Category Spotlight: Grocery Flooring Options

With so many surface areas to cover and limitless product options, the process of identifying the right solution can be time consuming and often confusing. While we always recommend hiring an expert to help inform and guide the conversation, it is helpful to know which areas of a retail environment call for certain products. For this example, we are using a grocery store to highlight the various areas and usage of flooring materials.

Why is it so important to know what product goes where? As we’ve discussed, most slip and fall claims, which are extremely costly and lead to serious injuries, are the result of not having the right flooring system in place. And also, the right flooring can reduce employee fatigue and lead to better productivity.

Area: Entrance

Let’s start with the entrance, which could be an entire series of its own but for this example we’ll focus on a grocery store with above average traffic in an area where moisture is a factor.

Option: Grid system for the vestibule with walk-off mats (available with your store’s logo) in the interior entrance to minimize dirt, debris and moisture entering the store.

Areas: Produce, Meat & Seafood Counters, Deli

Produce areas can be wet and therefore slippery. Choosing a system that is easy to maintain, water resistant and offers ample drainage is critical. Mats without proper drainage will take longer to dry and wear out faster.

Option: Light Cuisine does double-duty as an anti-fatigue mat as well as an anti-slip option. A favorite for wet areas because of its slip resistant qualities and low maintenance cleaning.

Area: Cashier Stands

Employees can stand for long periods of time, leading to fatigue and stress on their legs and backs. This fatigue can cause reduced productivity, higher workers compensation claims and even injuries.

Option: Luxury King is an anti-fatigue product available as mats or rolled goods suitable for dry areas.

Area: Pharmacy

Like cashiers, pharmacists stand for many hours at a time while filling prescriptions and working with customers. Unlike cash registers though, the work area for pharmacy employees often covers the whole pharmacy area and may require a larger option than a smaller mat.

Option: Preference Eze is the best of both worlds – a durable carpet top with foam backing for anti-fatigue purposes. Designed and manufactured exclusively by the Matworks, this product is a favorite of pharmacists.

These are just a few areas to think about when considering flooring options in a grocery store. Factors such as geography, foot traffic, maintenance and store layout also need to be analyzed when making purchasing decisions.

As an expert in retail flooring, we can help you identify areas where consumers may perceive shortcomings in your store’s entryway and beyond. Contact us with any questions and we will respond with a custom solution: info@thematworks.com.

 

About The Matworks

The Matworks is a team of individuals with vast industry knowledge, committed to supporting the core values of its employees and customers. By taking a holistic approach, we are positioned to understand the needs, challenges and risks associated with all flooring solutions.

The Matworks offers more than four decades of expertise combined with the dexterity to be entrepreneurial, we are more than a flooring company – we are risk managers, business advisors and partners in your success. Our comprehensive flooring solutions are designed to meet the unique needs of each of our customers.

Not Your Ordinary Entrance – Using a Variety of Products to Mitigate Risk While Maintaining a Beautiful Look

We’ve discussed options for entrances, from using high-density carpet tiles to heavy-duty grid systems in highly trafficked areas. We know from more than 50 years in this business that entrance systems are critical to reducing maintenance costs and mitigating risks. But how do you know which entrance system or product is the right one for your environment?

While there is no one-size-fits-all solution because every entrance and environment is unique, there are a number of important factors we take into consideration when evaluating an entrance from a risk management perspective. The following are general criteria we evaluate when recommending an entrance system. It’s important to remember that entrances often involve multiple products for various zones (i.e. outside entrance, vestibule and interior entrance).

TYPE OF RETAIL

Retail encompasses a broad range of categories from grocery to home improvement to consumer retail goods for example. Each of these may require a different entrance solution to address the following concerns – store traffic, shopping cart loads, type of goods transported through the entrance, weather, etc. A store specializing in home improvement goods located in an area where moisture is high would use a different solution than a pharmacy located in a dry climate for instance.

Product spotlight:

Grid systems are ideal for high traffic entrances where heavy loads are typical and moisture is a factor. These systems offer flexible configurations, easily replaced sections and considerably reduce moisture going into a store to lower the chances of slips and falls.

 

GEOGRAPHY/WEATHER

As mentioned above, the type of entrance and retail category can influence the type of entrance solution recommended. Another important factor is the location of the store as well as weather considerations. A grocery store in the Pacific Northwest will require moisture-reducing solutions more than a store in Florida might.

 

Product spotlight:

Using the example above, the right entrance solution may encompass the use of several different types of products. A combination of high-density carpet tiles in a vestibule plus walk-off mats in the interior entrance may offer the best coverage against wet floors and potential risks associated with moisture.

DURABILITY & MAINTENANCE

Often overlooked when considering what entrance solution is right for your organization, maintenance can be a huge factor in reducing risks. If an entrance is outfitted with the wrong product for its environment and not maintained properly, liabilities increase. For example, a low-quality carpet tile is installed and not maintained regularly so dirt, debris and moisture erode the adhesive and tiles begin to pop up or curl. This creates a tripping hazard for consumers entering the store and a big liability for your organization.

 

Product Spotlight:

Monster Tile, an exclusive Matworks product, is high quality, durable and versatile and reduces slips and falls while improving the appearance of entrances.

To summarize, selecting the right products using a thorough approach and analysis is the key to implementing an entrance system that reduces risks while maintaining your brand’s aesthetic.

As an expert in retail flooring, we can help you identify areas where consumers may perceive shortcomings in your store’s entryway and beyond. Contact us with any questions and we will respond with a custom solution: info@thematworks.com.

 

About The Matworks

The Matworks is a team of individuals with vast industry knowledge, committed to supporting the core values of its employees and customers. By taking a holistic approach, we are positioned to understand the needs, challenges and risks associated with all flooring solutions.

The Matworks offers more than four decades of expertise combined with the dexterity to be entrepreneurial, we are more than a flooring company – we are risk managers, business advisors and partners in your success. Our comprehensive flooring solutions are designed to meet the unique needs of each of our customers.

Retail Case Study: Just How Important is An Entrance Solution to ROI?

One of our long-time customers, a national grocery chain, asked us to provide an analysis of whether or not an entrance system can reduce the costs associated with slips and falls and also provide an estimate of the ultimate expense to the organization’s bottom line.

We started this analysis by taking a look at national statistics related to slips and falls to understand the landscape and gleaned the following insights:

  • Slips and falls are the leading cause of worker’s compensation claims
  • Floors and flooring materials contribute directly to more than two million fall injuries each year
  • 85% of worker’s compensation claims are attributed to employees slipping on slick floors
  • 22% of slip and fall incidents resulted in more than 31 days away from work for each injured worker
  • 65% of all lost workdays are due to slip/fall accidents
  • Slips and falls account for over one million hospital emergency room visits

(Source: http://www.nfmt.com/handouts/baltimore/2015/R2_39.pdf)

As we suspected, flooring and floor maintenance play a huge role in the impact of slips and falls to a company. Using this information as a benchmark, we then began an in-depth analysis for our client who expressed the following challenges:

  • Frequent and costly slip and fall claims attributed to insufficient or complete lack of entryway coverage in stores
  • Improved safety overall for consumers and employees
  • Inability to show ROI of implementing a comprehensive entrance solution program across the entire organization

Highlights of the report, using a scenario where a grocery store averages 4.5m customers per week and 3.5 incidents per million people, include:

  • Implementing an entrance system that reduces slips and falls to 2.4 incidents per million people can save $3.0m annually and prevent approximately 250 injuries
  • Over the life of the recommended entrance system (five years in this case), the client would reduce the expense of claims by nearly $13m and prevent almost 1,300 injuries

You can see the numbers are staggering and would impact an organization’s bottom line regardless of its size. To find out more about this analysis, get in touch to request a customized solution for your organization.

As an expert in retail flooring, we can help you identify areas where consumers may perceive shortcomings in your store’s entryway and beyond. Contact us with any questions and we will respond with a custom solution: info@thematworks.com.

About The Matworks

The Matworks is a team of individuals with vast industry knowledge, committed to supporting the core values of its employees and customers. By taking a holistic approach, we are positioned to understand the needs, challenges and risks associated with all flooring solutions.

 

The Matworks offers more than four decades of expertise combined with the dexterity to be entrepreneurial, we are more than a flooring company – we are risk managers, business advisors and partners in your success. Our comprehensive flooring solutions are designed to meet the unique needs of each of our customers.

 

 

 

 

Store Appearance is Critical to Retail Sales

A store’s physical appearance matters — and it does so significantly, according to several recent consumer surveys. The data shows that consumers form an opinion of a business based on physical presence, which heavily influences their decision whether or not to shop at a location.

With 95% of consumers reporting that exterior appearance is important in selecting a store to shop, the survey results suggest that retailers across the board, from restaurants to big-box outlets, should focus on the external presentation of their location to ensure there are satisfied customers inside.

More than two-thirds of consumers say they have avoided a place of business based on its external appearance, which could drastically impact your company’s bottom line.

So what can you do to ensure your customers return and have a positive impression? At the very least, your organization should evaluate the external presentation of your stores as part of you overall marketing efforts. And ask yourself these three questions:

  • What message is our business sending to potential customers?
  • Are we turning potential customers away without knowing it?; and
  • Is the environment of our location consistent with our target customers’ expectations?

We’ve created this useful graphic to illustrate the findings in this survey:

Store Appearance Infographic

 

As an expert in retail flooring, we can help you identify areas where consumers may perceive shortcomings in your store’s entryway and beyond. Contact us with any questions and we will respond with a custom solution: info@thematworks.com.

About The Matworks

The Matworks is a team of individuals with vast industry knowledge, committed to supporting the core values of its employees and customers. By taking a holistic approach, we are positioned to understand the needs, challenges and risks associated with all flooring solutions.

The Matworks offers more than four decades of expertise combined with the dexterity to be entrepreneurial, we are more than a flooring company – we are risk managers, business advisors and partners in your success. Our comprehensive flooring solutions are designed to meet the unique needs of each of our customers.

 

Design Solutions & Trends: Moving Beyond the Uniformity of Wall-to-Wall With Carpet Tiles

Carpet tiles, also known as carpet squares or modular carpet, have gained popularity in commercial design for their flexibility, cost and aesthetics. In many instances, carpet tiles are a better alternative than wall-to-wall in a retail setting because of the ability to rotate or replace individual tiles due to heavy foot traffic or wear. From a design perspective, carpet tiles are a great solution to incorporate an organization’s color palette or create unique designs by interchanging colors or patterns without incurring additional costs.

In deciding whether to use carpet tiles or wall-to-wall, consider these qualities:

Styles of Carpet Tile

Carpet tiles come in many different styles and colors. They are available in:

  • Various sizes
  • Multiple fiber types
  • Pile styles

This means there is likely a carpet tile equivalent for the same product available in rolled goods. Aside from the format, the major difference between standard carpet rolls is the tile backing material. Carpet tile backing material options include: vinyl, fiberglass, vinyl/fiberglass, urethane, woven polypropylene, and recycled vinyl. Quality backing systems are important because they provide stability and help carpet tiles withstand moisture and may also have anti-fatigue properties.

Along with different backing options, carpet tiles come in both non-adhesive and adhesive styles. This allows for easy removal and replacement of individual tiles, saving money on both product and installation.

Choosing The Right Product

Pros of Carpet Tiles

Carpet tiles come with a range of benefits that include:

  • Easier installation than standard rolled carpet
  • Carpet tiles can often be installed over other flooring types, such as wood, tile or vinyl.
  • Easier cleaning and care. Individual carpet tiles can be removed for cleaning, and replaced when dry. If one area of the floor becomes damaged, the tile can be replaced without replacing the entire floor.
  • Carpet tiles allow for freedom with design, allowing you to give more depth and texture to a room.
  • Many carpet tile options have enhanced stain resistance, which helps to reduce maintenance time and expenses.

Cons of Carpet Tiles

Carpet tiles also come with some disadvantages that are good to be aware of. These include:

  • The seams of the carpet tiles can be more easily seen when compared to wall-to-wall carpet rolls. Without careful installation, the seams could appear uneven.
  • Like their carpet roll counterpart, they are not ideal for areas subject to moisture and may buckle or curl if not properly installed and maintained.

With so many beneficial features, carpet tiles are a solution we often recommend as part of a comprehensive flooring evaluation. The Matworks offers expert advice for all your commercial flooring needs; email us with any questions and we will respond with a custom solution: info@thematworks.com.

About The Matworks

The Matworks is a team of individuals with vast industry knowledge, committed to supporting the core values of its employees and customers. By taking a holistic approach, we are positioned to understand the needs, challenges and risks associated with all flooring solutions.

The Matworks offers more than four decades of expertise combined with the dexterity to be entrepreneurial, we are more than a flooring company – we are risk managers, business advisors and partners in your success. Our comprehensive flooring solutions are designed to meet the unique needs of each of our customers. 

Gallant Wall System: Moving Beyond Flooring

The Matworks is continuously looking for ways to address pain points with our customers, oftentimes not related to flooring but rather other areas of retail operations. One such example is our recent innovation of the Gallant Wall System. This alternative to drywall offers a range of flexibility rarely found in commercial applications.

Why should a retailer consider the innovative Gallant Wall system? Here are the top reasons why we are testing this product and anticipate more interest from customers:

• Easier to Install: Can be installed by one person where drywall requires at least two people to hold it in place.

• Faster Installation: Lead installer with 30 years of drywall experience indicated that the wall at the test site (a national discount retailer with more than 11,000 locations) would have taken three days to install drywall versus the one day it actually took to install the Gallant Wall system.

• Handling & Storage: Drywall requires heavy machinery, more manpower and takes up more space to store. Gallant Wall system arrives on a crate that can easily be moved around by a single person using a forklift.

• Gallant Wall is a finished product. Simply install and done. Eliminates
patching, taping, sanding and painting.

• Does not require special temperature conditions to be installed while drywall requires water and appropriate temperature conditions for the drywall compound.

• Strong and Durable Product: Eliminates plywood framing construction typically needed for pharmacies, cash rooms, and other special rooms.

• Reduces waste since the cut panels are reused at the ends.

Here’s a quick comparison of drywall vs. Gallant:

 

 

Feature Drywall Gallant
Extra storage space needed at jobsite X
Heavy equipment needed to move materials X
Installation requires two or more people X
Finished product X
Suitable for any environment X
Reduced installation time X

Gallant Spec Sheet

The Matworks offers expert advice for all your retail needs; email us with any questions and we will respond with a custom solution: info@thematworks.com.

About The Matworks
The Matworks is a team of individuals with vast industry knowledge, committed to supporting the core values of its employees and customers. By taking a holistic approach, we are positioned to understand the needs, challenges and risks associated with all flooring solutions.

The Matworks offers more than four decades of expertise combined with the dexterity to be entrepreneurial, we are more than a flooring company – we are risk managers, business advisors and partners in your success. Our comprehensive flooring solutions are designed to meet the unique needs of each of our customers.

New Product Spotlight: Pronto Porcelain

Pronto Porcelain, a newly introduced product by The Matworks, offers all the benefits and features of porcelain – durable, beautiful, water resistant – but without the installation headaches. This highly innovative product requires no grout, no mortar and no waxing and can be installed in one day for most surfaces.

Pronto’s wide planks offer the appearance of wood and the patented tongue and groove interlocking system eliminates grout lines, giving a more realistic and luxurious look. With a porcelain top and waterproof composite bottom, this product is flexible and incredibly easy to maintain. Because there is no grout or adhesive, these porcelain planks can be removed and re-installed should the need arise.

Pronto is currently available in four colors: dark brown, light brown, grey, white.

Pronto Spec Sheet Pronto surface
About The Matworks
The Matworks is a team of individuals with vast industry knowledge, committed to supporting the core values of its employees and customers. By taking a holistic approach, we are positioned to understand the needs, challenges and risks associated with all flooring solutions.

The Matworks offers more than four decades of expertise combined with the dexterity to be entrepreneurial, we are more than a flooring company – we are risk managers, business advisors and partners in your success. Our comprehensive flooring solutions are designed to meet the unique needs of each of our customers.

Quality is in the Details: Hand Assembled Walk-Off Mats

Since its inception in 1966, the Matworks has focused on delivering quality products and services to our customers while adopting the latest innovations and technologies to improve and enhance our offerings.

One such example is the attention to detail and craftsmanship we employ when creating rubber edged walk-off mats. These mats are custom cut, edged and sewn by hand in our facility. Each mat is given individual attention and inspected by our knowledgeable staff, many of which have been with us for more than 20 years.

Edges - UncutHand sewn edgingStitched edgingEdges Hand Glued

While ensuring a high-quality product is our primary goal, this approach also offers the customer a high level of flexibility in sizes, configurations and backing types. Unlike mass-produced mats, we can determine the right edging and bevel needed for a given application and customize a tailored solution. This is typically much faster than ordering from the manufacturer and gives us control over the quality of the output.

Maintaining these high standards for our products is something we stand by and will continue as our business grows and evolves.

The Matworks offers expert advice for all your commercial flooring needs; email us with any questions and we will respond with a custom solution: info@thematworks.com.

 

About The Matworks

The Matworks is a team of individuals with vast industry knowledge, committed to supporting the core values of its employees and customers. By taking a holistic approach, we are positioned to understand the needs, challenges and risks associated with all flooring solutions.

 

The Matworks offers more than four decades of expertise combined with the dexterity to be entrepreneurial, we are more than a flooring company – we are risk managers, business advisors and partners in your success. Our comprehensive flooring solutions are designed to meet the unique needs of each of our customers.

 

Entrance Mats: A Simple Way to Reduce Interior Maintenance Costs

An estimated 80% of soil brought into a facility is carried in on our shoes, and according to one study, the cost to remove dirt and debris is 63 cents per customer per year. Even a cursory estimate for a mid-sized retailer shows floor maintenance costs are a high dollar expense. So without reducing the amount of foot traffic entering your store, how can your organization save on maintenance costs?

Most experts agree – an effective entrance matting system is the right solution to not only reduce maintenance costs but also to improve safety, protect your investment in interior flooring, improve your image, create a better first impression and achieve better indoor air quality.

With so many products, configurations and considerations today it’s hard to know what the right entrance system is, but here are a few key details the Matworks has learned after almost 50 years in the commercial flooring industry:

Size Matters

  • For high traffic entrances, the larger the matting system the better
  • Providing a longer mat – no matter the size of the entrance – means more surface area to capture dirt, debris and moisture
  • A good rule of thumb for running length is as follows:

 

Weather Conditions # of Walking Steps # of Feet Based on an Average 30 inch Pace
Snow 10-12 25 – 30 feet
Rain 8-10 20 – 25 feet
Dry 6-8 15 – 20 feet

 

Matting Styles

 

  • Walk-off mats are an economical and easy way to maintain your first line of defense; these solutions offer flexibility without sacrificing quality
  • Scraper mats are typically constructed of high-density polypropylene fiber, which is coarser and traps more dirt and debris. These products can be surface-mounted or recessed and come in tiles for easy maintenance and replacement.
  • Grid systems (also known as drop-through systems) are the workhorse solution for high-traffic entrances or in environments where moisture is a consideration. Typically constructed from a combination of aluminum and high-density polypropylene carpet or PVC, these systems can withstand heavy loads and are useful indoors or out.

 

Through our experience, we recognize there are many factors to evaluate when determining what type of entrance system or combination of systems, is appropriate. For more information about the solutions we provide, visit the Entrance Solutions section of our site. 

 

The Matworks offers expert advice for all your commercial flooring needs; email us with any questions and we will respond with a custom solution: info@thematworks.com.

 

About The Matworks

The Matworks is a team of individuals with vast industry knowledge, committed to supporting the core values of its employees and customers. By taking a holistic approach, we are positioned to understand the needs, challenges and risks associated with all flooring solutions.

 

The Matworks offers more than four decades of expertise combined with the dexterity to be entrepreneurial, we are more than a flooring company – we are risk managers, business advisors and partners in your success. Our comprehensive flooring solutions are designed to meet the unique needs of each of our customers.

 

 

 

 

The True Cost of Slips and Falls

Slips and falls are a major concern for retailers and businesses. According to a report by Zurich North America that focuses on hazards related to snow and ice, the average cost of a slip and fall to an organization is $30,670. In addition to claims by consumers there are also a high number of incidents reported by workers. For a retailer with thousands of visitors per year and hundreds of employees, these claims can cost millions. The good news is the number of claims can be reduced if the right maintenance and flooring plan is in place.

We recommend the following best practices when considering how to mitigate risk in your entrance or lobby:

1. Be sure to have an expert evaluate all of the factors that contribute to risks such as moisture, floor surface materials, overhead coverage and treatment of transitional areas between parking areas and the entrance.

2. Vestibules should have recessed grid systems or permanent carpet installed that act as scrapers on shoe bottoms to remove dirt, debris and moisture.

3. Quality matting, inlaid carpet tiles or permanent carpet tiles with beveled edges should be provided at the interior door threshold and extend 15 to 20 feet into the building to provide additional wiping of shoe bottoms.

4. Maintenance is as critical as the products or systems chosen.

5. The use of caution or wet floor signs is highly recommended to give employees and consumers notice that the floor is slippery when wet. The lack of notice is mentioned often with employee and consumer claims and may cause claim reserves to be increased significantly.

 

The Matworks offers expert advice for all your commercial flooring needs; email us with any questions and we will respond with a custom solution: info@thematworks.com.

 

About The Matworks

The Matworks is a team of individuals with vast industry knowledge, committed to supporting the core values of its employees and customers. By taking a holistic approach, we are positioned to understand the needs, challenges and risks associated with all flooring solutions.

The Matworks offers more than four decades of expertise combined with the dexterity to be entrepreneurial, we are more than a flooring company – we are risk managers, business advisors and partners in your success. Our comprehensive flooring solutions are designed to meet the unique needs of each of our customers.