Perhaps the most successful Arley Wholesale Tile and Stone Exposition to date, this year’s Expo featured 115 large floor panels displaying the newest and most popular porcelain and stone floor tiles now available in the extensive Arley stocking program. The centerpiece of the show was a large walk-in jewelry shop display, which exhibited many of the Arley exclusive concept boards. A major theme of the Expo was that all materials displayed were ready to be private labeled for Arley's dealers.
Arley's Executive Vice President, Norman Gevanthor, explained what started as a small golf outing in the Poconos during the late 1970s took on the aspects of a regional trade show in the late 1990s. "It has grown into an event that our customers look forward to every spring with great anticipation," he said.
The keynote address was delivered at the dinner the first night of the event by Scott Levy, Arley's Executive Vice President of Operations. He addressed the challenges faced today by independent flooring retailers, pointing out the key difference from the big box dealers and the independent dealer. "They may be big, but they’re not you," he said. "You are the difference maker and the reason consumers decide to purchase from you."
Levy continued by noting the importance of the distributor/dealer partnership. "Without 'promotion,' something terrible happens… nothing," he said.
Because the great bulk of what was presented by Arley was materials that dealers could private label, Levy said, "We want to help make 'you' the brand. You asked for better boards and we listened. We want to help you to become a stocking dealer. We have your back as well as your backup inventory."
Jim Murchie of David’s Abbey Carpet in Knoxville, TN, summed up the feelings of most of the dealers in attendance. "The reason we work with Arley is simple -- good people, good products, and most importantly great service," he said. "What more could we ask for?"
Levy's speech was followed by the extemporaneous levity provided by the comedian Earl David Reed, who worked the room to the delight of all present.
Monday's golf outing was held at the Glen Oak Country Club. A patio lunch proceeded the shotgun start with well over 100 participants vying for lowest net team score, closest to the pin and longest drive prizes. A popular stop was Saul’s Shot Shack, strategically located on the course and hosted by Arley President Saul Levy and Territory Representative, Nancy Flynn. The event was topped off by a patio cocktail hour and the subsequent awards dinner at the Glen Oak main dining room. Directly thereafter, Arley Vice President of Sales David Lowe was his inimitable, upbeat self as Master of Ceremonies, delivering the post-dinner golf awards.
"Business has been challenging these past years," said Jim Murchie. "There seemed to be more to look forward to a decade ago. That's why the always positive, always helpful Arley Event is something companies such as ours never want to miss."