Monday, July 09, 2012

Good and bad news for cleaners

Floor Covering News published a comprehensive report on floor covering sales that show the worst may be over for the carpet industry. Residential carpet accounted for 63% of sales and commercial for 37% in 2011. The bad news is that imported area rugs were up 22% over 2010 and this no doubt includes some fear-fodder for cleaners about potentially cheap goods.

Some more good news is that carpet and rugs accounted for 61.2% of all floor covering sales last year. The bad news is that polyester continues to take a bite out of nylon sales. As I mentioned in an earlier post, we should take a wait-and-see attitude on the new polyester offerings until they've been cleaned a few times. Remember polypropylene blends?

Carpet tiles continued to gain market share which is good news for our good friends at J & J Industries and Tandus. But just as the recovery is slow in the manufacturing arena, sales are slow in returning to the cleaning business. Those who diversified into tile, grout, stone and wood floor maintenance have done very well through the bad times.

Financing for new business ventures is still lacking in spite of all the glowing TV commercials by banks that got bail-out money and spent it buying other banks. In this election year with all its prevarication, keep your mind set with laser-like tunnel vision and focus on taking care of the customers you have. They'll be good to you!

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