Looking Forward into 2021 and Beyond for the Flooring Industry

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From the Desk of Dev O’Reilly:

The pandemic has changed the retail landscape significantly. Consumers are smarter and demand job information as well as project transparency. No one will tolerate silence once an agreement has been signed. Retail clients demand additional services, i.e., quick and easy delivery and returns, as well as the ability to conduct business transactions online, from any device.

Flooring dealers must shift their processes to accommodate in-home selling. Consumers and flooring dealers need job details communicated to everyone involved in the process. Consumers want contactless installation, digital proposals, and contract execution with e-signature acceptance and settlement.

Industry Insights For 2021 And Beyond

As to the industry, in my opinion, in the next five years we will continue to see low interest rates and this will support flooring industry growth as the economy recovers from the pandemic. Housing starts should increase as low interest rates support growth and banks enable consumers to get favorable borrowing and financing agreements. Additionally, per capita disposable income is expected to increase and push delayed pandemic construction projects to resume. This, combined with a rebounding economy and growing housing market will support flooring industry growth. 

Potential Problems In The Near Future

However, there are some issues flooring dealers will need to contend with in the coming months. Manufacturers’ rising cost of raw materials such as lumber, plastic materials, and resin are likely to increase the cost of materials purchased for resale, likely hampering margins. Nevertheless, demand will recover enough to mitigate declines in profit. Additionally, as economic conditions continue to improve, consumers will be more willing to invest in premium flooring, which generates greater profit. As a result, profit margins are expected to increase.

Competition Will Only Continue

The other issue as I see it, is the continuing competition from the big box stores. They have many advantages in the current market and will retain and potentially gain market share. To combat this, flooring dealers must differentiate themselves from home improvement stores. The best shot is to embrace and implement flooring industry technologies, and increase staff who are properly trained and educated so they can deliver superior customer and installation services. Since the flooring industry provides highly specialized products, knowledgeable and helpful employees will drive sales and retain customers. 

In conclusion, the pandemic has forced flooring dealers to comply with the new regulations and this is where implementing flooring industry technology will be an important resource. The CDC’s rules about social distancing impacts how all business is conducted, particularly in physical store locations. Face coverings are now a normal requirement for many public places. These regulations will impact the way everyone conducts business. Flooring dealers must be ready to communicate, transact business, and manage and complete projects from any location on any device. Fortunately, RollMaster Software allows for you to operate and succeed in this manner and we will continue to help you evolve and adapt to the ever-changing market. 

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