The company was started by Charlie Kennedy, who served for 35 years as president of Gulistan Carpet, as well as director of development for Gulistan. Kennedy has assembled an impressive executive team with deep industry roots: Tom Pappas, national sales director; Chris Williams, director of operations; and Zach Kennedy, who heads up sales.
Make no mistake, Revolution Mills is no start-up; it is a tier 2 vendor of the National Floorcovering Alliance (NFA) and has the resources to offer dealers high performance polyester carpet (all solution dyed), carpet tile and LVT.
In an interview with FCNews, Zach Kennedy extolled the virtues of the mill’s residential offerings, which he said offer several competitive advantages. “The carpet is a step or two denser than what typically our competition is making and then our backing is unique—it’s what we call a woven fleece backing that uses a European latex with no filler.”
All Revolution Mills carpet is solution dyed and leverages high twist yarns and high-density machinery. The advantages over traditional types of carpet backing, Kennedy said, is that theirs is going to hold a stretch better, longer and with less wrinkle. “It’s going to hide seams better because you get a nice, clean cut on the back, and it’s obviously not going to damage any baseboards or walls on installation.”
The unique differences between Revolution Mills and other companies don’t end there. For example, Revolution Mills’ carpet is made in Dubai—not Dalton. Despite the perceived logistics challenge, Kennedy said he has been surprised at how competitive they have been on pricing versus the competition. “Everything we make is made on commercial gauge machines, so we’re getting more performance out of our products being made [in Dubai]. And, of course, they can do this European backing that is unique to that side of the world, so that’s really the two advantages that we have over our competition.”
In terms of pricing, Revolution Mills is not the cheapest in the market, nor the most expensive. “Polyester in general is a value price point and we’re right there with the other mills offering a nice selection at a value price point,” Kennedy explained.
Pappas, the veteran mill executive, said the most compelling thing about the carpet is the performance. As he explained, “You never have to worry about this product and the way it’s built—both the gauge and the twist level. And, of course, being solution dyed, with the cleanability, you don’t have to worry about that, either. All around, it’s an excellent product for the consumer at a good value, and that’s what it’s all about today.”
Off to a fast startZach Kennedy said that much like his early days at Phenix Flooring, Revolution Mills is on the rise, doubling its business every year with no intention of slowing down. “We’re bringing on more and more talented salespeople,” he said. “We think the sky’s the limit.”
The fact that Revolution Mills is family owned is another edge for retailers in terms of accessibility, according to Kennedy, the son of Charlie Kennedy. “If you have an issue, you can reach decision makers very quickly, and we’re easy to do business with. We can also offer dealers a strong inventory position. As of now, 95% of our carpet and 100% of our LVT and carpet tile is in stock.”
Local inventoryRevolution Mills keeps its inventory in Calhoun, Ga., and is looking to add more warehousing facilities later this year. “We’ll have inventory on the West Coast starting in March/April, so that’ll give us a leg up,” Pappas noted. “Retailers on the West Coast have always embraced people who have inventory out there. So, we definitely will be able to compete with the others that are there.”
Revolution Mills plans to showcase its products at the NFA specialty vendor show, which takes place the day before Surfaces on Jan. 31 at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, as well as on the exhibition floor at Surfaces (booth #1359). As of now, the company does business with about 50% of NFA members.
As for the mill’s position in the crowded LVT market, the company can offer retailers “heavy” inventory. “We can offer aggressive pricing thanks to low overhead, so savings can be passed on to the consumer,” Kennedy noted.