Like most products, flooring evolves—in color, texture, technology, and style—to meet the ever-changing needs of consumers. And when those consumers are shopping for carpet in the store, they want to feel it for themselves.
“[Samples] are great to have, especially from a visual standpoint,” says Marc Martorano, VP of residential and commercial carpet at Avalon Flooring in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. “It really helps when going out to customers’ homes to match the color with their lighting.”
He also says that regularly refreshing samples in store is a worthwhile investment because it’s important for customers to be able to touch the product. And when viewing patterns, it’s vital for customers to see a larger piece.
“Refreshing our [carpet] samples keeps it exciting,” says Martorano. “Fresh samples keep our RSAs wanting to sell.”
That’s why stores can earn back their investment on any STAINMASTER® carpet sample invoiced in 2017—to help ensure that sales associates have the latest styles, color offerings, and innovations that meet consumers’ needs.
Pami Bhullar, director of retail development at STAINMASTER® and an industry expert, helps stores make more money, be more organized, and stay ahead of the curve. He explains why up-to-date samples are critical for sales associates’ success.
“To sell, you have to be excited,” says Bhullar. “You can’t get excited with outdated products. You must have the new arrivals.” Like Martorano, Bhullar suggests that new styles help sales associates genuinely feel excited, which customers can sense on the floor.
Bhullar continues: “There’s nothing to lose. The faster they make the sale, the faster they cover their investment and make more money.”
Bhullar says that almost 90 percent of consumers shop online, find a style, and go to a retailer that showcases it. They’ve already researched what they want, so it’s up to retailers to have it readily available. “This is the No. 1 reason to invest in these products,” says Bhullar. The RSA may ultimately guide the customer to a better choice, but having the product available puts the relationship on firm footing.
Plus, carpet isn’t something you can sell with a picture. For sales associates to be successful, they need samples that customers can take home and check out within their environment. When that happens, Bhullar says, it’s a win-win because—usually—that means the sale is close to being finalized. In-store samples are particularly important, with the arrival of new technology enabling subtle variations in color for the latest carpet styles.
STAINMASTER® brand launches new carpet styles throughout the year, every year. They represent all carpet categories, and many of these introductions use a new tufting method called Colorpoint Technology, which gives individual control of each needle on the machine.
“For the first time, [Colorpoint Technology] allows the use of more colors in one product,” says Martha Wakelin, product development and design manager at STAINMASTER®. “They can create what looks like true pieces of artwork.”
The power of this technology is most clearly seen in some of the introductions that have large-scale geometric patterning. “Instead of having to create a pattern that has symmetrical elements to it, you can essentially create a pattern that is more random and reflective of nature because you have the ability to control each needle,” says Wakelin.
With this new technology comes innovation in color. Wakelin says that neutrals are being influenced by colors like rose quartz, which is shifting a lot of these STAINMASTER® brand shades to the warmer end of the spectrum. And, hints of green are becoming increasingly popular, which can be attributed to nature and can mimic outdoor areas. “Now, it’s really about encompassing the whole green spectrum,” she says.
The latest styles, colors, and textures can refresh the look of a display and the showroom floor. Having the latest samples to recommend can energize you because you are able to highlight the latest and greatest.
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