Random Thoughts on the tile industry by Dave Yarborough, President, D&B Tile Distributors
Well, we're not out of the woods yet, but we are seeing light at the end of the tunnel. Traffic in all stores is increasing. There has been a surge of interest online with questions on many of our products. The design community, which is one of the major barometers of the construction industry, reports increased activity and requests for quotes on future work.
And, Robert Wright, D&B's Purchasing Agent notes a definite upswing in accessories and tools, which he considers "the canary in the coal mine" as an indicator that the industry is trending upwards.
Within the next few weeks, we will see a return of our seasonal residents, many of whom will be looking to remodel their condos and homes this coming season. Interest rates are extremely low and the housing market has shown some upward movement. We may be in for the first wave of notable recovery in this sector. Now is the time to upgrade those old tools, attend our skill-sharpening courses and revisit our showrooms.
Each store has undergone major remodeling in the past few years and this ongoing project will allow you to show your customers the latest trendy products in the flooring industry. As a distributor, we buy by the freight-car load and offer the best prices and selection to our commercial and residential customers. Our commercial design team works closely with architects, specifiers, engineers and general contractors. When they visit our showrooms and see our large selection of products, we refer them to our list of certified tile contractors.
We're all in this together. D&B Tile Distributors consistently reviews flooring products from around the world and evaluates style, selection, durability, quality control and availability before we display them in our stores. Back that up with a half-century of unparalleled customer service, continuing education for our employees and tile contractors, a wide variety of in-house "business partners" who can offer plumbing, kitchen and bathroom installations and you have the perfect mix for increased business.
From our nine locations in South Florida, we service the entire state, much of the Caribbean and Central and South America. There are many D&B customers that have never been in one of our locations. Through our commercial sales team we promote our products to architects, designers, commercial contractors, and flooring dealers from Central Florida to the Keys and from the Atlantic to the Gulf. D&B has three Architectural and Design representatives that present our commercial products to these professionals for specifications on everything from hospitals, car dealerships, restaurants, schools, churches, and the stadiums for the Dolphins and the Marlins.
There are also eight commercial sales representatives that take our products to contractors and flooring dealers across Central and South Florida. These reps visit our customers regularly and update them on the newest trends and colors in the industry. D&B products can be found in well over 300 flooring dealers and we regularly ship products throughout the state.