Tucson, AZ — 3/18/16 CarpetsPlus COLORTILE, Carpetland USA and Floorco dealers from around the country began arriving at Tucson’s Starr Pass Resort days before the Drive 2016 Convention even started to enjoy some well-deserved time off in the warmer climes of Arizona’s Sonora Desert. The Convention was held March 4-7.
To kick things off, members and suppliers gathered for a Welcome Reception on an ideal Friday night under the stars of Tucson. The reception featured live music, a roping contest, star gazing and more. As relationships were renewed and old memories relived, members looked forward to making new memories this year.
Early Saturday morning, members attended multiple sessions. The first session, entitled, “From Here to There,” was given by Ron Dunn, co-CEO of CarpetsPlus COLORTILE. He said, “Think of three to four things to help you get from here to there. It could be health-wise, growth, business, spiritual. What are they? Maybe as your business grew, it would be adding staff, buying a new building or moving your location.”
Dunn defined the idea of “from here to there” as, “Direction, not intention, determines our destination.” He went on to say, “We can have all the greatest intentions in the world – to be organized, to grow our business – but if we don’t go in the right direction and take the necessary steps to get there, we’re not going to reach that destination. If you want to get in shape, you’ve got to go in the direction of the gym and start exercising. No matter what your intention is, unless you go in that direction, you’re not going to reach your destination.”
While on his sixth annual Drive Across America visiting members in an RV, he found several things that were continuously repeated about what it takes to get from ‘here to there’. Dunn noticed, “The same 6-8 dynamics kept coming out. Here’s what we found:”
- Clear Focus/Goal Setting
“The one thing I took special note of was the dynamic of responsibility. As owners, the more responsibilities we shed, the more we begin to lose sight of the fact of what is ours. This is what I know as a fact, if your business is going to go from ‘here to there,’ if you will succeed as a business, it’s going to be because of who’s sitting in your chair. That doesn’t change.”
Dunn then yielded the floor to keynote speaker, Matt Booth, an internationally known attitude and motivational speaker. Booth took the stage to help create meaningful attitude change in owners, and by doing so, in their teams back home to help them get from here to there.
Booth said, “Nobody in here is immune to bad days. It’s ok to have one. It happens. It’s life. What you have to be careful of is when you have one of those days, that it doesn’t quickly turn into two of those days. Then two days become three, four, five and so on. Everyone knows someone who’s had 5 or 10 years’ worth of bad days. That’s not ok. If you want to get from here to there, the value of your attitude is extremely important.”
Booth asked the audience to list the five people they hang out with most on a daily basis. He said, “Do you hang out with negative or positive people? If we hang out with negative people, even at work, who do we end up punishing at the end of the day? We take out our built-up frustrations on the people at home, our families, our spouses. You have to be aware of who you’re around and their influence on your attitude.”
He closed with an imperative to each member, “When you attend a convention, everybody gets a binder. What happens to these binders when you get back home? They get put on a shelf. I challenge you to get three, four or five things from this binder and this conference; tear it out, post it, carry it around. Don’t be passive. You’re in business. Do something with it.”
After lunch, the group was treated to Jon Logue’s State of the Industry presentation building on the theme “From Here to There,” entitled, “Complete the Journey”. Logue, CarpetsPlus COLORTILE’s co-CEO, announced that growth was continuing in the LVT category. He said there are 10 new LVT and resilient sheet plants being built in America with a $900 million investment in the category.
He also discussed current economic trends in such categories as consumer confidence, GDP, interest rates, crude oil, employment, remodeling, new home sales and their effect on the industry and the group.
Logue also discussed the current installer issues facing the industry including the “employee or subcontractor” question. “For the flooring retail business, the big gorilla in the room is installation,” Logue said. Responding to concerns from its members, the group consulted with them and then conducted its own research. Logue noted, “There was so much input, we put together a book, “2016 Installers Issues in the Industry,” about the possible effects related to the classification of workers as independent contractors or as employees by federal and state agencies. We want to help our members be compliant. We’re [CarpetsPlus group] also working with the WFCA to train more installers,” Logue added.
As the audience was soaking in every last bit of industry information and recommendations from Jon Logue, Matt Booth was then welcomed back on stage to present his anticipated second presentation about making and keeping goals called, “Chase Your Dreams”.
He asked everyone if they actually write down their goals. He also asked them if they carried them with them and could show him. He said, “It’s like a life GPS. No one would be driving from here to there without some kind of a map or GPS.”
Booth continued, “Chasing dreams is a big thing. Everyone has a goal or a dream. Get one thing in your head you want to accomplish. Write your goals down, carry them with you and review them once a month. Don’t follow someone else’s dreams, create your own and go after them.”
Ryan Dunn, co-COO and VP sales and Kevin Logue, co-COO and VP marketing, came up to help members get from “here to there” with new brand, display and product introductions. The big introduction this year included phase two of the Destination Boutique, a group of three displays first introduced last year.
Kevin Logue stressed, “We’re in the fashion business, so we need fashionable displays. The next step in the evolution of this brand is an amazing, double-decker display with 54 higher-end styles called the Fashion Destination. The styles on our new Fashion Destination will certainly get you in the fashion game and the display is designed to command immediate attention.”
Later that evening, the New Supplier Meet and Greet was held on a lovely evening outdoors. Members were introduced to nine new suppliers as the group continues to round out its supplier partners.
After dinner, suppliers were invited to participate in Rush Hour, a fast-paced buying event on Saturday night where members get a head start on special buys. Throughout this event, members participated in the CarpetsPlus Corn Hole Championships, won by Tysen Rovig, owner of CarpetsPlus COLORTILE, Billings, MT. Everyone had a great time including suppliers who were excited about the incredible buying activity this year.
The next morning, Kevin Logue and Ryan Dunn, gave a call to action one last time before the Exhibit Hall opened. In addition to the featured Destination package, they announced the 2016 Focus 5 Package consisting of the COLORTILE Enhanced Vinyl Plank display, Inspired Home Pattern Collection, American Classics Hardwood, Home Solutions Carpet and COLORTILE Cushioned Resilient Flooring.
Introducing other private labeled soft surface products: Elite Performance Natural Lustre, a Stainmaster collection, the Signature Carpet Collection as well as private labeled hard surface products and others branded and co-branded, Ryan Dunn said, “Our job is to give our members the best of the best to keep their showroom fresh. But we don’t tell them what to take. We operate like a great restaurant. We have a menu, but we don’t tell the customers what to eat.”
The group also introduced a new two-tier Hardwood Destination display designed to capture the same attention, plus a complimentary Destination cut set program.
Logue shared, “The original 2015 Destination programs: the Color, Performance, and Pattern Destinations have been very successful for our members and have helped drive business and close sales. The Phase Two expansion builds on this successful foundation to offer our members an even larger product assortment, providing customers with additional options to make their homes beautiful. The Destination Boutique has been embraced by the majority of our members and is the new direction for the group.”
The 2015 Destination displays have done well for Dan Smiddy, owner of Smiddy’s CarpetsPlus COLORTILE in Terre Haute, IN. He said, “The new Destination displays (Color, Performance and Pattern Destinations) have been a huge success. They have created a boutique for style and for fashion. It funnels people into an area for higher priced goods that are high fashion; it really sells for us. People are drawn to it. They like the new look.”
Ben Case of Carpet Collection in Lockport, NY, is counting on the new Destination displays to be successful, “All of the racks that were brought in last year grab your attention and sold instantly. We can expect the same with the new racks. The best one for me is definitely the Hardwood Destination rack. It makes a statement.”
Kevin Logue added there was a real formula to the way the group puts together new merchandising. He said, “We are trying to create value for the suppliers too, by selecting products that are in tune with what our members want to sell. The goal is a win, win, win for the members, the suppliers and then us.”
On Sunday evening, members arrived to celebrate the conclusion of another great Convention. The 19th annual Awards Banquet was a night to remember. Several awards were given to members and suppliers for various accomplishments, including Retailer of the Year for both CarpetsPlus COLORTILE and Carpetland USA.
Ron Dunn opened the Awards Banquet, “Good evening and thank you all for coming to what’s been an enjoyable and certainly productive few days. It continues tonight with us honoring a few individuals and we’re going to start it off with our Lifetime Achievement award. This award is given to a person who has certainly achieved much in business but has also touched people beyond that. We travel to Indiana for the first award and the winner is Mark Dougherty.”
Jon Logue added a few words about Dougherty, “When I think of Mark, I think of honesty, integrity, detailed, family. He’s my kind of man. He’ll call me sometimes and we’ll talk about the numbers and he’ll ask me questions. It’s just fun to be around him.”
Ron Dunn then announced that there would be a second Lifetime Achievement Award winner. The second winner is Vern Montgomery of Venice, FL. Dunn said, “He exhibits confidence, he’s fearless and holds a very high standard. On the other hand, he’s got a great sense of humor, genuine, always positive. He’s humble and he lives the Golden Rule.”
Lifetime Achievement Award
- Mark Dougherty, Bloomington, IN
- Vern Montgomery, Venice, FL
National Retail Salesperson of the Year: Sandra Stanifer, COLORTILE and Carpet, Redmond, OR.
Hard Surface Supplier of the Year: Welton Davison, Shaw Industries
Jon Logue said, “Our Supplier of the Year in the Hard Surface category is truly a dedicated professional. His efforts in supporting our programs in all areas contributed to a great 2015. His support of our Design Values program and aggressive promotions led to an increase of 19% in overall Hard Surface sales. He has worked to bring our group strong marketing ideas along with new, exciting product technology. This is especially true in the resilient category including EVP and LVT.”
Carpet Supplier of the Year: Ann McDermott, Shaw Industries
Kevin Logue said, “Ann McDermott, our Supplier of the Year Award for Carpet, is a strong, innovative supplier partner. The 2015 Destination Boutique was the biggest and most successful launch we have ever done. The Color Destination Color wall was, and will continue to be the anchor of that program. We couldn’t have done it without you, Ann.”
Retailers of the Year
These awards are presented to members who exemplify leadership in rebate volume earnings, support of our merchandising launches, Convention & Summit Attendance, networking with fellow members, store branding and use of our website programs.
Carpetland USA Retailer of the Year: Duke Karns, Carpetland USA, Lafayette, IN
Ryan Dunn said, “Duke Karns started in the flooring industry in 1976 as a commercial sales rep. After managing a Carpetland store for 16 years, he took over as owner in 1995. In 2000, he became part of the Alliance Flooring family. His many years of experience served him well during the business shifts over the last few years helping him continue running his business profitably. He supports the Carpetland Buying Committee’s endeavors as well as the CarpetsPlus programs including the Destination Boutique and the ProPlus website. His sales in our program continue to grow and his attendance at our events is never in question.”
CarpetsPlus COLORTILE Retailer of the Year: Stacey Pape, SP Floors & Design Center, McMurray, PA
Ryan Dunn said, “Stacey’s family business joined as a charter member in 1997 and were consistently one of our top 25 performing members. In 2010, they were hit with a situation that turned into an opportunity for them to go out on their own. Instead of throwing in the towel, she decided to tough it out. She fought for market share in her area and, after 5 years she’s now exceeding $6 million in sales outpacing her previous history in the family business. She will also go down in history as being our first CarpetsPlus COLORTILE Destination location AND the host of our 2016 Summit.”
Ron Dunn closed the Awards Banquet and the Convention with a few words of thanks, “In our industry, people sell people. Without each supplier, each member, each person, this would not have been the convention it was. So thank you for coming, thank you for the energy that you bring here. For the way you’re willing to network and share and create a culture that is truly something very special. We look forward to seeing you in Pittsburgh at our Summit. Let’s all have a fantastic year!”