Dare to be bold

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

By Amy Rush-Imber

There is a tendency in a new year to look back and review the year that was. It certainly is a good time to assess accomplishments and the results of year-long efforts. Analyzing wins and losses is a good way to set future goals.

By all accounts, last year was one of robust growth for the industry fueled by investments in people, new technology, innovations and ultimately product launches. Here at FCW, we celebrated our 65th Anniversary as well as our own growth in capabilities, particularly in the digital space. 

And while we ended 2017 feeling accomplished, we also quickly began to set goals for the coming year. What can we do better? Are there other ways to serve our readers? Are we each fully challenging ourselves each day?

As we look to 2018, there have been reports of a more tepid economy and there is the danger of stepping back and playing it safe. And, to be sure, there are reports indicating a slow start to the new year — much the way 2017 ended. According to an article on, the growth rate of disposable income has slowed and while income is rising, it too is at a slow rate. But that is expected to change come the second half and consumer spending will pick up.

For those of you that may contemplate taking the year to settle into the changes made last year, I challenge you to take a different approach, to take the long view. Sure, you need to make sure that all new ventures are on sure footing. At the same time, don’t lose momentum. Retailers and manufacturers can set the next set of goals whether sales-driven, consumer-centric or around portfolio expansion or concentration 

And while you build and execute your 2018 strategies, make sure you are indeed looking long into the future. Where will you need to be to be successful not just in this new year but in the decade ahead? 

For retailers that are closely watching the giant Amazon as well as others strengthen their hold on consumer’s looking for ease of shopping, what will your answer be? Will you develop a mechanism that will allow you to truly pull the shopper from researching online into your store? 

I did more than half of my holiday shopping online. But I also used my online journey to identify brick and mortar stores that I could enter to see and touch the products I was looking to buy. A monogrammed luggage tag from Coach for my mom who is busy traveling the world in her retirement could be purchased online. But in the store, I could really see the colors, the type faces, the font sizes, discuss all of my options. And they monogrammed for me while I waited then wrapped it beautifully. 

As more and more products are being developed in the hard surface space, suppliers need to work hard to tell their product’s story. What makes it special? How should a dealer position it? What can they promise the consumer? Marketing around these products has never been more important. 

Look to FCW in 2018 to help you navigate the year ahead boldly!

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March 18 - March 20, 2018
DOMOTEX asia/CHINAFLOOR – 20th Anniversary
March 20 - March 22, 2018
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