B&M Noble Co., the manufacturer of DuChateau Floors, has announced a new initiative aimed at stopping the online sale of its products. Under the new policy, all online sales and price listings of DuChateau Floors are strictly prohibited, and all online promotion of the DuChateau brand must be expressly authorized and approved by the company. Violations of this policy will result in the retailer losing the right to sell DuChateau Floors. If the online reseller continues to use the DuChateau brand name in their marketing, search engine optimization, or any other online capacity without express written consent, they will face legal action up to the full extent of the law.
“Our company has experienced phenomenal growth over the last few years,” says co-founder Benjamin Buzali, whose company was recently named in Inc. Magazine as one of the fastest growing companies in the country, “This success has been built on strong relationships with local retailers, and we decided it was time to take a stand and tell our retailers ‘We have your back.’”
Although B&M Noble Co. has always discouraged its products from being sold online, many resellers have found ways to work around this policy, by soliciting their visitors to call in to get a quote or place an order. This will no longer be permitted. “We were the first company to bring hard-wax oil European Oak to the US market, and have always believed these floors require a personal sales approach,” says Buzali, whose company is moving into a new 45,000 sq. ft. corporate office and finishing facility in San Diego this year. “Because our floors are unique and new to many homeowners, we have always tried to reward our dealers by keeping sales in the showroom where they began. This is why we have never had a Dealer Locator on our website. We don’t think it’s right for a retailer to invest time educating the customer, only to have them go online and ‘dial for dollars’.”
With the growth of flooring sales over the Internet, many flooring manufacturers have abandoned their brick-and-mortar dealers choosing to sell their product through online resellers. Although these resellers have experienced revenue growth as a result of low-margins, many have been plagued by reports of poor service, damaged shipping claims, and delayed orders. With cheap knock-offs flooding the market, some homeowners have reported having received imitation products instead of the floor they ordered.
“Our floors are uniquely designed by our master craftsman in Holland, and cannot be sold like a book or a CD,” says Buzali, “Purchasing a hardwood floor is a big decision, and we believe this decision should be made in a showroom with a qualified expert, not over the phone or online. Our distributors and dealers invest valuable resources in selling and supporting our product, and we believe this is the right decision to help them succeed.”