Southwest Flooring Market deemed a success
Arlington, Texas – Floor stores from 15 states came to the Southwest Flooring Market (SWFM), held April 8-9 at AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys.
The Southwest Regional Show was the second of three Market Maker events scheduled for the first half of 2021. Like the first regional MME show, which took place March 11-12 at the Cobb Galleria Center in Atlanta, show management took over measures to ensure the safety of all attendees and vendors.
Barbara Stroup, managing partner of Market Makers, said attending the SWFM exceeded expectations, given the impact COVID-19 had on live events. She added that the feedback from exhibitors was “very strong,” with many citing the quality of the retail buyers, most of whom were from the Southwest and drove to Arlington. “Our exhibitors have done an excellent job of scheduling their buyers to ensure they had more quality time to spend with each of them,” noted Stroup.
Lori Kisner, managing partner, said floor dealers cited the need to buy new products for 2021 as the main reason for attending the SWFM. “Dealers were eager to meet their suppliers in person again and take advantage of market specials and new product releases,” she explained. “Since most dealers in the flooring industry have been to their customers’ homes in the past year, they are more likely to come to a live event. Dealers also indicated that it is critical to see and touch products before making a purchase decision. “
Kisner added that the floor markets are providing retailers with conveniently located live events that are close to home and allow them to conduct business for the new year.
Exhibitors ready for the return
Visiting their customers in person rather than virtually was key for some exhibitors attending SWFM. “It was very exciting to see new and existing customers in person [such a long time] apart, ”says Tina Emery, National Sales Manager for Versatrim. “On the morning of April 8, there was more traffic than we had to hand out samples. We were again able to see regional customers who did not have to travel far and who were able to meet us in person. “
Wendy Booker, vice president of marketing and product development at AHF Products, said the show had “a lot of energy and momentum, with retailers sharing how busy their showrooms are today. i loved the [feedback] we received some new products that we are developing and we are also in contact with customers, ”she said FCNews.
Shopkeepers’ visitors also shared positive experiences. “Everyone was so helpful, and I was so happy to see some of my regular salespeople in attendance,” said Mialou Stevens, Account Manager for Malibu Floors. “In addition, to familiarize myself with a number of other flooring suppliers that I have not yet been able to meet. With so many companies in the flooring industry, and nearly all of them updating their products every quarter, it’s hard to visit all of them to educate yourself about product knowledge. It is very convenient to have everyone under one roof. “