Over the past five years, the flooring industry has seen many changes and disruptions. FLOORS in Africa magazine spoke to Olivia Munchin, Director Sales and Marketing at Nouwens Carpets, to gain insight into the industry, and how Nouwens is future-proofing their business.

The industry has seen an increase in imports of both soft and hard flooring products, and the current economic climate – combined with political instability – has led to a decrease in foreign investment and consumer confidence. This has led to the sector’s supply exceeding demand. As a result thereof, Nouwens Carpets has embarked on new product offerings within the soft flooring market with the launch of our artificial turf range which is aligned with our strategic direction.

The changing climate and rainfall pattern, which has resulted in drought conditions in various areas within the country over the last two years, has seen an increased demand for outdoor landscape products.

“Water is a scarce commodity and while rainfall patterns may improve, the recent drought has heightened the awareness of conserving our precious resource. With this in mind, Nouwens has entered into the already competitive outdoor market with a superior quality product,” says Olivia.

While several local manufacturers have seized an opportunity within the landscape and sports field markets, Nouwens has partnered with Tarkett, a worldwide leader in artificial turf for both landscape and sports fields. Our products are manufactured with Tarkett yarn imported from Europe, supporting our continued strategy to remain world class.

“We manufacture sports fields under licence from Tarkett for local installation and the feedback we are receiving from the industry is that the quality is superb,” says Olivia.

Design with a conscience
Consumers are moving towards more tactile, sustainable products and carpets are an area where the consumer and specifier are looking for products that are innovative in terms of design and colour.

“As consumers grow more aware of the environmental and the social imprint that they are leaving on the planet, the interest in sustainable design is rising. This trend looks set to continue as we consider the future of interior design in both commercial and domestic applications. Upcycling furniture, buying local and actively seeking energy-efficient materials are becoming increasingly common. Design with a conscience is becoming more prevalent,” says Olivia.

How millennials can make your business more collaborative
Millennials are bringing a new perspective on how companies do business. The generation is naturally entrepreneurially minded within traditional business, therefore they can assist in changing the way we do business – for the better. Millennials are the most educated, diverse and connected generation in history and they are going completely against normal work protocol, says Olivia.

“Millennials can assist businesses to become more collaborative. Nouwens encourages its employees to have an entrepreneurial mindset, and in the sales environment they are encouraged to drive their area as if it is their own business,” concludes Olivia.

For more information, contact Nouwens Carpets on +27 (58) 622 1101 or via www.nouwenscarpets.co.za.

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