2018 marked the 56th annual Flooring show held in Harrogate. There was plenty to see and do at one of the biggest events in the flooring industry calendar so much that you may not have gotten around to seeing it all. With that in mind, we have gathered some key points on stands, talks and trends you may have missed this year.
The talks and forums held over the course of the three-day event had a low turnout, however, we found they contained valuable information for high street retailers that you may have missed.
Salience’s talk was filled with practical advice on SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), explaining how companies could improve their digital presence and advising on free tools to help them achieve that goal of taking offline stores online. Even though there was a last-minute change in the presenter, there was clearly a lot of expert advice on hand. They spoke on the importance of website loading speeds, useful content and the importance of keywords. Salience also provides free digital insights every year for flooring retailers to take advantage of and see what the competition is up to.
Michael Weedon from exp2 got to the heart of what’s really happening with high street retailers, picking apart the panic that news outlets are pushing about stores closing left, right and centre. With mention to high street giants like Marks & Spencers closing stores and more importantly why that is happening. The ‘why’ when explained seemed simple, stores are closing in certain areas because footfall is now higher in others. This boiled down to bank and post office closures meaning more people travelling to different areas, mainly retail parks. Michael explained and show in data clearly how high street retailers are really growing, just not in the ways we think.
The take away was that online business isn’t stealing all the profits. Not every retailer needs an e-commerce site but the benefits of having a digital strategy and social media presence are clear. Being a one-stop shop and offering services can provide more opportunities for growth.
TRENDS TO WATCH OUT FOR
The trends section, also found in the Kings suite had some interesting insights to offer on what our future flooring may look or feel like. Pastel colours, mainly pinks and greens, grain and gold texturing and strong blues were very prominent with upcoming trends. Examples of pastel colours are found with our Opulence range of carpets & Egger’s Natural Abergele Oaks & Blue / Black Halford Oaks. Local and sustainable sources are a sought after feature for designers, though still not prominent in customers minds, especially as the costing is not yet competitive. The room layouts they had on offer gave in insight into the flooring decors that will compliment these upcoming colour and texture trends, with subtle textures as well as simple geometric shapes starting to creep in. Looking into the future to predict more bold fabric patterns and colours that may be on the way into our industry too.
INNOVATIVE P.O.S IDEAS
We are always on the lookout for Point Of Sale ideas to help our customers save space while displaying as much product as possible. We are committed to our goal of helping you sell more. The Flooring Show is a great space to explore what kind of POS is on offer and look at the ingenious ways people are displaying their product. There were some clear winners at this year's show, highlighting that a well-designed flooring stand can draw a customers eye. There were several eye-catching stands this year that we will be looking closer at to improve on for some of our own new ranges on the way.
You may not have been around the visual display software also on offer at this year's show. Providing your customers with a digital way of visualising how different decors will look in a whole room will allow customers to make decisions quicker and possibly without having to take an entire pack of flooring home before making a decision, cutting down on the time between a decision and a purchase.
We got quite a bit out of this year's show and are excited to put into practice some of the ideas and knowledge that we have picked up for 2019.