Engineered Floors, a privately-held firm by carpet pioneer Bob Shaw is growing to be a strong competitor in the high-stakes flooring market. The companyâ€™s first 800,000 square feet of carpet manufacturing space will be the single largest carpet manufacturing plant in the world.
The first phase of 2.4-million-square-foot carpet mill in Carbondale, Ga., will be operational in June, completing the initial step toward construction. The entire project worthe $450 million carpet plant will be fully completed by 2016 with which its workforce will be eventually doubled to 4,000 employees.
Shaw Industries, which is now a competitor, as well as Mohawk Industries, together produce more than three fourths of all carpet in the United States today. However, Engineered Floors this year holds the third spot and is the fifth biggest revenue generator. The company makes use of more efficient production methods that require less water and less manual labor.
Shaw's strategy was to build new mills using advanced technology and produce low-cost polyester carpet in large quantity for apartments, duplexes, businesses and other uses that require a high volume of floor covering which so far has helped achieve success
The difference in their carpet manufacturing is that they color the polymer before the carpet is made versus some of the other processes. In the polyester business, they have certain amounts of pre-dying, but they have the bulk.
Although, Engineered Floors is working on to increase market share in the middle and upper end of the carpet market segments that typically make use of tufted nylon and woven wool, respectively. The companyâ€™s solution-dyed tufted polyester carpet production lines, which uses state-of-the-art machines continues to gain market share.
Competitors have began to follow Shaw down that low-cost road, moving to compete using new machines.
The carpet market has faced an uneven recovery following the Great Recession, the industry's overall sales has dropped by approx. 40 percent from the pre-recession peak, but it can manage to recover 10 percent of that by the end of 2014 if sales continue to grow.
However, Shaw is optimistic that the carpet industry will grow robust as they have a growing population and with continued strength in the apartment market.
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