‘Big Carpet’ Is Betting This New Floor Covering Will Get Americans to End Their Love of Hardwood
After presiding over 18 months of research and development, Keith Weinberger says he’s finally found the “generational change” needed to revive an industry two decades past its peak. “This will blow your mind,” he says. Weinberger is pitching a product called HOME Fresh that he says acts like a giant air filter. It’s 100% hypo-allergenic, stain-resistant and recyclable.
It’s also carpet.
The chief executive officer of Empire Today, one of America’s biggest carpet sellers, is abundantly aware that what he’s saying is hard to process. “I get it, me talking about new and exciting carpet is almost unbelievable,” he says. “It’s not credible, right?”
After dominating for decades, wall-to-wall carpet’s share of the floor-covering market has plummeted since the millennium—from about 60% of sales to roughly one third, according to Catalina Research. Blame Americans’ ardor for hardwood and tile—and the perception that carpet is so 1970s, ’80s or ’90s—pick your decade. Bedrooms still have lots of it, but carpet is disappearing from the center of the home—living, dining and family rooms.
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