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Study: Floor care industry is cleaning up online

BY Ken Clark

A report from Port Washington, N.Y.-based The NPD Group shows online sales of floor care products are way up.

The NPD Group estimates that online purchases for U.S. floor care products increased 31% in dollar sales in 2012, versus 2011. Online sales accounted for 16% of total floor care dollars in 2012.


Floor care products that command significantly higher-than-average price points are more likely to be sold online.  That’s why it’s no surprise the average price of floor care products purchased online in 2012 was 50% higher than average in-store prices. Interestingly, more than half (53%) of robotic vacuum dollar sales came from online purchases due mainly to its more limited brick-and-mortar distribution and overall premium pricing. This percentage far exceeds the floor care industry average of 17% of purchases made online.

“The e-commerce channel is helping to build the higher-priced floor care category. This is rooted in consumers’ interest in researching these higher-end products and their limited distribution in traditional brick-and-mortar stores. The Web is the ideal venue to educate the consumer by offering more innovative products,” said Debra Mednick, executive director and home industry analyst for The NPD Group. 

In addition to healthy online sales, a mix of higher-priced floor care products helped trigger 2012 floor care growth in many brick-and-mortar stores. Products priced between $150 and $249.99, $250 and $349.99, and $500 and above all posted unit growth, outpacing the overall floor care market.

Brick-and-mortar stores that generated the biggest dollar share increases in total floor care in 2012 included specialty stores, warehouse clubs and hardware/home centers. All of these channels gained market share at the expense of mass and national chains. 

“Brand, technology and innovation matter, but price is still always top of mind. With the increased and simplified access to product information and reviews, more and more consumers are doing their research. This, in turn, increases the likelihood of purchasing a higher-priced product. Clearly consumers who have the financial means are sending the signal of seeking products that they believe will deliver results and make their lives easier,” said Mednick. 

“Moving into 2013, retailers and manufacturers that offer a varied assortment with a premium option and assist consumers with the necessary comparative shopping environment are best posed to ‘win’ in floor care,” ended Mednick.

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Marvin’s plans store No. 28

BY Ken Clark

Leeds, Ala.-based Marvin’s Building Materials and Home Centers announced plans to open its 28th store, and its second in Tennessee.

The 30,000 sq.-ft. store with an attached lawn and garden center and drive-through lumberyard is currently under construction in the Parkway Shoppes Plaza on Highway 431.

“We have been looking for a site in the Lewisburg and Marshall County area for years, just as we did in Fayetteville,” said CEO Darrin Gilliam. “We were very fortunate to locate in one of the most convenient intersections for shoppers in the area.

The Lewisburg location will be the second Marvin’s store in Tennessee after opening in Fayetteville in 2012. The store in Lewisburg is expected to open in June 2013.

“With consumers placing a priority on value and convenience, Marvin’s is focused on offering friendly service, low prices and a best-in-class shopping experience,” said Michael Cohn, owner of Marvin’s. 

“Every opportunity that we have to bring this concept to a new market is a testament to our current associates and their commitment to provide exceptional service to our customers,” continued Cohn.

Marvin’s was founded in 1945 by Marvin Cohn in Gadsden, Alabama and was expanded into a multi-chain home center by his son, Alfred. It is currently operated by third generation owners, Michael and Daniel Cohn. Marvin’s has 27 stores in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi and Tennessee. Marvin’s was named the 2012 Entrepreneur of the Year by the Lumber and Building Material Journal and was awarded the 2010 Retailer of the Year by the Home Channel News.

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WDMA announces new leadership team

BY Ken Clark

The Window and Door Manufacturers Association (WDMA) announced its new leadership team at the WDMA Spring Meeting and Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C.   

At the meeting, the WDMA board of directors elected Mike Salsieder, of Kolbe & Kolbe Millwork in Wausau, Wis., as the association’s 2013-2014 chair, replacing outgoing chair Ann Duebner of Eggers Industries in Two Rivers, Wis.

"We stand at a cross roads of determining how we can most effectively provide value for our association and its members,” said Salsieder.

“These challenging times call forth the strongest, united voice to advocate on behalf of the window, door and skylight industry. Still, we must have a pragmatic understanding of the political and economic world in which we live. We must prioritize our limited resources to focus on those things that are most critical to our industry and to our association members. Serving as WDMA’s chair of the board, I am honored to help advance the interests of a very important industry that, not only supplies valuable products that are needed by the consuming public, but an industry that provides jobs for hundreds of thousands of people."

Mike serves as president and general counsel for Kolbe & Kolbe Millwork. The company was started in 1946 by brothers Herb and Ervin Kolbe in their mother’s wash house, repairing window frames and building sash, on the family farm in central Wisconsin. Since then, Kolbe & Kolbe has become a nationally recognized leader in the high-end window and door industry with hundreds of distributors.

"I look forward to working with Mike as WDMA’s new chair. His knowledge and passion for the industry will help move WDMA to the next level in efficiently providing the best services to our members and being an even better advocate for the industry," said WDMA president Michael O’Brien. "I also want to thank Ann Duebner for her leadership and the time she has spent leading WDMA and the whole industry forward. We all owe her a debt of gratitude for her wise leadership as we’ve climbed out of bad economic times."

In addition to Salsieder, the other members of the 2013-2014 WDMA Executive Committee are: 

  • Vice Chair, Door Division: Steve Donner, Weiland Sliding Doors & Windows, Oceanside, Calif.;
  • Vice Chair, Window Division: Al Babiuk, Loewen Windows, Steinbach, Manitoba;
  • Treasurer: Steve Tourek, Marvin Windows & Doors, St. Paul, Minn.;
  • Immediate Past Chair: Ann Duebner, Eggers Industries, Two Rivers, Wis.; and
  • Supplier Representative: Jeff Shilakis, HOPPE North America, Fort Atkinson, Wis.

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