Interfloor reports growth in underlay and accessories

Interfloor are seeing sales growth in both underlay and flooring accessories. Gary Cowley, Interfloor’s sales director, commented, “We’ve seen a sustained and dramatic improvement in our PU sales since the introduction of our new production line. Retail, wholesale and contract customers have been responded very favourably and they seem to value the quality and performance of our new PU products. We’re also delighted at the growth in sales of our premium sponge rubber and crumb rubber underlays. On top of that we’ve seen a continued improvement in both gripper and metal profiles.”

Our Tredaire Seventh Heaven PU range has consistently broken both sales and production records as customers have switched from competitor brands. It’s not unusual to see 50% plus growth rates on our higher specification sponge and crumb rubber underlays. It appears that many retailers are now adopting a portfolio approach to their underlay purchases by combining sponge, crumb and PU.”

Interfloor have seen rubber underlay growth in four product segments: luxury sponge underlays (such as Tredaire Colours Red); hard wearing crumb underlays (such as Duralay System 10 and Treadmore); specialist underlays (like Duralay Heatflow for underfloor heating and Timbermate Excel for wood and laminate floors); and, contract quality crumb underlays such as the Duralay Durafit range. “In each of these segments we have market leading products which offer performance benefits that competitor products can’t match. Customers value that.”

So why would this trend emerge now? Cowley explains, “I think we’ve learned an important lesson about communication. We’ve increased our trade marketing activity significantly in the last 12 months, including advertising, direct mail, sales tools and sales promotions. In particular we’ve worked hard at developing a proposition that helps retailers to sell. This applies to all product segments but for rubber underlay it’s

about leveraging its innate advantages. Consumers prefer rubber underlay, the best products outperform everything else and it’s easier to up-sell them. The results speak for themselves. We now have more customers buying rubber underlay and we’re getting outstanding sales growth from the best rubber products.”

In the future Interfloor expects more customers to adopt a portfolio approach combining sponge, crumb and PU underlay. “Our policy is to provide whatever type of underlay our customers need. I think we’re in a unique position because we can offer each of the three main types. Our sales team are trained to understand the customers’ needs and then recommend the best product solution….whatever it’s made of. Some suppliers can’t do this and there can be a tendency to recommend what the supplier wants you to buy rather than what’s best for the customer.”

Interfloor are also experiencing growth in flooring accessories too. Sales of their Gripperrods branded carpet gripper and Stikatak metal profiles are up over 15%. As Gary Cowley says, “This is where our one stop shop concept really adds value. The market continues to be tight so we’re finding an increasing number of customers who prefer to consolidate their business into the suppliers they can rely upon.”