STODDARD, NH - A resurgent U.S. housing and renovation market has Carlisle Wide Plank Floors looking to increase its workforce by 17 percent this year. Carlisle has 83 total employees, with 41 in its Swanzey, NH mill.
The Stoddard, NH flooring manufacturer specializes in hardwood species, with grain patterns dramatically revealed in the wide plank style.
Carlisle believes its offerings of textured and rough-hewn flooring planks, measuring 5" to 22" inches wide, puts it in a category with luxury goods retailer.
After years of regression in the manufacturing and housing market, an increase in consumer spending has demand for flooring and housing renovations on the upswing, says Carlyle CEO Michael Stanek.
The wood products industry employment overall is at a two-year high, notes Stanek, and Carlisle already increased its headcount by 5 percent in January.
Carlisle Wide Plank Floors announced last summer it would add retail outlets in the fast-growing China market, adding to its wood flooring showrooms already in place in Wuxi and Nantong. China's luxury goods market is growing 18 percent annually as it surpasses Japan as the second largest market for luxury goods.
WWN: Tell us about the expansion?
Stanek: During Q4 of 2012, we added and upgraded two significant manufacturing capabilities at Carlisle to add to our product assortment. We enhanced our ability to make premium engineered flooring and increased our capacity in the prefinishing area of our business.
We are opening a show room in Boston this spring, which is new for us, and have our eyes on San Francisco next.
We are in the process of increasing our sales force by approximately 50% during the first half of this year and adding manufacturing talent as required to fill what we believe will be much more demand for our products.
WWN: How are the new employees hired in January doing?
Stanek: Our new staff are up and running, we are very excited about the high quality additions to our team.
WWN: How big is Carlisle?
Carlisle to the largest producer of custom wide plank wood floors in North America
WWN: Is it difficult to find employees?
Stanek: It has been difficult to find people we feel will meet our standards and expectations however we have been fortunate to be some great people.
WWN: How do you train in quality and culture?
Stanek: We are continuously refining our training programs every year to make them more effective based upon feedback during the onboarding process.
WWN: What is the progress in China sales efforts?
Stanek: China has been slower than we had hoped. We will be re-tooling our efforts in China this spring and summer in hopes of better results.
Below, Chris Sy, Carlisle Wide Plank Floors National Sales Director, with tips on wide plank floor grades for dealers.
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