By Jan de Beer
They came, they saw – and are now ready to conquer the market more comprehensively than ever with the latest in global ingenuity for KBAC Flooring’s milestone 2019: the company’s celebration of 50 years of trading.
Here, briefly, is what KBAC Flooring’s Dave Keefer and Eben Barnard recall about their recent study visit to trend-setting trade fairs, DOMOTEX in Hannover, and BAU in Munich:
With the 2019 theme, CREATE’N’CONNECT, Domotex this year put the spotlight on how society lives, works and interacts. One of the show’s enormous halls was entirely dedicated to the concept of connectivity, illustrating the impact relatedness has on the shaping of human environment – and how flooring can be the pathway to partnership in correlation.
Domotex took visitors on a sci-fi journey with the eye-opening unveiling of the sales opportunities the digital presentation of floor covering holds for the industry. These extraordinary new digital solutions ran the gamut of VR and AR with visualisation aids for every aspect of the marketing mix. The 3D innovative software makes it easy for customers to choose flooring while providing retailers with unprecedented options for real-life digital product presentations.
Other trends experienced at Domotex included the rising emergence of PVC-free luxury vinyl tiles (LVTs) as well as increasing utilisation of materials such as polyethylene and polypropylene in flooring, primarily because of their enhanced recycling potential in a green world. Wood vinyl finishes were featured on many stands but there was also a noticeable shift to natural stone and terrazzo finishes in LVTs – a trend already identified and introduced locally by KBAC.
At Domotex, Dave and Eben met up with Cavalier Bremworth, New Zealand-based producers of top-end woolen carpets, represented in SA by KBAC Flooring.
Interface – for which KBAC is the local distributor – was a prominent exhibitor at BAU with Interface’s showcasing of its new Global Change ranges of Human Connection and Visual Effects drawing a lot of attention. The world-renowned rubber flooring of German producer, Nora – which is now part of the Interface group globally – premiered under the Interface banner at the trade fair.
German manufacturer, wineo, which recently awarded SA distribution rights to KBAC Flooring, was another impressive exhibitor with with wineo’a PURline eco-flooring a major talking point. The wineo PURline bio-polyurethane flooring collection is an ideal substitute for linoleum and is sustainable and organic being produced with 90% natural raw materials.
At BAU this year there were also a proliferation of wooden decking flooring exhibits as well as strong focus on Terrazo and stone designs domination as new trends, as well as increasing emphasis on “cutting edge technology” with different floor coverings integrated in one design.
While in Munich, Dave and Eben met up with European
product suppliers to organise the importation of equipment to streamline
quantities and pricing; and had discussions with new access flooring suppliers of
innovative floor covering on access panels, ranging from porcelain to solid wood.
Dave and Eben returned home with a wealth of knowledge but also with pride in the knowledge that KBAC Flooring – now with half-a-century’s experience – can become even more of a leader on the African continent by maintaining its impeccable product, installation and sales service standards with just a slight injection of what’s new and exciting in global flooring as shown at these two iconic trade fairs.