published Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

Chattanooga carpetmaker Dixie Group joins forces with Dutch tilemaker

Creeler Vickie Glover replaces an empty spool at the Dixie Group in North Georgia.
Creeler Vickie Glover replaces an empty spool at the Dixie Group in North Georgia.
Photo by Angela Lewis.
  • photo
    Dan Frierson, chairman of The Dixie Group, Inc.
    Photo by Juiliette Coughlin

Two flooring manufacturers will combine 250 years of experience to conquer the hotel market, as part of a joint venture unveiled Monday.

Chattanooga carpetmaker Dixie Group will partner with Desso Holding BV, a Netherlands-based flooring manufacturer, to offer a broader range of products to hotel operators, the companies said in a statement Monday.

Selling Dixie's carpet and Desso's tile products together will allow hotels to make one deal to outfit all of their floors instead of seeking out separate sellers and dealing with two different companies.

"Desso and Masland Contract share the same values of producing environmentally responsible flooring products that stand out in their design and functionality," said Dan Frierson, CEO of the Dixie Group. "We look forward to this exciting new venture."

Such a deal is not unusual in the competitive world of flooring. Dalton-based carpetmaker Beaulieu of America struck a similar agreement in 2009 with Armstrong flooring, allowing Armstrong to sell Beaulieu's carpet as part of a total package to builders of new homes.

Joint ventures allow each company to remain separate and focus on their strengths, while selling more of their product through another company's sales force.

Dixie is set to gain an exclusivity agreement to sell Desso tile products in the U.S., provided the joint venture goes well.

"We are delighted with the new partnership between Desso and the Dixie Group," says Alexander Collot d'Escury, CEO of Desso.

Dixie, which runs nine carpet mills and distribution centers in the U.S., will enter the joint venture through its Masland Contract brand, which is one of a handful of high-end carpet brands the company operates including Fabrica International, Masland Carpets, Dixie Home and Avant.

Desso, which offers a broad range of products in Europe and is active in more than 100 countries, operates two tile plants and a distribution center that will service the joint venture. In addition to the usual corporate offices, schools, and government customers, Desso also sells products designed for cruise ships and airlines, and could open up new markets for Dixie.

"We share the same commitment to delivering stunningly designed, innovative products that provide added value for our customers," said Desso's CEO. "Our shared values around innovation, design and green principles will enable Desso to meet its goal of expansion into the U.S. market and support our mutual growth in this high potential market."

Contact staff writer Ellis Smith at esmith@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6315.

about Ellis Smith...

Ellis Smith joined the Chattanooga Times Free Press in January 2010 as a business reporter. His beat includes the flooring industry, Chattem, Unum, Krystal, the automobile market, real estate and technology. Ellis is from Marietta, Ga., and has a bachelor’s degree in mass communication at the University of West Georgia. He previously worked at UTV-13 News, Carrollton, Ga., as a producer; at the The West Georgian, Carrollton, Ga., as editor; and at the Times-Georgian, Carrollton, ...

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