September 27, 2013

Letter: Another side

— The recent announcement of the construction of a new carpet manufacturing facility in Dalton has led to the usual rosy forecasts from people in the local business community. But is there another side to this? I believe there is.

There are several factors going on that will continue to dampen the demand for carpet for some time to come. Baby boomers are a large segment of the U.S. population and are not going to vacuum carpet in their old age like their parents did. Builders of new homes seem to be almost exclusively building with hard surface floors because that is what people want, and in the restoration of older homes it’s mostly smooth surface floors.

In regards to the construction of tall buildings (skyscrapers, if you will), this segment of our economy remains depressed after 9/11. Only a handful have been built, most of which were under construction when 9/11 happened.

So what does that leave? Apartment buildings and commercial real estate. Would you want to place your future survival on that? The bottom line here is if I were a young person in the job market I don’t believe the floorcovering industry would be where I would be looking at the moment.

Charles Hyder