Vol. 61 No. 24 A Hearst Business Publication December 24/31, 2012 $4
Periodical Outlook FLOOR COVERING WEEKLY
NAHB to DC: Don’t derail recovery
By Mallory Cruise
Th e National Association of Home Builders
(NAHB) is keeping a close watch on postelection
Washington, D.C., and readying
itself for potential changes in legislation/
policy that could aff ect housing in 2013.
Additionally, NAHB is aggressively asking
the government to avoid derailing an economic
Right now, according to Jerry Howard, CEO
of NAHB, NAHB’s policy is very fi rm — it
wants the 2001-2003 tax cuts extended; it does
not want change to mortgage interest deductions;
and, does not want tax rates to increase.
Th e housing industry has been in a state of
depression for four years, Howard said, and as
one facet of the economy that is beginning to
see recovery, it shouldn’t take any more hits.
“We’re in very interesting times and the
NAHB needs to be at its most active and all
members engaged as much as they can be. As
soon as we get through this lame duck session
and Congress gets back in earnest, it will have
the biggest infl uence on the bottom line,”
NAHB held a webinar on Tuesday Dec. 2
to address the current political environment
in post-election Washington. Alongside
Jerry Howard, Jim Tobin, chief lobbyist for
NAHB, and David Crowe, chief economist
Continued on page 3
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from the downturn
Empowered by 2012 growth, next year looks good
By Amy Joyce Rush
Th e momentum that built slowly in 2012 is expected to push the fl ooring industry into a stronger growth
mode for 2013. And business, said industry executives, will be quite good by 2014.
“Our Commercial business continues to see strong growth and we expect to continue this momen-
tum into 2013,” said Randy Merritt, president, Shaw. On the residential side, he remains cautiously
optimistic but does expect housing demand and price levels to continue to improve. “Builder and multi-
family business is benefi ting from new construction and is starting to grow. Th e residential replacement
market continues to be weak, but is expected to improve as the new home market improves. Th is bodes
well for future fl ooring activity,” he said.
Continued on page 4
Retail planning for increase
By Janet Herlihy
Most retailers told FCW that they saw signifi -
cant improvement in 2012 and are expecting
even better sales in 2013, but are hesitant
about how events in the economy might
aff ect business.
“I was surprised that
2012 was still up and
down, but we are fortunate
and have been
ahead,” said Peter Messner,
president of Messner
Carpet, Pittsford, a
suburb of Rochester, N.Y.
“Some of our competitors
haven’t been able to invest
in their showrooms,
giving us an advantage.”
For 2013, Messner has
set a goal of a 6 to 8 percent increase and is
pursuing that by attracting a younger market.
“We are re-developing our website to reach
the 35 plus year-olds. By the end of the
year, it will have a young, fresh look. We are
also getting involved with social media and
changing our product mix in showroom,”
Messner explained. “We will be selling more
Housing to increase
PET carpet and will show it at the front of the
store. We will still have the best off ering at
the higher end of the market, but will move
that farther into the showroom,” he added.
Aaron Pirner, owner and CEO of CAP
Carpet, is very optimistic. CAP, a CCA Global
partner, operates 16 locations
housing 19 business
units (all fl ooring related)
in and around Wichita,
Kansas. “We have had a
good growth year. When
the market went down
in ‘07 and ‘08, we started
making investments —
better people, better systems,
An inviting wood walkway guides
Pirner said. “When things
shoppers through Carpet Town.
started to improve, we
were in a great position.
We’ve taken market share, starting in 2011.
And 2012 was great, with success mainly in
our wholesale and commercial businesses.
Residential remodel has been OK too.”
He expects increases across all areas — commercial,
new housing and remodeling. “I think
2013 will be good because consumer savings
Continued on page 17