m sure those were the people who spend their lives sitting at home wrapped in two masks trembling in fear. Now they can sit on the sidelines while the rest of us reconnect with the industry, go to some educational sessions and see new products that will give retailers a competitive edge over their competition.

Credit Informa Exhibitions for having the fortitude to stage this event and continue to push the industry forward. At the end of the day, there will be 300,000 square feet of exhibition space. Every major supplier is on the show floor—including Shaw, which is returning to Surfaces with its flagship brand for the first time in 15 years. If that doesn’t validate the importance of this show, I don’t know what does. And I am betting I will find all 42 National Floorcovering Alliance members, among this industry’s best, in attendance.

So, as we approach the first Surfaces in two years (I’m not considering 2021’s mid-year event), here are some random thoughts that are circulating inside my head just days before the opening:

What is attendance going to be like? Will there be a similar number of retailers as in years past, just fewer people from each company?… Great to see the Shaw brand back on the show floor. Leaders lead… Speaking of companies on the show floor, Tarkett is back in prime time and Cali makes its debut… And speaking of Tarkett, my gut tells me Jason Surratt will be very successful leading residential. Something about choosing someone from within the industry… Critical question: Where am I going to have my dinners?… How many more CCA Global members will make the trip to Vegas than usual because of their event’s surprising cancellation two weeks ago, and will exposure to different vendors lead them to purchase more outside of core?… I always feel smarter after a conversation with Flooring 101’s Jimmy Poulos…

So excited to have the incomparable Katie Ford moderating our FCNews Live videos this year. She’s going to knock it out of the park… Don’t call it a comeback, but carpet, laminate and sheet are posting real growth again. Maybe call it a renaissance… Mohawk’s new Signature technology creates the most realistic-looking laminate—or laminated wood as they like to call it… Words I don’t want to hear this week: COVID-19, Omicron, masks, vaccines, mandates , filibuster. Save those conversations for someone else… Always look forward to seeing what Stanton and Provenza are showcasing at Surfaces… The Dixie Group has been doing some very impressive things since shedding that excess weight—and by weight I mean commercial…I think I need an eye lift…Got confirmation this week that Abbey, Alliance and Fuse are going ahead with their conventions in a month. Kudos to them…Trying to come up with an over-under on number of cocktails I’ll have this week at Eye Candy, which, by the way, is going to be the social setting of the year…

I think this 96-page Surfaces issue is among our best ever in terms of value to the industry. Take your time going through it… Looking forward to seeing some of my Canadian friends this week that I haven’t seen in two years: the wood companies, Inhaus, Raffi… Think Bella Flooring Group under Paul Dominie’s leadership is interesting with its new sourcing strategy that doesn’t include China… Very quietly Candince and Amy from Create are doing a phenomenal job… If your phone rings at 1:30 am in Las Vegas it’s probably Ashlie Butler. Can’t wait to see you all.

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