HGTV Flooring

FloortechFebruary 24, 2011

I have been taking an in store survey for the following and am looking for some good opinions here where anybody can chime in. Shaw floors is launching an HGTV brand floor products in the Spring. These will be products that are endorsed by HGTV and carry the label of HGTV. These products will be featured and shown on HGTV. My question is....would it make a difference to a shopper if the flooring store offered a product that was labeled and endorsed by HGTV. Would the HGTV brand intrigue you as a customer. it will be exclusive to a target store for each geographical area. We have been asked to participate and it is expensive for the store to buy in to the program. If it was stylish and priced in range of 2.29 sq ft carpet only to 3.99 carpet only...would that label intrigue you to the point where you would give it an extra long look.The pricing will be very comparable to other products. It will feature area rugs, Hardwood, Laminate, and Carpet...all endorsed by HGTV. You will be able to go to HGTV web and get free samples and that will direct you to a HGTV product store. What do you think? For you ladies out there, would you give that an extra long look because of the HGTV endorsement and label. Thoughts? Thanks for the opinions. It is a large financial commitment for the store and will run through 2014 and these products will be featured and shown on HGTV channel. Thoughts are appreciated because only the general public knows for sure. Thanks

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Well, I'm not a lady but can tell you that HGTVV on many shows does educated the consumer re: home improvement products such as Holmes on Home. Too often however products endorsed by Bob Villa who just loves lumber liquidators doesn't jive with the customer service issues experienced by consumers dealing with an 'endorsed' brand or supplier. I'd give no credibility to this sort of branding. Look at 'Stainmaster" laminate or similar. The endorsement might make me interested but consumers still want to compare different products.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2011 at 11:45AM
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Boxers, I agree with you as far as comparing products. Today you can research so much online and get good consumer feedback on many products seen on tv or advertised. However, I have many friends who never research anything. When their item/product fails or falls apart I ask them about the negative feedback online and they tell me they never read, I guess there are always people out there who look at the shows who endorse it without doing their homework.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2011 at 12:04PM
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Yes, I think HGTV will bring some people into your store IF your area is a DIY-type demographic. More so if they have a dealer/reseller search function on the HGTV website that leads them to you.

Once in your store it becomes a shopping trip for the customer. If the HGTV price point is bottom of the barrel, it'll sell despite any quality issues. There's a good portion of the DIY crowd that simply buys on price. Some contractors too. The HGTV brand will help overcome skepticism. That's just the way it is with some buyers.

If the price point is midrange, then it becomes Product A versus Product B. Price versus quality. Folks will shop and compare and do web research prior to buying.

If the product is low-end (low quality, not low price) would you want to sell it? Could you recommend and install it with a clear conscience?

If it's a good product at a good price point, I'd want to carry it. If I had to buy in to sell the product, then I'd want target numbers from HGTV. You're doing something for them, and you're paying to do it. What are they doing for you? Advertising? Web referrals? Exclusivity?

Will this product complement your existing sales line? Displace a product you already carry? Will it give you an edge over a competing store? Do you gain territorial rights? Will it ever be sold in the box stores?

    Bookmark   February 24, 2011 at 1:40PM
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I think the HGTV endorsement will grab interest (I'm a lady and like HGTV) but if it can't prove itself against the competion or is a poor product then it's a waste of time. It will ultimately be thought of as just a marketing gimmick and hurt HGTV's image. (We will lose respect for anything endorsed by them)

Think "Good Housekeeping" seal-that's something I believe in when a product I buy is endorsed by them.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2011 at 3:51PM
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It is not low end by any made by Shaw...and is not really do it yourself will be a label (an actual HGTV Flooring Product...that they will say has been test, driven, and carries their Label)It will have Medium to upper medium price points and will be the actual products that they will show on their channel. it will be sold no where else other than a Shaw store that has been hand picked to offer it. One store in a 50 mile radius minimum. It is expensive for the store to have , but it is always important for a store to have no competition on it. products specifically designed by shaw for HGTV with Hgtv standards. Unlike Bob villas, HGTV just said they recommend a product as here, the product will be HGTV Brand. It is something we are still really studying but will have to make a decision is a very expensive commitment for the retailer to buy in...but will be well worth it if the consumer will give it an extra long look or consideration because of the product being HGTV Labeled. So I am still soul searching..Flooring is a very interesting business.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2011 at 10:04PM
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I think there's a certain segment that will actually be turned off by the association with HGTV--much like there is with the Martha Stewart branded products. Those that would react negatively would be the knowledgable DIYer and consumer. They do so many hacks on their shows that I wouldn't take their endorsement as being of any value whatsoever. I'd be even more skeptical and want more hard data to backup the quality of the product.

However, there are a large segment of non knowledgable consumers that watch the network frequently that I think would be swayed by their product endorsement. As a designer, I frequently encounter customers who say, "they do it like that on HGTV" or "I've seen that on HGTV". LOL! Of course, I then have to remind them that there is a difference between entertainment and real life and proceed with the project. But I do think there is a nice chunk of the market that would give the products a first look based on the endorsement. However, the products would then have to back up that endorsement by clearly showing good value for the money at whatever price point they would be positioned. Low price always sells, regardless of advertising or in store positioning. So, these mid to upper end products would have to be sold rather than "selling themselves" like a cheaper product would. Since you already have a good market position and the experience level necessary to explain the quality/value of the product to the consumer, you'd probably do well with the line.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2011 at 10:16AM
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Floortech; I was a rep for many yrs for different flooring mfctrs. Its always interesting when offering a product as an 'exclusive'. While some retailers will promote the hell out of it others will use it to bring in buyers, sell it a higher margin than other similar products, or use it to sell off of. When I was with Bruce many dealers didn't have an issue with the product but couldn't make much money since the box stores promoted it so heavily. Just thinking of my market where the Mirage distr built quite a reputation then went to China and copied the Mirage line with a cheap knock off and pretty much destroyed Mirage by the time they figured out what was going on. If HGTV was that big of a draw, don't you think people would flood in for Bruce, Armstrong or other major brands? Why would this be any different?

    Bookmark   February 27, 2011 at 10:08PM
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In a competitive marketplace such as mine ...there are 2 ways to make it in the flooring business. 1st off in my opinion, the box stores are grabbing a greater piece of a shrinking market by the hour. If we try and compete against box stores, we will lose. It is as simple as that. now in my opinion, there are several things that must be done to survive. not try to match box stores price until they match Retailers customer service. With that said, people are still looking for value. In order to give them value and still be able to survive and make money, there are a couple of things you must do. Inventoried products must have great apparent value and and maintain an excellent margin. Custom products from the custom areas must be fairly exclusive to your store so that the consumer can not just go from store to store and shop you down to no profit. My store just does not carry products that you can find in every store. Karastan we have but is dead. iT JUST DOESENT MEAN ANYTHING TO THE UNDER 50 consumer anymore. The HGTV label is intriguing to me. When someone comes in, we will show them the product trying to turn the consumer on to it. My question was really to try and determine if that label will carry any weight if properly priced compared to other label products. Another words if a person walks into a flooring Americas, sees a similar product at the same pricepoint with one of their fake generic private labels on it, would it sway the customer if they were comparing it to a carpet that is HGTV labeled. HGTV would be the actual product label name. it will be exclusive to our store, yet will be backed up with TV ads, free samples, HGTV website, and a huge advertising campaign. I dont expect people to flood in for it. Advertising gets people through the doors and salespeople sell the products. My real question was will this label make a person give a 2nd look. We dont sell Bruce AS EVERYONE HAS IT...or should I say we do keep a token of it to establish ourselves.The same thing with Pergo...we have it but let the internet sell cant make a darn dime selling it. We carry over 25 labels of hardwood and the couple of big ones are their only to establish ourselves as a store that has it all. Thats all I was will the label make my consumer raise their ears to it just a Little bit longer than a Shaw or Mohawk or Beaulieu label. That why I posted.We can survive against box stores by giving excellent service, selling with expertise, selling products that are unique to the area, and give the customer a positive flooring experience from start to finish as opposed to a box store nightmare. Box stores struggle to please flooring customers because of lack of expertise and they do not communicate between their staff. With flooring, you must communicate and follow up to detail. We have done 2 managers of Lowes in the last 10 weeks. Why, because we are so much better. But If I have products that all 22 stores in my area have, we will sink as it gets too cut throat. So we continually look to separate ourselves from the competition . we are really good at what we do, we really push hard for customer service. But I am struggling with spending this money to have an HGTV label. I just heard of another store who got an opt out clause with it after 12 months. I may pursue it if I can get that clause put in. Again they only allow this product in stores of maybe every 100 miles in any direction. Tigressa is exclusive to Carpet 1 and Flooring America and has been doing well.They claim this will be much larger as it has brand recognition.It is just a tough decision.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2011 at 1:47AM
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I agree with live wire oak. While it may attract some customers, it'll also repel some. I don't know how many times I've heard an HGTV "expert" extol the virtues of the "hardwood" floors they're installing and it's not solid, or engineered flooring, but laminate. I'm not bashing laminate, I installed some in my rec room, I'm bashing the ignorance. If the pretty face in front of the camera doesn't know the difference, the shows producers or writers should.

Having said that there will be many that will love the HGTV branding, and those that don't won't run screaming from the store, they'll just look at other products.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2011 at 10:53AM
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Floortech brings up excellent points. People buy from people who educate them and price then becomes secondary. Too few retailers know anything about their products but when you meet a truly educated expert you want to do business with them.

Thats why I get so frustrated on this board with so called 'experts' submerging lumber in water or pouring bleach on cpt as a 'test'. Who are you going to believe?

    Bookmark   February 28, 2011 at 2:21PM
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Below is a link with info regarding the alliance.

Here is a link that might be useful: A link explaining the alliance with HGTV

    Bookmark   March 1, 2011 at 11:05PM
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