Connect with us


Four Perspectives from the Wallcoverings Association Annual Meeting

Workforce development, sustainability, and positive economic forecasts drove discussion among speakers and attendees.




“THE AVERAGE AGE of an installer is 51 years old.”

Courtesy of Clark Johnson of Finishing Chicago, an organization that represents contract wallcovering installers, that statement kicked off the annual meeting of the Wallcoverings Association (WA) in Delray Beach, Florida, where more than 150 manufacturers and distributors gathered January 28-31 for a full program of educational sessions and dedicated networking opportunities. In addition to the labor shortage, the rest of the event’s speaker lineup offered insights on sustainability, economic outlook, human resources, and demographic forecast/trends, all to better the future of the wallcoverings industry. Here are four examples:

Chris Kuehl, Armada Corporate Intelligence 
Expectations for 2023
The real GDP outlook remains flat until end of Q3 2023.
Economists can only tell you after a recession has happened.
Fifty-nine percent of the population live paycheck to paycheck.
Manufacturing construction activity is up 42.9 percent; lodging is up 30 percent, and commercial is up 20.3 percent.

Ken Gronbach, KGC Direct 
Demographic Forecast Trends

Your team and your market should be diverse.
Millennials won’t work for mean people.
Hire millennials and have them hire more millennials.

Consider demographics when looking at unique demands for the housing and wallcovering market. You need to know the size of the talent pool because it will influence the quality of your talent. Boomers are exiting the workforce. Take advantage of Boomer money.

“Want to solve the labor issue? Hire felons.
Want to solve the “pale, male, and stale?” issue? Hire women.

Claudia St. John, Affinity HR Group 
Labor Trends 2023 and Beyond
“Everyone who wants a job has a job.” 
The unemployment rate is at a record low – 3.5 percent – and it’s not expected to change any time soon. You have to go and find new hires.

Giselle Walsh, Juno Solutions Group
Sustainability Trends
“We spend 96 percent of our time indoors and the majority of that time is spent at work.” 
Use this number when selling digitally printed wallcoverings to your clients to tout the value of curated spaces like corporate interiors and residential home offices.

“Find your sustainability story and have it align with your customer’s.”

Sustainability trends – carbon neutrality; human health; diverse, equity, and inclusion (DEI); multi-attribute standards; and alignment – depend on exactly who you’re talking to. For example, interior designers and architects take sustainability seriously.

“Dollar for dollar, there’s not a product that will look this good for this long than vinyl wallcovering.”





Printvinyl Scored Print Media

New Printvinyl Scored wide-format print media features an easy-to-remove scored liner for creating decals, product stickers, packaging labels, and more. The precision-scored liner, with a 1.25” spacing on a 60” roll, guarantees a seamless and hassle-free removal process.

Promoted Headlines





Most Popular