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UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
_______________
Form 10-K

  ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the Fiscal Year Ended January 3, 2021

  TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
Commission File No.: 001-33994
 
        INTERFACE INC         
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
Georgia 58-1451243
(State of incorporation) (I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)
1280 West Peachtree StreetAtlantaGeorgia30309
(Address of principal executive offices)(zip code)
Registrant’s telephone number, including area code:           (770) 437-6800           
Securities Registered Pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act: 
Title of Each ClassTrading Symbol(s)Name of Each Exchange on Which Registered:
Common Stock, $0.10 Par Value Per ShareTILENasdaq Global Select Market
Securities Registered Pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:              None             
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.
Yes þ No o
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act.
Yes o No þ
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes þ No o
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Date File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files). Yes þ No o
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer or a smaller reporting company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
Large accelerated filer o Accelerated filer þ  Non-accelerated filer o  Smaller reporting company   Emerging growth company  
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. o
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report. þ
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act). Yes No þ
Aggregate market value of the voting and non-voting stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant as of July 2, 2020: $438,070,155 (57,716,753 shares valued at the closing sale price of $7.59 on July 2, 2020). See Item 12.
 Number of shares outstanding of each of the registrant’s classes of Common Stock, as of February 18, 2021:
ClassNumber of Shares
Common Stock, $0.10 par value per share58,641,920

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
Portions of the Proxy Statement for the 2021 Annual Meeting of Shareholders are incorporated by reference into Part III.



TABLE OF CONTENTS
 
Page
2

Table of Contents
PART I


ITEM 1. BUSINESS
 
General
 
References in this Annual Report on Form 10-K to “Interface,” “the Company,” “we,” “our,” “ours” and “us” refer to Interface, Inc. and its subsidiaries or any of them, unless the context requires otherwise.
 
Interface is a global flooring company specializing in carpet tile and resilient flooring, including luxury vinyl tile (“LVT”) and rubber flooring.

We are a worldwide leader in design, production and sales of modular carpet, also known as carpet tile. As a global company with a reputation for high quality, reliability and premium positioning, we market modular carpet under the established brand names Interface® and FLOR®, and we market LVT under the brand Interface®. On August 7, 2018, the Company acquired nora Holding GmbH (“nora”), a worldwide leader in the rubber flooring category under the established nora brands norament® and noraplan®.

Market Segmentation

Our business, as well as the commercial interiors industry in general, is cyclical in nature and is impacted by economic conditions and trends that affect the markets for commercial and institutional business space. We believe the appeal and utilization of modular carpet and resilient flooring will continue to grow in corporate office and non-corporate office market segments, and we are using our considerable skills and experience with designing, producing and marketing modular products that make us a market leader in the corporate office segment to support and facilitate our penetration into more non-corporate office market segments around the world. The nora acquisition continues to advance the Company’s growth strategy to expand into new market segments, particularly in the healthcare, life sciences and education market segments.

 In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic impacted areas where we operate and sell our products and services. Government restrictions and shutdowns around the world resulted in lower corporate reinvestment and impacted sales in the corporate office market segment. To mitigate the effects of COVID-19 on our business, we capitalized on our ongoing market diversification strategy to increase our presence and market penetration for modular carpet and resilient flooring sales in non-corporate office market segments. As a result, our sales mix of corporate office versus non-corporate office market segments in the Americas and on a company-wide basis shifted more towards non-corporate office markets compared to prior years.

Below is a summary of our sales mix between corporate office and non-corporate office market segments for the last three fiscal years:

202020192018
Corporate OfficeNon-Corporate OfficeCorporate OfficeNon-Corporate OfficeCorporate OfficeNon-Corporate Office
Americas37 %63 %47 %53 %45 %55 %
 
Company-wide47 %53 %61 %39 %60 %40 %

Geographic Markets

We operate and sell our modular carpet and resilient flooring products and services in three principal geographic markets, the Americas, Europe and Asia-Pacific, where the percentages of our total net sales were approximately 54%, 32% and 14%, respectively, for fiscal year 2020. The percentages of our total net sales for Americas, Europe and Asia-Pacific in 2019 were 57%, 29% and 14%, respectively, and for 2018 those percentages were 58%, 27% and 15%, respectively.

3

Table of Contents
Products and Services

Modular Carpet

We produce carpet tiles in a wide variety of colors, patterns, textures, pile heights and densities. These varieties are designed to meet both the practical and aesthetic needs of a broad spectrum of commercial interiors — particularly offices, healthcare facilities, airports, educational and other institutions, hospitality spaces, and retail facilities — and residential interiors. Our carpet tile systems permit distinctive styling and patterning that can be used to complement interior designs, to set off areas for particular purposes, create visual cues, and to convey graphic information. While we continue to manufacture and sell a substantial portion of our carpet tile in standard styles, most of our modular carpet sales in the Americas and Asia-Pacific are made-to-order products designed to meet customer specifications.
 
Our modular carpet systems are marketed under the established brands Interface and FLOR. We manufacture carpet tiles cut in precise, dimensionally stable squares (usually 50 cm x 50 cm) or rectangles (such as planks and Skinny Planks) to produce a floorcovering that combines the appearance and texture of traditional soft floorcovering with the advantages of a modular carpet system. Our GlasBac® technology employs a fiberglass-reinforced polymeric composite backing that provides dimensional stability and reduces the need for adhesives or fasteners. We also make carpet tiles with a backing containing post-industrial and/or post-consumer recycled materials, which we market under the GlasBacRE brand. In addition, we make carpet tile with yarn containing varying degrees of post-consumer nylon, depending on the style and color.

In 2020, we introduced the next generation of our carpet tile backings called CQuest™ backings. Guided by materials science and inspired by nature’s carbon-storing abilities, we added new bio-based materials and more recycled content to our backings. The materials in the CQuest backings, when measured on a stand-alone basis, are net carbon negative — meaning that their global warming potential emissions are net negative. The new CQuest backings are:

CQuest™GB - The next evolution of our GlasBac backing. It features the same superior performance with a construction of post-consumer recycled content from carpet tiles, bio-based additives, and pre-consumer recycled materials.
CQuest™Bio - A non-vinyl bio-composite backing made with bio-based and recycled fillers.
CQuest™BioX - The same material make-up as CQuestBio with a higher concentration of carbon negative materials.

Our i2™ modular product line, which includes our popular Entropy® product features mergeable dye lots, and includes a number of carpet tile products that are designed to be installed randomly without reference to the orientation of neighboring tiles. The i2 line offers cost-efficient installation and maintenance, interactive flexibility, and recycled and recyclable materials. Our TacTiles® carpet tile installation system uses small squares of adhesive plastic film to connect intersecting carpet tiles, thus eliminating the need for traditional carpet adhesive and resulting in a reduction in installation time and material waste.

We also produce and sell a specially adapted version of our carpet tile for the healthcare facilities market. Our carpet tile possesses characteristics — such as the use of the Intersept® antimicrobial, static-controlling nylon yarns, and thermally pigmented, colorfast yarns — which make it suitable for use in these facilities in place of hard surface flooring. Moreover, we launched our FLOR line of products to specifically target modular carpet sales to the residential market segment, and in recent years FLOR products have had crossover success in commercial markets. In addition, we have created modular carpet products specifically designed for each of the education, hospitality and retail market segments.

The award-winning design firm David Oakey Designs has had a pivotal role in developing many of our innovative product designs. David Oakey Designs has developed products that are manufactured using state-of-the-art tufting technology which allows us to pinpoint tufts of different colored yarns in virtually any arrangement within a carpet tile. These unique designs are best exemplified by our Urban Retreat®, Net Effect®, Human Nature® and World Woven® collections, which are sold throughout our international operations.


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In 2020, we achieved a substantial milestone in our journey toward becoming a sustainable enterprise. Simultaneously with the launch of our new CQuest backings described above, we introduced in the Americas our first ever “cradle-to-gate” carbon negative carpet tile products in three unique styles: Shishu Stitch™, Tokyo Texture™, and Zen Stitch™. These pioneering products, which are part of our Embodied Beauty™ collection, are created with a combination of our new CQuestBioX carpet backing (featuring new bio-based materials and more recycled content), specialty yarns and tufting processes that create a carpet tile with a net negative value of “embodied carbon”. Embodied carbon is the carbon footprint (meaning the global warming potential of emissions of greenhouse gases measured in carbon dioxide equivalents) of a product from raw material creation, growth and extraction (the “cradle”) through processing until it is packaged and ready to be shipped from our factory (the “gate”), thus referred to as “cradle-to-gate” in the life cycle assessment of a product. Embodied carbon is distinct from operational carbon, which refers to the carbon footprint of everything that happens after the product leaves our factory, such as shipment, customer use, and end of life.

In addition, through our third party verified Carbon Neutral Floors™ program, all of our carpet tile, LVT and norament and noraplan rubber flooring products are made carbon neutral across their entire life cycle, including both embodied carbon and operational carbon, by our purchase and retirement of third party verified carbon offsets.

We believe our cradle-to-gate carbon negative carpet tile products and our Carbon Neutral Floors program provide us with a competitive advantage, particularly with our global account customers who are increasingly setting their own goals to reduce their carbon footprints.

Modular Resilient Flooring

In 2016, we began offering a category of products we call modular resilient flooring, and our first product introductions into this category were LVT products in the U.S. LVT shares many of the same attributes and benefits as carpet tile. In 2017, we launched our LVT products globally, beginning with the Level Set™ Collection which is available in styles with printed top layers in a variety of aesthetic looks, including natural woodgrains and stones, textured woodgrains, and patterns. These LVT products are modular and come in sizes that match certain of our modular carpet tile planks and squares. Some of them are engineered to the same or similar height as our modular carpet, which means our customers have the ability to install our LVT and modular carpet products side by side without transition strips or layering. In addition, some of our LVT products include a backing system that provides acoustic insulation without the need for additional underlayment, which can reduce the impact of sound within a space.

Rubber Flooring
 
With the acquisition of nora in 2018, we began offering rubber flooring products under the established noraplan and norament brands which enhances the Company’s fast-growing resilient flooring portfolio. Rubber flooring is ideal for applications that require hygienic, safe flooring with strong chemical resistance. Rubber flooring is extremely durable compared to other flooring alternatives.

Other Products and Services
 
We sell a proprietary antimicrobial chemical compound under the registered trademark Intersept that we incorporate in some of our modular carpet products. We also sell our TacTiles carpet tile installation system, along with a variety of traditional adhesives and products for carpet installation and maintenance that are manufactured by a third party. We also continue to provide “turnkey” project management services for a number of global accounts and other large customers through our InterfaceSERVICES™ business.  

Manufacturing and Raw Materials

We manufacture carpet tile at two locations in the United States and at facilities in the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Thailand, China and Australia. We manufacture rubber flooring in Germany.


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Our raw materials are generally available from multiple sources — both regionally and globally — with the exception of synthetic fiber (nylon yarn).  For yarn, we principally rely upon two major global suppliers, but we also have significant relationships with at least two other suppliers.  Although our number of principal yarn suppliers is limited, we do have the capability to manufacture carpet using face fiber produced from two separate polymer feedstocks — nylon 6 and nylon 6,6 — which provides additional flexibility with respect to yarn supply inputs, if needed.  Our global sourcing strategy, including with respect to our principal yarn suppliers and dual polymer manufacturing capability, allows us to help guard against any potential shortages of raw materials or raw material suppliers in a specific polymer supply chain. For rubber flooring, the key polymer raw materials are available from multiple sources and we can source both synthetic and natural rubber depending on product specification and material availability.

We have a flexible-inputs carpet backing line, which we call Cool Blue™, at our modular carpet manufacturing facility in LaGrange, Georgia. This custom-designed backing line dramatically improves our ability to keep reclaimed and waste carpet in the production “technical loop,” and further permits us to explore other plastics and polymers as inputs. For example, our knowledge and experience with the Cool Blue line helped us in the development of our new CQuest backings described above. We also have technology that more cleanly separates the face fiber and backing of reclaimed and waste carpet, thus making it easier to recycle some of its components and providing a purer supply of inputs for the Cool Blue process. This technology, which is part of our ReEntry®2.0 carpet reclamation program, allows us to send some of the reclaimed face fiber back to our fiber supplier to be blended with virgin or other post-industrial materials and extruded into new fiber.
 
The environmental management systems of our floorcovering manufacturing facilities in LaGrange, Georgia, West Point, Georgia, Northern Ireland, the Netherlands, Thailand, China and Australia are certified under International Standards Organization (ISO) Standard No. 14001. Nora’s manufacturing facility, which is located in Weinheim, Germany, is ISO14001 certified as well and sells the majority of its products with the Blauer Engel label. Blauer Engel is the leading German institute that recognizes products that have environmentally friendly aspects.

Sales and Marketing

We distribute our products through two primary channels: (1) direct sales to end users; and (2) indirect sales through independent contractors, installers and distributors.  We have traditionally focused our carpet marketing strategy on major accounts, seeking to build lasting relationships with national and multinational end-users, and on architects, interior designers, engineers, contracting firms, and other specifiers who often make or significantly influence purchasing decisions. While the corporate office market segment, including new construction and renovation, is our largest, we also emphasize sales in other market segments, including retail space, government institutions, schools and educational facilities, healthcare facilities, tenant improvement space, hospitality centers, residences and home office space. Our marketing efforts are enhanced by the established and well-known brand names of our carpet products, including Interface and FLOR, as well as the strength of the nora rubber flooring brands of noraplan and norament.  
 
An important part of our marketing and sales efforts involves the preparation of custom-made samples of requested carpet designs, in conjunction with the development of innovative product designs and styles to meet the customer’s particular needs. In most cases, we can produce samples to customer specifications in less than five days, which significantly enhances our marketing and sales efforts and has increased our volume of higher margin made-to-order or custom sales. In addition, through our websites, we have made it easy to view and request samples of our products. We also use technology which allows us to provide digital, simulated samples of our products, which helps reduce raw material and energy consumption associated with our samples.
 
We primarily use our internal marketing and sales force teams to market our flooring products. In order to implement our global marketing efforts, we have product showrooms or design studios in the United States, Canada, Mexico, England, France, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands, India, Australia, Norway, United Arab Emirates, Russia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, China and elsewhere. We may open offices in other locations around the world as necessary to capitalize on emerging marketing opportunities.

Business Strategy and Principal Initiatives

Our business strategy is to continue to use our leading position in modular carpet, product design and global made-to-order capabilities as a platform from which to position our modular carpet, LVT products and rubber flooring products across several industry segments.


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We will seek to increase revenues and profitability by pursuing the following key initiatives:

Continue to Penetrate Non-Corporate Office Market Segments. We plan to continue our strategic focus on product design and marketing and sales efforts for non-corporate office market segments such as government, education, healthcare, hospitality, and residential living. We began this initiative as part of a market diversification strategy to reduce our exposure to the economic cyclicality of the corporate office segment, and it has become a principal strategy generally for growing our business and enhancing profitability.  

Develop a Substantial Resilient Flooring Business. Building upon the success of our products into the high growth LVT market, we plan to expand our LVT product offerings while also seeking to introduce new products in the resilient flooring category. We believe our ability to offer and sell our soft and hard surfaces in an integrated flooring design helps meet the needs of our customers by complementing and enhancing our carpet tile portfolio with true modular installation, no transition strips between surfaces, carpet tile and resilient products that are in some cases the same size and shape, and favorable acoustic properties. Our acquisition of nora, with its rubber flooring products, is also a key component of our strategy in this area.

Sustain Leadership in Product Design and Development. Our CQuest backings and our plank, Skinny Plank, and i2 products and TacTiles installation system have confirmed our position as an innovation leader in modular carpet. We will continue initiatives to sustain, augment and capitalize upon that strength to continue to increase our market share in targeted market segments. Our Climate Take Back initiative, which was advanced in 2020 with the launch of our first ever cradle-to-gate carbon negative carpet tile, and our Mission Zero initiative promote our sustainability commitment.

Seasonality
 
Historically, sales in our first quarter had typically been our lowest quarter while our fourth quarter sales had typically been our best quarter, as sales generally increased throughout the course of the fiscal year.  However, in recent years, as our sales efforts and results in the education and other non-corporate office market segments have increased, our second and third quarter sales have sometimes been the highest. In 2020, our first quarter sales were the highest quarter, as the COVID-19 pandemic escalated and more severely impacted the remainder of the year.

Competition
 
We compete, on a global basis, in the sale of our modular carpet products with other carpet manufacturers and manufacturers of vinyl and other types of floorcoverings, including broadloom carpet. Although the industry has experienced significant consolidation, a large number of manufacturers remain in the industry. We believe we are the largest manufacturer of modular carpet in the world. However, a number of domestic and foreign competitors manufacture modular carpet as one segment of their business, and some of these competitors have financial resources greater than ours. In addition, some of the competing carpet manufacturers have the ability to extrude at least some of their requirements for fiber used in carpet products, which decreases their dependence on third party suppliers of fiber.

We believe the principal competitive factors in our primary floorcovering markets are brand recognition, quality, design, service, broad product lines, product performance, marketing strategy, pricing and sustainability. In the corporate office market segment, modular carpet competes with various floorcoverings including broadloom carpet, LVT and polished concrete. We believe the quality, service, design, better and longer average product performance, flexibility (design options, selective rotation or replacement, use in combination with our resilient products), sustainability and convenience of our modular carpet are our principal competitive advantages.
 
We believe we have competitive advantages in several other areas as well. First, having both an internal design staff as well as our relationship with David Oakey Designs allows us to introduce numerous innovative and attractive carpet tile and resilient products to our customers. Additionally, we believe that our global carpet tile manufacturing capabilities are an important competitive advantage in serving the needs of multinational corporate customers. We believe that the incorporation of the Intersept antimicrobial chemical agent into the backing of some modular carpet products enhances our ability to compete successfully across all of our market segments.
 

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Our sustainability goals are a brand-enhancing, competitive strength as well as a strategic initiative. Our customers are increasingly concerned about the environmental and broader ecological implications of their operations and the products they use in them. Our leadership, knowledge and expertise in the area, especially in the “green building” movement and related environmental certification programs, resonate deeply with many of our customers and prospects around the globe. Our modular carpet products historically have had inherent installation and maintenance advantages that have translated into greater efficiency and waste reduction. We are using raw materials and production technologies, such as our Cool Blue backing line, our ReEntry 2.0 reclaimed carpet separation process, and our new CQuest™ backings, that directly reduce the adverse impact of those operations on the environment and limit our dependence on petrochemicals. 

Product Design, Research and Development
 
We maintain an active research, development and design staff of approximately 90 people and also draw on the research and development efforts of our suppliers, particularly in the areas of fibers, yarns and modular carpet backing materials. The research and development team provides us with technical support and advanced materials research and development. Innovation and increased customization in product design and styling are the principal focus of our product development efforts, and this focus has led to several design breakthroughs such as our plank and Skinny Plank products, as well as our i2 product line. Our carpet design and development team is recognized as an industry leader in carpet design and product engineering for the commercial and institutional markets.

David Oakey Designs provides carpet design and consulting services to us pursuant to a consulting agreement, and this firm augments our internal research, development and design staff. David Oakey Designs’ services under the agreement include creating commercial carpet designs for use by our modular carpet businesses throughout the world, and overseeing product development, design and coloration functions for our modular carpet business in North America. The agreement can be terminated by either party upon six months prior written notice to the other party.

In 2020, we launched our first ever cradle-to-gate carbon negative carpet tile. Our goal is to offer products with the lowest carbon footprint possible and products that go beyond neutral to help maintain a climate fit for life. Our carbon negative carpet tile features carbon negative materials in the CQuestBioX backing in combination with specialty yarns and tufting processes. We have developed innovative ways to work with recycled content and bio-based materials, which has led us to make carpet tiles that store carbon, preventing its release into the atmosphere.
 
For our nora rubber flooring products, the innovation focus is on performance and design. A recent innovation is the fast growing self-adhesive nTx solution for nora tiles and sheet goods. Recent step changes in design are noraplan Iona introducing a rubber on rubber print, noraplan valua introducing natural woodlike colors and embossing, and noraplan unita that incorporates real granite parts in a rubber floor. The combination of performance and design makes nora the recognized market leader in rubber flooring.

Environmental and Sustainability Initiatives
 
Our sustainability strategy that we refer to as Mission Zero, is aimed at reducing waste, environmental footprint and costs. With our Climate Take Back initiative we seek to lead industry in designing and making products in ways that will maintain a climate fit for life. Our Mission Zero and Climate Take Back logos appear on many of our marketing and merchandising materials distributed throughout the world. With our new CQuest™GB, CQuest™Bio and CQuest™BioX backings we are able to use more bio-based and recycled materials. As more customers in our target markets share our view that sustainability is an important factor it will become a determining factor in purchasing and design decisions.
 
A high point in our pursuit of sustainability was our creation with the Zoological Society of London of a program called Net-Works® in which we’ve worked with communities in the Philippines to collect discarded fishing nets that are damaging a large coral reef, and divert them to our yarn supplier where they are recycled into new carpet fiber. Net-Works provides a source of income for members of these communities in the Philippines, while also cleaning up the beaches and waters where they live and work. Our Net Effect Collection of carpet tile products, among others, contains yarn that is partly made from the recycled fishing nets collected through the Net-Works program. Net-Works is a big step in redesigning our supply chain from a linear take-make-waste process toward a closed loop system, and it advances our ultimate goal of becoming a restorative enterprise.


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Compliance with Government Regulations
 
We are subject to various federal, state and foreign laws and regulations that address various aspects of our business such as worker safety, privacy, trade sanctions and anticorruption. In addition, our operations are subject to laws and regulations relating to the generation, storage, handling, emission, transportation and discharge of materials into the environment. The costs of complying with these laws and regulations have not had a material adverse impact on our financial condition or results of operations in the past and are not expected to have a material adverse impact in the future. The environmental management systems of our floorcovering manufacturing facilities in LaGrange, Georgia, West Point, Georgia, Northern Ireland, the Netherlands, Thailand, China, Germany and Australia are certified under ISO Standard No. 14001.

Backlog
 
Our backlog of unshipped orders was approximately $177.7 million at February 7, 2021, compared with approximately $177.8 million at February 9, 2020. Historically, backlog is subject to significant fluctuations due to the timing of orders for individual large projects and currency fluctuations. Disruptions in supply and distribution chains, global travel restrictions and government shelter in place orders due to the impact of COVID-19 have resulted in delays of construction projects and flooring installations in many regions worldwide.
 
Patents and Trademarks
 
We own numerous patents in the United States and abroad on floorcovering products and on manufacturing processes. The duration of United States patents is between 14 and 20 years from the date of filing of a patent application or issuance of the patent; the duration of patents issued in other countries varies from country to country. We maintain an active patent and trade secret program in order to protect our proprietary technology, know-how and trade secrets. Although we consider our patents to be very valuable assets, we consider our know-how and technology even more important to our current business than patents, and, accordingly, believe that expiration of existing patents or non-issuance of patents under pending applications would not have a material adverse effect on our operations.
 
We also own many trademarks in the United States and abroad. In addition to the United States, the primary jurisdictions in which we have registered our trademarks are the European Union, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and various countries in Central America, South America and Asia. Some of our more prominent registered trademarks include: Interface, FLOR, Intersept, GlasBac, Mission Zero, norament, noraplan, nTX solution, noraplan unita, noraplan valua and Net-Works. Trademark registrations in the United States are valid for a period of 10 years and are renewable for additional 10-year periods as long as the mark remains in actual use. The duration of trademarks registered in other jurisdictions varies.
  
Human Capital

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have implemented various measures to protect the physical health, mental health, and productivity of our workforce. These measures include, but are not limited to, daily health self-assessments prior to entering an office or manufacturing facility, enhanced cleaning and sanitizing within our facilities, and face covering requirements. In addition, we have adopted new policies and procedures for our employees and have taken steps within our workplaces to promote social distancing. Almost all of our salesforce and administrative employees globally continue to work remotely.

Interface is a purpose-driven company with a passionate team that shares a unique set of values. Our core values represent who we are, how we see the world, how we treat each other and our external customers and stakeholders, and how we approach our work every day. These core values are:

Design a better way;
Be genuine and generous;
Inspire others;
Connect the whole; and
Embrace tomorrow, today.

At January 3, 2021, we employed a total of 3,742 employees worldwide. Of such total, 1,579 were clerical, staff, sales, supervisory and management personnel and 2,163 were manufacturing personnel. We also utilized the services of 116 temporary personnel as of January 3, 2021.
 

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Some of our employees in Australia, the United Kingdom and China are represented by unions. In the Netherlands, a Works Council, the members of which are Interface employees, is required to be consulted by management with respect to certain matters relating to our operations in that country, such as a change in control of Interface Europe B.V. (our modular carpet subsidiary based in the Netherlands), and the approval of the Council is required for some of our actions, including changes in compensation scales or employee benefits. The majority of our employees in Germany are members of a Works Council as well. Our management believes that its relations with the Works Councils, the unions and all of our employees are good.

Information About Our Executive Officers 
 
Our executive officers, their ages as of January 3, 2021, and their principal positions with us are set forth below. Executive officers serve at the pleasure of the Board of Directors.
 
NameAgePrincipal Position(s)
Daniel T. Hendrix66President and Chief Executive Officer
David B. Foshee50Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary
Bruce A. Hausmann51Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
James Poppens56Vice President (President - Americas)
Nigel Stansfield53Vice President (President - Europe, Africa, Australia, and Asia)

Mr. Hendrix joined us in 1983 after having worked previously for a national accounting firm. He was promoted to Treasurer in 1984, Chief Financial Officer in 1985, Vice President-Finance in 1986, Senior Vice President in October 1995, Executive Vice President in October 2000, and President and Chief Executive Officer in July 2001. He was elected to the Board in October 1996 and has served on the Executive Committee of the Board since July 2001. In October 2011, Mr. Hendrix was elected as Chairman of the Board of Directors. Mr. Hendrix retired from the positions of President and Chief Executive Officer in March 2017 (while remaining Chairman of the Board), and subsequently was re-elected as President and Chief Executive Officer in January 2020.

Mr. Foshee, who previously practiced with an Atlanta-based international law firm, joined us in October 1999 as Associate Counsel. He was promoted to Assistant Secretary in April 2002, Senior Counsel in April 2006, Assistant Vice President in April 2007, Vice President in July 2012, Associate General Counsel in May 2014, and Secretary and General Counsel in January 2017.
 
Mr. Hausmann joined us in April 2017 as Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.  He came to us from the food, facilities and uniform services supplier Aramark Corporation, where he served as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for Aramark’s Uniform business unit since 2009, and for Aramark’s Direct Store Delivery segment since 2014.  Prior to joining Aramark, he served as Vice President and Segment Controller for the Interactive Media Group of The Walt Disney Company, which he joined in 2002.  He has also previously held finance and controller positions with several software and internet companies and is a certified public accountant (inactive status) in the State of California.

Mr. Poppens joined us in 2017 to lead the restructuring of our FLOR business and most recently served as Vice President of Corporate Marketing and was responsible for the global Interface brand, digital strategy, global product commercialization planning and leading the FLOR business. He was named President for our Americas business in February 2020. Prior to joining us, Mr. Poppens held leadership roles at Newell Rubbermaid, Kellogg Company, REI, and Coca-Cola.

Mr. Stansfield was the Operations Manager for Firth Carpets (our former European broadloom operations) at the time it was acquired by us in 1997.  For two years following that acquisition, Mr. Stansfield served as Manufacturing Systems Manager, part of a global project team that designed and implemented manufacturing software systems at seven of our manufacturing plants.  In 1999, he returned to Firth Carpets as Operations Director.  In 2002, he became a member of our European research and development team focusing on our sustainability initiatives, and in 2004, he became Product and Innovations Director for all of our European Operations.  In 2010, he joined our European management team as Senior Vice President of Product, Design and Innovation, before being named Vice President and Chief Innovations Officer for the Company in March 2012.  In December 2016, he became President of our business serving Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and in January 2019 he assumed responsibility for the Asia-Pacific region as well.  
 
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Available Information
 
We make available free of charge on or through our Internet website our annual report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K and amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file such material with, or furnish it to, the SEC. Our Internet address is http://www.interface.com. The SEC maintains a website that contains annual, quarterly and current reports, proxy statements and other information that issuers (including the Company) file electronically with the SEC. The SEC’s website is http://www.sec.gov.
 
Interface, Inc. was incorporated in 1973 as a Georgia corporation.

Forward-Looking Statements
 
This report on Form 10-K contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Securities Act of 1933, the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as “believes,” “anticipates,” “plans,” “expects” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements include statements regarding the intent, belief or current expectations of our management team, as well as the assumptions on which such statements are based. Any forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated by such forward-looking statements. We undertake no obligation to update or revise forward-looking statements to reflect changed assumptions, the occurrence of unanticipated events or changes to future operating results over time. Important factors currently known to management that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in forward-looking statements include risks and uncertainties associated with economic conditions in the commercial interiors industry as well as the risks and uncertainties discussed below in Item 1A, “Risk Factors.”
 
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ITEM 1A. RISK FACTORS 
 
You should carefully consider the following factors, in addition to the other information included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K and the other documents incorporated herein by reference, before deciding whether to purchase or sell our common stock. Any or all of the following risk factors could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
 
Risk Factors Related to COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic could have a material adverse effect on our ability to operate, our ability to keep employees safe from the pandemic, our results of operations, financial condition, liquidity, capital investments, our near term and long term ability to stay in compliance with debt covenants under our Syndicated Credit Facility and Senior Notes, our ability to refinance our existing indebtedness, and our ability to obtain financing in capital markets.

The World Health Organization has declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic, and the virus continues to spread in areas where we operate and sell our products and services. The COVID-19 pandemic and similar issues in the future could have a material adverse effect on: our ability to operate; our ability to keep employees safe from the pandemic; our results of operations, financial condition, liquidity and capital investments; our near term and long term ability to stay in compliance with debt covenants under our Syndicated Credit Facility and Senior Notes; our ability to refinance our existing indebtedness; and our ability to gain financing in the capital markets.

Public health organizations have recommended, and many governments have implemented, measures from time to time during the pandemic to slow and limit the transmission of the virus, including certain business shutdowns and shelter in place and social distancing requirements. Such preventive measures, or others we may voluntarily put in place, may have a material adverse effect on our business for an indefinite period of time, such as: the potential shut down of certain locations; decreased employee availability; potential border closures; and disruptions to the businesses of our selling channel partners, and others.

Our suppliers and customers may also face these and other challenges, which could lead to a disruption in our supply chain, raw material inflation or the inability to get the raw materials necessary to produce our products, increased shipping and transport costs, as well as decreased construction and renovation spending and decreased demand for our products and services. These issues may also materially affect our current and future access to sources of liquidity, particularly our cash flows from operations, and access to financing from the capital markets. Although these disruptions may continue to occur, the long-term economic impact and near-term financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, including but not limited to, potential near-term or long-term risk of asset impairment, restructuring, and other charges, cannot be reliably quantified or estimated at this time due to the uncertainty of future developments.

Sales of our principal products have been and may continue to be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, adverse economic cycles, and effects in the new construction market and renovation market.

Sales of our principal products are related to the renovation and construction of commercial and institutional buildings. This activity is cyclical and has been affected by the strength of a country’s or region’s general economy, prevailing interest rates and other factors that lead to cost control measures, or reduction in the use of space, by businesses and other users of commercial or institutional space. For example, the COVID-19 pandemic may have cyclical and structural impacts on this activity resulting from job losses for office workers, reductions in the use of coworking spaces, and increases in the number of people working from home. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the future of the office, and what the office of the future might look like, is being highly debated by senior executives, commercial real estate firms, architects, designers and other global experts which could adversely affect the amount of money that customers spend on our products. In addition, the effects of cyclicality and other factors affecting the corporate office segment have traditionally tended to be more pronounced than the effects on other market segments. Historically, we have generated more sales in the corporate office segment than in any other segment. The effects of cyclicality and other factors on the new construction segment of the market have also tended in the past to be more pronounced than the effects on the renovation segment. These effects may recur and could be more pronounced if global economic conditions do not improve or are weakened by negative cycles or other factors, including as a result of the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.


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Our earnings could be adversely affected by non-cash adjustments to goodwill, when a test of goodwill assets indicate a material impairment of those assets.

As prescribed by accounting standards governing goodwill and other intangible assets, we undertake an annual review of the goodwill asset balance reflected in our financial statements. Our review is conducted during the fourth quarter of the year, unless there has been a triggering event prescribed by applicable accounting rules that warrants an earlier interim testing for possible goodwill impairment. A future goodwill impairment test may result in a future non-cash adjustment, which could adversely affect our earnings for any such future period.

We recorded a goodwill and intangible asset impairment loss of $121.3 million in the first quarter of 2020 primarily as a result of the expected duration of the COVID-19 pandemic and its anticipated negative impact to our revenue and operating income. Future impairment charges could result if these expectations change or the COVID-19 pandemic continues for an extended period.

International Risk Factors

Our substantial international operations are subject to various political, economic and other uncertainties that could adversely affect our business results, including by restrictive taxation or other government regulation and by foreign currency fluctuations.

We have substantial international operations and intend to continue to pursue and commit resources to growth opportunities beyond the United States. Outside of the United States, we maintain manufacturing facilities in the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, China, Thailand, Australia and Germany, in addition to product showrooms or design studios in Canada, Mexico, England, France, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands, India, Australia, Norway, United Arab Emirates, Russia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, China and elsewhere. In 2020, approximately half of our net sales and a significant portion of our production were outside the United States, primarily in Europe and Asia-Pacific.

International operations carry certain risks and associated costs, such as: the complexities and expense of administering a business abroad; complications in compliance with, and unexpected changes in, legal and regulatory restrictions or requirements; foreign laws, international import and export legislation; trading and investment policies; economic and political instability in the global markets; foreign currency fluctuations; exchange controls; increased nationalism and protectionism; tariffs and other trade barriers; difficulties in collecting accounts receivable; potential adverse tax consequences and increasing tax complexity or changes in tax law associated with operating in multiple tax jurisdictions; uncertainties of laws and enforcement relating to intellectual property and privacy rights; difficulty in managing a geographically dispersed workforce in compliance with diverse local laws and customs, including health and safety regulations and wage and hour laws; potential governmental expropriation (especially in countries with undemocratic or authoritarian ruling parties); and other factors depending upon the jurisdiction involved. There can be no assurance that we will not experience these risks in the future.

Risks include, for example, the uncertainty surrounding the implementation and effect of the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union described below, including changes to the legal and regulatory framework that apply to the United Kingdom and its relationship with the European Union.

We also make a substantial portion of our net sales in currencies other than U.S. dollars (approximately half of 2020 net sales), which subjects us to the risks inherent in currency translations. The scope and volume of our global operations make it impossible to eliminate completely all foreign currency translation risks as an influence on our financial results.


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In addition, due to our global operations, we are subject to many laws governing international relations and international operations, including laws that prohibit improper payments to government officials and commercial customers and that restrict where we can do business, what information or products we can import and export to and from certain countries and what information we can provide to a non-U.S. government. These laws include but are not limited to the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”), the U.K. Bribery Act 2010, the Mexican National Anticorruption System (Sistema Nacional Anticorrupción, or “SNA”), the U.S. Export Administration Act and U.S. and international economic sanctions and money laundering regulations. We have internal policies and procedures relating to compliance with such regulations; however, there is a risk that such policies and procedures will not always protect us from the improper acts of employees, agents, business partners, joint venture partners or representatives, particularly in the case of recently acquired operations that may not have significant training in applicable compliance policies and procedures. Violations of these laws, which are complex, may result in criminal penalties, sanctions and/or fines that could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations and reputation. In addition, we are subject to antitrust laws in various countries throughout the world. Changes in these laws or their interpretation, administration or enforcement may occur over time. Any such changes may limit our future acquisitions, divestitures or operations.

Finally, we may not be aware of all the factors that may affect our business in foreign jurisdictions. The risks outlined above, and others specific to certain jurisdictions that we may not be aware of, could adversely and materially affect our business and results.
 
The uncertainty surrounding the implementation and effect of the U.K.’s exit from the European Union, and related negative developments in the European Union could adversely affect our business, results of operations or financial condition.
 
In 2016, voters in the U.K. approved an exit from the European Union via a referendum (commonly referred to as “Brexit”). The U.K. ceased to be a member of the European Union on January 31, 2020. In December 2020, the U.K. and the European Union agreed on a trade and cooperation agreement, which is being applied provisionally until it is formally ratified by the European Union parliament. Because the agreement merely sets forth a framework in many respects and will require complex additional bilateral negotiations between the U.K. and the European Union as both parties continue to work on the rules for implementation, significant political and economic uncertainty remains about how the precise terms of the relationship between the parties will differ from the terms before withdrawal. The uncertainty leading up to and following Brexit has had, and the implementation of Brexit may continue to have, a negative impact on our business and demand for our products in Europe, and particularly in the U.K. Brexit could adversely affect European or worldwide political, regulatory, economic or market conditions and could contribute to instability in political institutions and regulatory agencies. Brexit could also have the effect of disrupting the free movement of goods, services, and people between the U.K., the European Union and elsewhere. In addition, Brexit has had a detrimental effect, and could have further detrimental effects, on the value of either or both of the Euro and the British pound sterling, which could negatively impact our business (principally from the translation of sales and earnings in those foreign currencies into our reporting currency of U.S. dollars). Such a development could have other unpredictable adverse effects, including a material adverse effect on demand for office space and our flooring products in the U.K. and in Europe if the U.K. exit leads to economic difficulties in Europe.

Risk Factors Related to our Indebtedness

We have a substantial amount of debt, which could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations and our ability to meet our payment obligations under our debt.

We have a substantial amount of debt and debt service requirements. As of January 3, 2021, we had approximately $585.2 million of outstanding debt, and we had $295.4 million of undrawn borrowing capacity under our existing credit facility.

This level of debt could have significant consequences on our future operations, including:

making it more difficult for us to meet our payment and other obligations under our outstanding debt;
resulting in an event of default if we fail to comply with the financial and other restrictive covenants contained in our debt agreements, which event of default could result in all of our debt becoming immediately due and payable;
reducing the availability of our cash flows to fund working capital, capital expenditures, acquisitions or strategic investments and other general corporate purposes, and limiting our ability to obtain additional financing for these purposes;
subjecting us to the risk of increasing interest expense on variable rate indebtedness, including borrowings under our existing credit facility;
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limiting our flexibility in planning for, or reacting to, and increasing our vulnerability to, changes in our business, the industry in which we operate and the general economy;
placing us at a competitive disadvantage compared to our competitors that have less debt or are less leveraged;
limiting our ability to attract certain investors to purchase our common stock due to the amount of debt we have outstanding; and
limiting our ability to refinance our existing indebtedness as it matures.

In addition, borrowings under our credit facility have variable interest rates, and therefore our interest expenses will increase if the underlying market rates (upon which the variable interest rates are based) increase.

Furthermore, on July 27, 2017, the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (the “FCA”), which regulates the London interbank offered rate (“LIBOR”), announced that the FCA will no longer persuade or compel banks to submit rates for the calculation of LIBOR after 2021. This announcement indicates that the continuation of LIBOR on the current basis is not guaranteed after 2021, and LIBOR may be discontinued or modified by 2021. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York began publishing the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (“SOFR”) in April 2018 as an alternative for LIBOR. SOFR is a broad measure of the cost of borrowing cash overnight collateralized by U.S. Treasury securities. A transition away from the widespread use of LIBOR to SOFR or another benchmark rate may occur over the course of the next few years. We have exposure to LIBOR-based financial instruments, namely our existing credit facility which has variable (or floating) interest rates based on LIBOR. This facility allows for the use of an alternative benchmark rate if LIBOR is no longer available. At this time, we cannot predict the overall effect of the modification or discontinuation of LIBOR or the establishment of alternative benchmark rates.

Any of the above-listed factors could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations and our ability to meet our payment obligations under our debt.

Servicing our debt requires a significant amount of cash, and we may not have sufficient cash flow from our operations to pay our indebtedness.

Our ability to generate cash in order to make scheduled payments of the principal of, to pay interest on or to refinance our indebtedness depends on our future performance, which is subject to economic, financial, competitive, legislative, regulatory and other factors beyond our control. In addition, our ability to borrow funds in the future to make payments on our debt will depend on the satisfaction of the covenants in our existing credit facility and our other financing agreements, including the indenture governing the Senior Notes, and other agreements we may enter into in the future. Specifically, we will need to maintain certain financial ratios under our existing credit facility. Our business may not continue to generate sufficient cash flow from operations in the future and future borrowings may not be available to us under our existing revolving credit facility or from other sources in an amount sufficient to service our indebtedness, including the Senior Notes, to make necessary capital expenditures or to fund our other liquidity needs. If we are unable to generate cash from our operations or through borrowings, we may be required to adopt one or more alternatives, such as selling assets, restructuring debt or obtaining additional equity capital on terms that may be onerous or highly dilutive. Our ability to make payments on our indebtedness or refinance our indebtedness will depend on the capital markets and our financial condition at such time, as well as the terms of our financing agreements, including the existing credit facility, and the indenture governing the Senior Notes. We may not be able to engage in any of these activities or engage in these activities on desirable terms, which could result in a default on our debt obligations.

We may incur substantial additional indebtedness, which could further exacerbate the risks associated with our substantial indebtedness.

Subject to the restrictions in our existing credit facility and in the indenture governing our Senior Notes, we and our subsidiaries may be able to incur additional indebtedness in the future. Although our existing credit facility and the indenture governing the Senior Notes contain restrictions on the incurrence of additional debt, these restrictions are subject to a number of significant qualifications and exceptions, including the ability, on a non-committed basis, for us to increase revolving commitments and/or term loans under our existing credit facility, and debt incurred in compliance with these restrictions could be substantial. If new debt is added to our and our subsidiaries’ existing debt levels, the related risks we now face would increase.


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Risk Factors Related to our Business and Operations

We compete with a large number of manufacturers in the highly competitive floorcovering products market, and some of these competitors have greater financial resources than we do. We may face challenges competing on price, making investments in our business, or competing on product design.
 
The floorcovering industry is highly competitive. Globally, we compete for sales of floorcovering products with other carpet manufacturers and manufacturers of other types of floorcovering. Although the industry has experienced significant consolidation, a large number of manufacturers remain in the industry. Moreover, some of our competitors are adding manufacturing capacity into the industry throughout the globe which could increase the amount of supply in the market. Increased capacity at our competitors could result in pricing pressure on our products (including products, like LVT, which may currently carry attractive margins) and less demand for our products, thus adversely affecting both revenues and profitability.
 
Some of our competitors, including a number of large diversified domestic and foreign companies who manufacture modular carpet and resilient flooring as one segment of their business, have greater financial resources than we do. Competing effectively may require us to make additional investments in our product development efforts, manufacturing facilities, distribution network and sales and marketing activities.
 
In addition, we often compete on design preferences. Our customers’ design preferences may evolve or change before we adapt quickly enough to those changes or before we recognize those changes have happened in the marketplace. If this occurs, it could negatively affect our sales as our customers choose other product offerings.
 
Our success depends significantly upon the efforts, abilities and continued service of our senior management executives, our principal design consultant and other key personnel (including sales personnel), and our loss of any of them could affect us adversely.
 
We believe that our success depends to a significant extent upon the efforts and abilities of our senior management executives. In addition, we rely significantly on the leadership that David Oakey of David Oakey Designs provides to our internal design staff. Specifically, David Oakey Designs provides product design/production engineering services to us under an exclusive consulting contract that contains non-competition covenants. Our agreement with David Oakey Designs can be terminated by either party upon six months prior written notice to the other party. Our business also depends on the recruitment and retention of other key personnel, including strong sales leaders.
 
We may lose the services of key personnel for a variety of reasons, including if our compensation programs become uncompetitive in the relevant markets for our employees and service providers, or if the Company undergoes significant disruptive change (including not only economic downturns, but potentially other changes management believes are positive in the long term). The loss of key personnel with a great deal of knowledge, training and experience in the flooring industry — particularly in the areas of sales, marketing, operations, product design and management — could have an adverse impact on our business. We may not be able to easily replace such personnel, particularly if the underlying reasons for the loss make the Company relatively unattractive as an employer.

We are implementing a multi-year transformation of our sales organization, including the implementation of standardized processes in which our sales force goes to market, interacts with customers, works with the architect and design community and, in general, operates day-to-day. We are also implementing technology tools that the sales force will be required to use as part of their day-to-day jobs, and new management positions to actively manage and coach the sales force. All of these changes are disruptive, which may create challenges for our sales force to adapt, particularly for long tenured employees, which comprise a large portion of our sales force. There are no guarantees that these efforts will increase sales or improve profitability of the business, or that they will not instead adversely disrupt the business, decrease sales, and decrease overall profitability. 

Large increases in the cost of our raw materials, shipping costs, duties or tariffs could adversely affect us if we are unable to pass these cost increases through to our customers.
 
Petroleum-based products comprise the predominant portion of the cost of raw materials that we use in manufacturing carpet. Synthetic rubber uses petroleum based products as feedstock as well. We also incur significant shipping and transport costs to move our products around the globe. While we attempt to match cost increases with corresponding price increases, continued volatility in the cost of raw materials, transportation and shipping costs could adversely affect our financial results if we are unable to pass through such cost increases to our customers.

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Unanticipated termination or interruption of any of our arrangements with our primary third party suppliers of synthetic fiber or our sole third party supplier for luxury vinyl tile (“LVT”) could have a material adverse effect on us.
 
We depend on a small number of third-party suppliers of synthetic fiber and a single supplier for our LVT products. The unanticipated termination or interruption of any of our supply arrangements with our current suppliers of synthetic fiber (nylon) or sole supplier of LVT, including failure by any third party supplier to meet our product specifications, could have a material adverse effect on us because we do not have the capability to manufacture our own fiber for use in our carpet products or our own LVT. Our suppliers may not be able to meet our demand for a variety of reasons, including our inability to forecast our future needs accurately or a shortfall in production by the supplier for reasons unrelated to us, such as work stoppages, acts of war, terrorism, pandemics, fire, earthquake, energy shortages, flooding or other natural disasters. The primary manufacturing facility of our sole supplier of LVT is located in South Korea. If any of our supply arrangements with our primary suppliers of synthetic fiber or our sole supplier of LVT is terminated or interrupted, we likely would incur increased manufacturing costs and experience delays in our manufacturing process (thus resulting in decreased sales and profitability) associated with shifting more of our synthetic fiber purchasing to another synthetic fiber supplier or developing new supply chain sources for LVT. A prolonged inability on our part to source synthetic fiber included in our products or LVT on a cost-effective basis could adversely impact our ability to deliver products on a timely basis, which could harm our sales and customer relationships.
 
If we fail to realize the expected synergies and other benefits of the nora acquisition, our results of operations and stock price may be negatively affected.
 
In 2018, we completed the acquisition of nora, a manufacturer and multinational marketer of resilient rubber floor coverings.  The success of the acquisition will depend substantially on our ability to realize the expected synergies and other benefits from combining the Company’s legacy business and nora.  Our ability to realize these anticipated benefits and cost savings is subject to various risks and uncertainties, including the risks that:
 
we may not be able to successfully combine and integrate the businesses on a timely basis, or at all;
the integration process could divert management’s attention, cause employee or customer attrition or cause other disruption;
nora may not contribute to the revenues and profitability of the combined business as much as we currently expect; and
we may not be able to manage the increased indebtedness we have incurred in connection with the acquisition.

If we are not able to successfully combine the businesses within the anticipated time frame, or at all, the expected synergies and other benefits of the transaction may not be realized fully or at all, or may take longer to realize than expected, the combined businesses may not perform as expected and the results of our operations or value of our common stock may be adversely affected.
 
It is also possible that the integration process could result in the loss of key employees or customers of the Company or nora, the disruption of the companies’ ongoing businesses or unexpected integration issues, higher than expected integration costs and an overall integration process that takes longer than originally anticipated.
 
We will be required to devote significant management attention and resources to integrating the Company’s legacy operations and nora. It is possible that the integration process could result in:
 
diversion of management’s attention;
the lack of personnel or other resources to pursue other potential business opportunities; and
the disruption of, or the loss of momentum in, each company’s ongoing businesses or inconsistencies in standards, controls, procedures and policies.
 
Any of these consequences could adversely affect each company’s ability to maintain relationships with customers, suppliers, employees and other constituencies or their ability to achieve the anticipated benefits of the transaction, or could reduce each company’s earnings or otherwise adversely affect the business and financial results of the combined company and the value of our common stock.


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The market price of our common stock has been volatile and the value of your investment may decline.
 
The market price of our common stock has been volatile in the past and may continue to be volatile going forward. Such volatility may cause precipitous drops in the price of our common stock on the Nasdaq Global Select Market and may cause your investment in our common stock to lose significant value. As a general matter, market price volatility has had a significant effect on the market values of securities issued by many companies for reasons unrelated to their operating performance. We thus cannot predict the market price for our common stock going forward.
 
Changes to our facilities, manufacturing processes, product construction, and product composition could disrupt our operations, increase customer complaints, increase warranty claims, negatively affect our reputation, and have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

From time to time, we make improvements to our physical facilities, or move operations to new ones. Large scale changes or moves could disrupt our normal operations, leading to possible loss of productivity, which may adversely affect our results. We are also making significant investments and modifications to our manufacturing facilities, processes, product compositions, and product construction including but not limited to the production of our new CQuest™ carpet tile backings. These changes can be disruptive. There is also no guarantee that our CQuest™ backings will not fail to perform as expected and will not increase warranty claims or customer complaints. These efforts may also not yield the financial returns and improvements in the business that we hope to achieve from them. While these changes are intended to yield stronger financial results, they could potentially impact our financial results in negative ways due to project delays, business disruption as new facilities and equipment come online, increase customer complaints, or increase warranty claims; all of which could negatively affect our operations, reputation, financial condition and results of operations.
 
Our business operations could suffer significant losses from natural disasters, catastrophes, fire, pandemics or other unexpected events.
 
While we manufacture our products in several facilities and maintain insurance covering our facilities, including business interruption insurance, our manufacturing facilities could be materially damaged by natural disasters, such as floods, tornadoes, hurricanes and earthquakes, or by fire or other unexpected events such as adverse weather conditions, pandemics or other public health crises (such as the COVID-19 pandemic described above), or other disruptions to our facilities, supply chain or our customers’ facilities. We could incur uninsured losses and liabilities arising from such events, including damage to our reputation, and suffer material losses in operational capacity, which could have a material adverse impact on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
 
Disruptions to or failures of our information technology systems could adversely affect our business.
 
We rely heavily on information technology systems—both software and computer hardware—to operate our business. We rely on these systems to, among other things:

facilitate and plan the purchase, management and distribution of, and payment for, inventory and raw materials;
control our production processes;
manage and monitor our distribution network and logistics;
receive, process and ship orders;
manage billing, collections and payables;
manage financial reporting; and
manage payroll and human resources information.

Our IT systems may be disrupted or fail for a number of reasons, including:

natural disasters, like fires;
power loss;
software “bugs”, hardware defects or human error; and
hacking, computer viruses, malware, ransomware, phishing scams, or other cyber attacks.
 
Any of these events which deny us use of vital IT systems may seriously disrupt our normal business operations. These disruptions may lead to production or shipping stoppages, which may in turn lead to material revenue loss and reputational harm. There is no guarantee that our backup systems or disaster recovery procedures will be adequate to mitigate losses due to IT system disruptions in a timely fashion, and we may incur significant expense in correcting IT system emergencies.
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To the extent our IT systems store sensitive data, including about our employees or other individuals, security breaches may expose us to other serious liabilities and reputational harm if such data is misappropriated. In addition, as cybercriminals continue to become more sophisticated, the costs to defend and insure against cyberattacks can be expected to rise.

Legal Risk Factors

We face risks associated with litigation and claims.

We have been, and may in the future become, party to lawsuits including, without limitation, actions and proceedings in the ordinary course of business, such as claims brought by our customers in connection with commercial disputes, employment claims made by our current or former employees, or claims relating to intellectual property matters. Litigation might result in substantial costs and may divert management’s attention and resources, which may adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition. An unfavorable judgment against us in any legal proceeding or claim could require us to pay monetary damages. Insurance might not cover such claims, might not provide sufficient payments to cover all the costs to resolve one or more such claims, and might not continue to be available on terms acceptable to us. In addition, an unfavorable judgment in which the counterparty is awarded equitable relief, such as an injunction, could harm our business, results of operations and financial condition.

Please refer to Item 3, “Legal Proceedings,” within this Report for additional information related to litigation and claims.
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ITEM 1B. UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS
 
None.

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ITEM 2. PROPERTIES

We maintain our corporate headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia in approximately 42,000 square feet of leased space. The following table lists our principal manufacturing facilities and other material physical locations (some locations are comprised of multiple buildings), all of which we own except as otherwise noted:
 
LocationFloor
Space
(Sq. Ft.)
Bangkok, Thailand275,946 
Craigavon, N. Ireland(1)
72,200 
LaGrange, Georgia669,145 
LaGrange, Georgia(1)
517,205 
Union City, Georgia(1)
370,000 
Minto, Australia240,000 
Scherpenzeel, the Netherlands1,250,960 
West Point, Georgia250,000 
Salem, New Hampshire(1)
109,129 
Weinheim, Germany(1)
831,113 
Taicang, China(1)
142,500 
(1)Leased.

We maintain sales or marketing offices in over 70 locations in more than 25 countries and a number of other distribution facilities in several countries. Most of our sales and marketing locations and many of our distribution facilities are leased.
 
We believe that our manufacturing and distribution facilities and our marketing offices are sufficient for our present operations. We will continue, however, to consider the desirability of establishing additional facilities and offices in other locations around the world as part of our business strategy to meet global market demands. Substantially all of our owned properties in the United States are subject to mortgages, which secure borrowings under our Syndicated Credit Facility.
 
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ITEM 3. LEGAL PROCEEDINGS

From time to time, we are a party to legal proceedings, whether arising in the ordinary course of business or otherwise. The disclosure set forth in Note 18 to the consolidated financial statements included in Item 8 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K is incorporated by reference herein.
 
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ITEM 4. MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES

Not applicable.

PART II

ITEM 5. MARKET FOR THE REGISTRANT’S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES
 
Our Common Stock is traded on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol TILE. As of February 18, 2021, we had 631 holders of record of our Common Stock. We estimate that there are in excess of 9,000 beneficial holders of our Common Stock.
 
Future declaration and payment of dividends is at the discretion of our Board, and depends upon, among other things, our investment policy and opportunities, results of operations, financial condition, cash requirements, future prospects, and other factors that may be considered relevant by our Board at the time of its determination. Such other factors include limitations contained in the agreement for our Syndicated Credit Facility and the indenture for our Senior Notes, each of which specify conditions as to when any dividend payments may be made. As such, we may discontinue our dividend payments in the future if our Board determines that a cessation of dividend payments is proper in light of the factors indicated above.

Stock Performance 
 
The following graph and table compare, for the five-year period ended January 3, 2021, the Company’s total returns to shareholders (assuming all dividends were reinvested) with that of (i) all companies listed on the Nasdaq Composite Index and (ii) our self-determined peer group, assuming an initial investment of $100 in each on January 3, 2016 (the last day of the fiscal year 2015). In determining its peer group companies, the Company considered various factors, including the potential peer’s industry, business model, size and complexity.  The Company chose a peer group that it believes provides a robust sample size with minimal revenue dispersion, with companies in similar industries or lines of business or subject to similar economic and business cycles, including companies with a significant international presence that are also focused on sustainability.

tile-20210103_g1.jpg
 
 January 3, 2016January 1, 2017December 31, 2017December 30, 2018December 29, 2019January 3, 2021
Interface, Inc.$100$98$134$77$91$58
NASDAQ Composite Index$100$109$141$136$188$271
Self-Determined Peer Group (20 Stocks)$100$115$117$96$126$114
 
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Notes to Performance Graph
 
(1)If the annual interval, based on the fiscal year-end, is not a trading day, the preceding trading day is used.
(2)The index level was set to $100 as of January 3, 2016 (the last day of fiscal year 2015).
(3)The Company’s fiscal year ends on the Sunday nearest December 31.
(4)The following companies are included in the Self-Determined Peer Group depicted above: Acuity Brands, Inc.; Albany International Corp.; Apogee Enterprises, Inc.; Armstrong Flooring, Inc.; Armstrong World Industries, Inc.; Caesarstone Ltd.; FLIR Systems, Inc.; Gentherm Incorporated; H. B. Fuller Company; Harsco Corporation; Herman Miller, Inc.; HNI Corporation; Kimball International, Inc.; Knoll, Inc.; Masonite International Corporation; Materion Corporation; P. H. Glatfelter Company; Steelcase Inc.; Unifi, Inc.; and Welbilt, Inc.

Securities Authorized for Issuance Under Equity Compensation Plans
 
See Item 12 of Part III of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
 
Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
 
The following table contains information with respect to purchases made by or on behalf of the Company, or any “affiliated purchaser” (as defined in Rule 10b-18(a)(3) under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934), of our common stock during our fourth quarter ended January 3, 2021:
 
Period(1)
Total
Number
of Shares
Purchased
Average
Price
Paid
Per Share
Total Number
of Shares Purchased
as Part of Publicly
Announced Plans or
Programs
Approximate Dollar
Value of Shares that
May Yet Be
Purchased Under the
Plans or Programs
October 5 – November 1, 2020(2)
49 $6.90 — $— 
November 2 – December 6, 2020(2)
688 8.18 — — 
December 7, 2020 – January 3, 2021(2)
2,024 10.50 — — 
Total2,761 $9.86 — $— 
 
(1)The monthly periods identified above correspond to the Company’s fiscal fourth quarter of 2020, which commenced October 5, 2020 and ended January 3, 2021.
(2)Represents shares acquired by the Company from employees to satisfy income tax withholding obligations in connection with the vesting of previous equity awards.

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ITEM 6. SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA

This item is no longer required, as we have elected to early adopt the changes to Item 301 of Regulation S-K contained in SEC Release No. 33-10890.
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ITEM 7. MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS
 
Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic

On March 1, 2020, the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic, and the virus continues to spread in areas where we operate and sell our products and services. The COVID-19 pandemic has had material adverse effects on our business, results of operations, and financial condition, and it is anticipated that this will continue for an indefinite period of time. The duration of the pandemic will ultimately determine the extent to which our operations are impacted. We continue to monitor our operations and have implemented various programs to mitigate the effects on our business including reductions in employees, labor costs, marketing expenses, consulting expenses, travel costs, various other costs, and capital expenditures, as well as reducing the amount of the cash dividend that we pay on our common stock and suspending and reducing shifts in our production facilities, temporarily furloughing employees, and implementing other cost reduction or avoidance initiatives.

During fiscal year 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in lower revenues across all geographic regions. Our sales mix shifted towards more non-corporate office market segments as the COVID-19 pandemic reduced corporate spending impacting sales in the corporate office market. In 2020, consolidated net sales declined 17.9% compared to 2019 primarily due to COVID-19. As discussed above, the Company implemented, and continues to implement, various cost cutting initiatives to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 on our operations. During 2020, the Company recorded $12.9 million of voluntary and involuntary severance costs, which are included in selling, general and administrative expenses in the consolidated statements of operations. We anticipate future annualized savings of approximately $15 million as a result of these separation initiatives.

During the first quarter of 2020, as a result of changes in macroeconomic conditions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, we recognized a charge of $121.3 million for the impairment of goodwill and certain intangible assets. See Note 12 entitled “Goodwill and Intangible Assets” of Part II, Item 8 of this Annual Report for additional information.

In response to the reduced demand and to enhance employee safety measures, we temporarily suspended production in our U.S. manufacturing facilities from March 18, 2020 to March 23, 2020, and then again from April 6, 2020 to April 13, 2020. We also substantially reduced production in our Craigavon, U.K. facility beginning on April 20, 2020 through the end of the third quarter, and our Thailand, China, and Australia plants were at times operating in reduced shifts in light of reduced demand. During the first quarter of 2020, our Asia-Pacific region was primarily impacted by COVID-19 due to government shutdowns in China and the temporary closure of our China plant in late January 2020 to February 9, 2020. In addition, almost all of our salesforce and administrative employees globally continue to work remotely in accordance with the Company’s ongoing safety measures, as well as any local government orders and “shelter in place” directives in place from time to time.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, government grants and payroll protection programs are available in various countries globally to provide assistance to companies impacted by the pandemic. The CARES Act enacted in the United States (see Note 17 entitled “Income Taxes” included in Item 8 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K for additional information) and a payroll protection program enacted in the Netherlands (the “NOW Program”) provide benefits related to payroll costs either as reimbursements, lower payroll tax rates or deferral of payroll tax payments. The NOW Program provides eligible companies with reimbursement of labor costs as an incentive to retain employees and continue paying them in accordance with the Company’s customary compensation practices. During fiscal year 2020, the Company qualified for benefits under several payroll protection programs and recognized a reduction in payroll costs of approximately $7.3 million, which are recorded as a $6.1 million reduction of selling, general and administrative expenses and a $1.2 million reduction of cost of sales in the consolidated statements of operations, as the Company believes it is probable that the benefits received will not be repaid.

General
 
Our revenues are derived from sales of floorcovering products, primarily modular carpet, luxury vinyl tile (“LVT”) and, starting in August 2018, rubber flooring products. Our business, as well as the commercial interiors industry in general, is cyclical in nature and is impacted by economic conditions and trends that affect the markets for commercial and institutional business space. The commercial interiors industry, including the market for floorcovering products, is largely driven by reinvestment by corporations into their existing businesses in the form of new fixtures and furnishings for their workplaces. In significant part, the timing and amount of such reinvestments are impacted by the profitability of those corporations. As a result, macroeconomic factors such as employment rates, office vacancy rates, capital spending, productivity and efficiency gains that impact corporate profitability in general, also affect our business.
 

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As noted above, our sales mix of corporate office verses non-corporate office market segments has shifted towards non-corporate office markets in fiscal year 2020 primarily due to the impacts of COVID-19 on the corporate office market. We focus our marketing and sales efforts on both corporate office and non-corporate office segments, to reduce somewhat our exposure to economic cycles that affect the corporate office market segment more adversely, as well as to capture additional market share.

Our mix of modular carpet and resilient flooring sales in corporate office verses non-corporate office market segments for the last three fiscal years is summarized below:

202020192018
Corporate OfficeNon-Corporate OfficeCorporate OfficeNon-Corporate OfficeCorporate OfficeNon-Corporate Office
Americas37 %63 %47 %53 %45 %55 %
 
Company-wide47 %53 %61 %39 %60 %40 %

During 2020, we had net sales of $1,103.3 million, down 17.9% compared to $1,343.0 million in 2019, primarily due to the impacts of COVID-19. The operating loss for 2020 was $39.3 million compared to operating income of $130.9 million in 2019. Net loss for 2020 was $71.9 million, or $1.23 per share, compared to net income of $79.2 million, or $1.34 per share, in 2019. The 2020 period was impacted by a $121.3 million goodwill and intangible asset impairment loss recorded in the first quarter and $12.9 million of severance charges related to cost saving initiatives in response to COVID-19. These charges were partially offset by $9.3 million of lower payroll costs due to furloughs and credits from payroll protection programs.
 
During 2019, we had net sales of $1,343.0 million, up 13.9% compared to $1,179.6 million in 2018. Operating income for 2019 was $130.9 million as compared to $76.4 million in 2018. Net income for 2019 was $79.2 million, or $1.34 per share, compared with $50.3 million, or $0.84 per share, in 2018. The 2019 period included the results of the acquired nora business for the full fiscal year, $5.9 million of purchase accounting amortization in connection with the nora acquisition, and $12.9 million of restructuring and other charges. The 2018 period included the results of the nora acquisition (described below) from August 7, 2018 through the end of the 2018 fiscal year.

On August 7, 2018, the Company completed the acquisition of nora for a purchase price of €385.1 million, or $447.2 million at the exchange rate as of the transaction date, including acquired cash of €40.0 million ($46.5 million) for a net purchase price of €345.1 million ($400.7 million). Nora is an industry leader in the rubber flooring market, and the acquisition has expanded the Company’s presence within non-corporate office market segments since the acquisition date.

Restructuring Plans
 
On December 23, 2019, the Company committed to a new restructuring plan to improve efficiencies and decrease costs across its worldwide operations, and more closely align its operating structure with its business strategy. The plan involved a reduction of approximately 105 employees and early termination of two office leases. As a result of this plan, the Company recorded a pre-tax restructuring charge in the fourth quarter of 2019 of approximately $9.0 million. The charge was comprised of severance expenses ($8.8 million) and lease exit costs ($0.2 million). The restructuring charge was expected to result in future cash expenditures of approximately $9.0 million for payment of these employee severance and lease exit costs. The Company expected the plan to yield annualized savings of approximately $6.0 million. A portion of the annualized savings was realized on the income statement in fiscal year 2020, with the remaining portion of the annualized savings expected to be realized in fiscal year 2021.


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On December 29, 2018, the Company committed to a new restructuring plan in its continuing efforts to improve efficiencies and decrease costs across its worldwide operations, and more closely align its operating structure with its business strategy. The plan involved (i) a restructuring of its sales and administrative operations in the United Kingdom, (ii) a reduction of approximately 200 employees, primarily in the Europe and Asia-Pacific geographic regions, and (iii) the write-down of certain underutilized and impaired assets that included information technology assets and obsolete manufacturing equipment. As a result of this plan, the Company recorded a pre-tax restructuring and asset impairment charge in the fourth quarter of 2018 of approximately $20.5 million. The charge was comprised of severance expenses (approximately $10.8 million), impairment of assets (approximately $8.6 million) and other items (approximately $1.1 million). The charge was expected to result in future cash expenditures of $12 million, primarily for severance payments (approximately $10.8 million). The restructuring plan was completed at the end of fiscal year 2020.

Goodwill, Intangible Asset and Fixed Asset Impairment
During 2020, we recognized a charge of $121.3 million for the impairment of goodwill and certain intangible assets. See Note 12 entitled “Goodwill and Intangible Assets” of Part II, Item 8 of this Annual Report for additional information. During 2020, we recognized fixed asset impairment charges of $5.0 million primarily related to certain FLOR design center closures and other projects that were abandoned or indefinitely delayed. These charges are included in selling, general and administrative expenses in the consolidated statements of operations.

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Analysis of Results of Operations 
 
The following discussion and analyses reflect the factors and trends discussed in the preceding sections.
 
Net sales denominated in currencies other than the U.S. dollar were approximately 51% in 2020, 49% in 2019, and 49% in 2018. Because we have such substantial international operations, we are impacted, from time to time, by international developments that affect foreign currency transactions. In 2020, the strengthening of the Euro, British pound sterling and Chinese Renminbi against the U.S. dollar had a positive impact on our net sales and operating income. In 2019, the weakening of the Euro, British pound sterling, Australian dollar, Canadian dollar and Chinese Renminbi against the U.S. dollar had a negative impact on our net sales and operating income. In 2018, the strengthening of the Euro and British pound sterling against the U.S. dollar had a positive impact on our net sales and operating income.

The following table presents the amounts (in U.S. dollars) by which the exchange rates for translating Euros, British pounds sterling, Australian dollars and Canadian dollars into U.S. dollars have affected our net sales and operating income during the past three years:
 202020192018
 (in millions)
Impact of changes in foreign currency on net sales$7.1 $(26.2)$8.4 
Impact of changes in foreign currency on operating income0.9 (3.9)1.2 
 
The following table presents, as a percentage of net sales, certain items included in our consolidated statements of operations during the past three years:
 Fiscal Year
 202020192018
Net sales100.0 %100.0 %100.0 %
Cost of sales62.8 60.3 63.6 
Gross profit on sales37.2 39.7 36.4 
Selling, general and administrative expenses30.2 29.0 28.2 
Restructuring, asset impairment and other charges(0.4)1.0 1.7 
Goodwill and intangible asset impairment charge11.0 — — 
Operating income (loss)(3.6)9.7 6.5 
Interest/Other expense3.6 2.2 1.8 
Income (loss) before income tax expense(7.2)7.5 4.7 
Income tax expense (benefit)(0.7)1.7 0.4 
Net income (loss)(6.5)%5.8 %4.3 %

Net Sales
 
Below we provide information regarding our net sales and analyze those results for each of the last three fiscal years. Fiscal year 2020 includes 53 weeks, and fiscal years 2019 and 2018 were both 52 week periods.

 Fiscal YearPercentage Change
 2020201920182020 compared with 20192019 compared with 2018
 (in thousands)
Net sales
       Americas$593,418 $757,112 $682,261 (21.6)%11.0 %
       Europe351,287 393,194 319,677 (10.7)%23.0 %
       Asia-Pacific158,557 192,723 177,635 (17.7)%8.5 %
Net sales$1,103,262 $1,343,029 $1,179,573 (17.9)%13.9 %
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Net sales for 2020 compared with 2019
 
For fiscal year 2020, our net sales decreased $239.8 million (17.9%) compared to 2019. As discussed above, the decrease was primarily due to the impacts of COVID-19 resulting in lower sales volumes globally. Fluctuations in currency exchange rates had a positive impact on our year-over-year sales comparison of approximately $7.1 million, meaning that if currency levels had remained constant year over year our 2020 sales would have been lower by this amount. On a geographic basis, we experienced sales declines across all our regions. Sales in the Americas were down 21.6%, sales in Europe were down 10.7% as reported in U.S. dollars, and sales in our Asia-Pacific region were down 17.7%.
 
The sales decrease of 21.6% in the Americas in 2020 was due primarily to the impacts of COVID-19 and lower carpet tile sales volumes. On a market segment basis, the sales decrease in the Americas was most significant in the corporate office (down 33.8%), retail (down 34.8%), healthcare (down 15.2%) and education (down 8.3%) market segments, partially offset by increases in the residential living (up 23.8%) and public buildings (up 8.2%) market segments.
 
In Europe, net sales in the region decreased both in U.S. dollars (down 10.7%) and local currency (down 12.5%). The decrease in sales was due primarily to the impacts of COVID-19 and lower carpet tile sales volumes, partially offset by the strengthening of the Euro and British pound sterling against the U.S. dollar. On a market segment basis, the sales decrease in Europe was most significant in the corporate office (down 18.0%), hospitality (down 47.5%) and public buildings (down 14.2%) market segments, partially offset by increases in the transportation (up 40.3%), leisure (up 57.1%), healthcare (up 10.5%) and education (up 9.0%) market segments.
 
In the Asia-Pacific region, net sales decreased 17.7% primarily due to the impacts of COVID-19 and lower carpet tile sales volumes. This sales decrease was partially offset by the strengthening of the Chinese Renminbi against the U.S. dollar. On a market segment basis, the sales decrease in Asia-Pacific was most significant in the corporate office (down 21.4%), retail (down 43.2%), healthcare (down 32.6%), hospitality (down 34.3%) and public buildings (down 20.3%) market segments, partially offset by increases in the leisure (up 63.5%) and education (up 15.5%) market segments.

Net sales for 2019 compared with 2018
 
For 2019, our net sales increased $163.5 million (13.9%) compared to 2018. As discussed above, the 2019 period included revenue from the nora acquisition for the full fiscal year. The 2018 period included nora revenue only from the acquisition date on August 7, 2018 to the end of the 2018 fiscal year of $112.6 million during that stub period. The increase in net sales was primarily volume related and not materially impacted by changing prices. Fluctuations in currency exchange rates had a negative impact on our year-over-year sales comparison of approximately $26.2 million, meaning that if currency levels had remained constant year over year, our 2019 sales would have been higher by this amount. On a geographic basis, including the impact of the nora acquisition, we experienced sales growth across all of our regions. Sales in the Americas were up 11.0%, sales in Europe were up 23.0% as reported in U.S. dollars, and sales in Asia-Pacific were up 8.5%.
 
The sales increase of 11.0% in the Americas in 2019 was due primarily to the impact of the nora acquisition and growth from our LVT products. The legacy Americas carpet and LVT business grew approximately 3.6% for the year.  This increase in the legacy business was due to increased sales in the corporate office market segment (up 8.6%) as well as increases in the healthcare (up 18.2%) and education (up 7.6%) market segments.  These legacy sales increases were partially offset by a decline in the retail market segment (down 24.6%).
 
In Europe, sales in the region were up in both U.S. dollars (up 23.0%) and local currency (up 29.1%). This increase was due primarily to the impact of the nora acquisition and growth from our LVT products offset by weakening of the Euro and British pound sterling against the U.S. dollar. The legacy European carpet and LVT business declined 2.7% on a U.S. dollar basis, but grew 2.6% in local currency.  The sales growth in local currency in the legacy European business was most pronounced in the corporate office segment (up 6.9%). The decline in legacy sales on a U.S. dollars basis was primarily due to the weakening of the Euro and British pound sterling against the U.S. dollar.
 
In Asia-Pacific, sales increased 8.5% primarily due to the impact of the nora acquisition and growth in our LVT products. This sales increase was partially offset by the weakening of the Australian dollar and lower sales in Australia.  The legacy Asia-Pacific carpet and LVT business declined 3.9% on a U.S. dollar basis, but increased 0.1% in local currency.  The sales decline in the legacy Asia-Pacific business was primarily in the corporate (down 5.7%) and government (down 17.9%) market segments, partially offset by increases in the retail market segment (up 12.0%).
 


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Cost and Expenses
 
The following table presents our overall cost of sales and selling, general and administrative (“SG&A”) expenses during the past three years:
 
Fiscal YearPercentage Change
 2020201920182020 compared
with 2019
2019 compared
with 2018
 (in thousands)
Cost of sales$692,688 $810,062 $749,690 (14.5)%8.1 %
Selling, general and administrative expenses333,229 389,117 332,975 (14.4)%16.9 %

For 2020, our costs of sales decreased $117.4 million (14.5%) compared to 2019, primarily due to lower net sales. Currency translation had a $4.7 million (0.6%) negative impact on the year-over-year comparison. As a percentage of sales, our costs of sales increased to 62.8% in 2020 versus 60.3% in 2019, primarily due to changes in fixed cost absorption driven by lower production volumes due to the impact of COVID-19.
 
For 2019, our costs of sales increased $60.4 million (8.1%) compared with 2018. Included in 2019 are costs of sales for the acquired nora business for the full year, which includes purchase accounting amortization of $5.9 million related to acquired intangible assets. Fluctuations in currency exchange rates had a 1.8% positive impact on the year-over-year comparison. In absolute dollars, the increase in costs of sales was a result of higher sales for 2019 as compared to 2018, as well as the full year impact of the acquired nora business. As a percentage of sales, our costs of sales decreased to 60.3% in 2019 versus 63.6% in 2018. This decrease was primarily due to productivity initiatives and the nora non-recurring inventory step-up amortization which occurred in 2018, but did not recur in 2019.

For 2020, our SG&A expenses decreased $55.9 million (14.4%) versus 2019. Currency translation had a $1.5 million (0.4%) negative impact on the year-over-year comparison. SG&A expenses were lower in 2020 primarily due to (1) lower selling expenses of $54.8 million due to lower net sales, (2) $7.3 million of payroll expense credits related to COVID-19 wage support government assistance programs, and (3) $9.2 million lower performance-based compensation due to forfeitures and target performance measures not being met due to COVID-19. These reductions were partially offset by $12.9 million of severance expenses due to voluntary and involuntary separations, and a $5.0 million fine to settle the SEC matter as referenced in Item 8 Note 18 - “Commitments and Contingencies”. As a percentage of sales, SG&A expenses increased to 30.2% in 2020 versus 29.0% in 2019 primarily due to lower net sales.
                             
For 2019, our SG&A expenses increased $56.1 million (16.9%) versus 2018. Included in the 2019 period were a full year of SG&A expenses for the acquired nora business versus only a stub period of approximately five months in 2018. Fluctuations in currency rates had a 1.5% favorable impact on SG&A expenses. The increase in SG&A expenses during the year was primarily due to (1) higher selling expenses for the full year impact in 2019 of the acquired nora business, (2) higher year-over-year legal expenses of $3.5 million related to the SEC matter discussed in Note 18 – “Commitments and Contingencies”, and (3) higher selling expenses related to bringing the Company’s global sales organization together for a meeting to accelerate the nora integration, advance our selling system transformation, and engage the sales force in the Company’s sustainability mission. These increases were partially offset by lower stock compensation expense of $5.8 million compared to prior year. As a percentage of sales, SG&A expenses increased to 29.0% in 2019 versus 28.2% in 2018.
 
Interest Expense
 
For 2020, our interest expense increased $3.6 million to $29.2 million, versus $25.6 million in 2019, primarily due to (1) a $3.6 million loss on extinguishment of debt to amend the Syndicated Credit Facility and repay a portion of outstanding indebtedness thereunder, and (2) a $3.9 million reclassification from accumulated other comprehensive income for deferred interest rate swap losses due to the termination of our interest rate swap contracts. These increases were partially offset by lower average interest rates on our borrowings under the Syndicated Credit Facility (our average borrowing rate for 2020 was 1.89% compared to 3.27% in 2019) and lower outstanding borrowings under the Syndicated Credit Facility compared to 2019.
 

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For 2019, our interest expense increased $10.2 million to $25.6 million, versus $15.4 million in 2018. This increase was a result of higher outstanding borrowings incurred in August 2018 to complete the nora acquisition offset slightly by lower average interest rates on our borrowings (our average borrowing rate, including the impact of interest rate swaps, for 2019 was 3.27% as compared to 3.50% for 2018). Our interest rate swaps, entered into in 2017 and 2019, had approximately $0.2 million impact on interest expense for 2019.

Tax
 
For the year ended January 3, 2021, the Company recorded an income tax benefit of $7.5 million on pre-tax loss of $79.4 million resulting in an effective tax rate of 9.4%. The effective tax rate for this period was significantly impacted by a non-deductible goodwill impairment charge and recognition of income tax benefits related to uncertain tax positions taken in prior years on discontinued operations. Excluding the impact of the non-deductible goodwill impairment charge and recognition of income tax benefits related to uncertain tax positions on discontinued operations, the effective tax rate was 14.1% for 2020 compared to 22.2% in 2019. The decrease in the effective tax rate, excluding the goodwill impairment charge and recognition of income tax benefits related to uncertain tax positions on discontinued operations, was primarily due to the favorable impacts of amending prior year tax returns, retroactive election of the GILTI High-tax Exclusion in the 2019 tax return and reduction in non-deductible employee compensation. This decrease was partially offset by the non-deductible SEC penalty.
 
Our effective tax rate in 2019 was 22.2%, compared with an effective tax rate of 8.6% in 2018. The increase in our effective tax rate in 2019 compared to 2018 was primarily due to a nonrecurring $6.7 million tax benefit realized in 2018 related to the impacts of the U.S. Tax Cuts and Jobs Act enacted into law in 2017. In addition, there was a net increase in our effective tax rate in 2019 due to less U.S. federal and foreign tax credits which was partially offset by a reduction in non-deductible expenses, favorable change in unrecognized tax benefits and a higher portion of income earned in foreign jurisdictions not subject to U.S. state income taxes.

Liquidity and Capital Resources
 
General
 
In our business, we require cash and other liquid assets primarily to purchase raw materials and to pay other manufacturing costs, in addition to funding normal course SG&A expenses, anticipated capital expenditures, interest expense and potential special projects. We generate our cash and other liquidity requirements primarily from our operations and from borrowings or letters of credit under our Syndicated Credit Facility and Senior Notes discussed below. We anticipate that our liquidity is sufficient to meet our obligations for the next 12 months.
 
Historically, we use more cash in the first half of the fiscal year, as we pay insurance premiums, taxes and incentive compensation and build up inventory in preparation for the holiday/vacation season of our international operations.
 
At January 3, 2021, we had $103.1 million in cash. Approximately $1.7 million of this cash was located in the U.S., and the remaining $101.4 million was located outside of the U.S. The cash located outside of the U.S. is indefinitely reinvested in the respective jurisdictions (except as identified below). We believe that our strategic plans and business needs, particularly for working capital needs and capital expenditure requirements in Europe, Asia, and Australia, support our assertion that a portion of our cash in foreign locations will be reinvested and remittance will be postponed indefinitely. Of the $101.4 million of cash in foreign jurisdictions, approximately $13.7 million represents earnings which we have determined are not permanently reinvested, and as such we have provided for foreign withholding and U.S. state income taxes on these amounts in accordance with applicable accounting standards.
 
As of January 3, 2021, we had $285.2 million of borrowings outstanding under our Syndicated Credit Facility, of which $282.2 million were term loan borrowings and $3.0 million were revolving loan borrowings. Additionally, $1.6 million in letters of credit were outstanding under the Syndicated Credit Facility at the end of fiscal year 2020. As of January 3, 2021, we had additional borrowing capacity of $295.4 million under the Syndicated Credit Facility and $6.0 million of additional borrowing capacity under our other credit facilities in place at other non-U.S. subsidiaries.

On November 17, 2020, we issued $300 million aggregate principal amount of 5.50% Senior Notes due 2028 (the “Senior Notes”), which are discussed further below. As of January 3, 2021, we had $300.0 million of Senior Notes outstanding.
 

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We have approximately $81.2 million in contractual cash obligations due by the end of fiscal year 2021, which includes, among other things, pension cash contributions, interest payments on our debt and lease commitments. Based on current interest rates and debt levels, we expect our aggregate interest expense for 2021 to be between $32 million and $33 million. We estimate aggregate capital expenditures in 2021 to be approximately $30 million, although we are not committed to these amounts.
 
It is important for you to consider that we have a significant amount of indebtedness. Our Syndicated Credit Facility matures in November of 2025 and the Senior Notes, as discussed below, mature in December 2028. We cannot assure you that we will be able to renegotiate or refinance any of our debt on commercially reasonable terms, or at all. If we are unable to refinance our debt or obtain new financing, we would have to consider other options, such as selling assets to meet our debt service obligations and other liquidity needs, or using cash, if available, that would have been used for other business purposes.
 
It is also important for you to consider that borrowings under our Syndicated Credit Facility comprise a substantial portion of our indebtedness, and that these borrowings are based on variable interest rates (as described below) that expose the Company to the risk that short-term interest may increase. During 2020, we entered into fixed rate Senior Notes (as described below) which reduced the amount of indebtedness subject to interest rate risk. In the fourth quarter of 2020, we terminated our interest rate swaps that were previously being used to fix a portion of our variable rate debt. For information regarding the current variable interest rates of these borrowings, the potential impact on our interest expense from hypothetical increases in short term interest rates, and the interest rate swap transaction, please see the discussion in Item 7A of this Report.
 
Syndicated Credit Facility 

On August 7, 2018, we amended and restated our Syndicated Credit Facility (the “Facility”) in connection with the nora acquisition. The purpose of the amended and restated Facility was to fund the nora purchase price and related fees and expenses of the acquisition, and to increase the credit available to us and our subsidiaries following the closing of the nora acquisition in view of the larger enterprise.
 
On December 18, 2019, the Company again amended the Facility, with certain of its wholly-owned foreign subsidiaries as co-borrowers. The primary purpose of this amendment was to allow the Company to make various intercompany transactions.

On July 15, 2020 and November 17, 2020, the Company entered into the second and third amendments, respectively, to its Facility. The primary purpose of the second amendment was to provide the Company with a less restrictive consolidated net leverage ratio covenant in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The primary purpose of the third amendment was to extend the maturity date of the Facility to November 2025, replace the consolidated net leverage ratio covenant with a consolidated secured net leverage ratio, and modify various interest rate provisions. See Note 9 – “Long-Term Debt” in Item 8 of this Report for additional information.

At January 3, 2021, the Facility provides the Company and certain of its subsidiaries with a multicurrency revolving loan facility up to $300 million, as well as other U.S. denominated and multicurrency term loans. 

In connection with the 2018 amendment to the Facility as discussed above, we recorded $8.8 million of debt issuance costs associated with the new term loans that are reflected as a reduction of long-term debt. In connection with the second and third amendments to the Facility as discussed above, the Company recorded debt issuance costs of $1.5 million and $0.9 million, respectively. These debt issuance costs were allocated between term and revolving loans and a portion recorded as a reduction of long-term debt ($1.1 million) for the term loans and other assets ($1.3 million) for the revolving loans, in accordance with applicable accounting standards. As of January 3, 2021, total outstanding debt issuance costs were $10.6 million.

Interest Rates and Fees
 
Under the Facility, interest on base rate loans is charged at varying rates computed by applying a margin ranging from 0.25% to 2.00%, depending on the Company’s consolidated net leverage ratio (as defined in the Facility agreement) as of the most recently completed fiscal quarter. Interest on Eurocurrency-based loans and fees for letters of credit are charged at varying rates computed by applying a margin ranging from 1.25% to 3.00% over the applicable Eurocurrency rate, depending on the Company’s consolidated net leverage ratio as of the most recently completed fiscal quarter.  In addition, the Company pays a commitment fee ranging from 0.20% to 0.40% per annum (depending on the Company’s consolidated net leverage ratio as of the most recently completed fiscal quarter) on the unused portion of the Facility.
 


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Covenants
 
The Facility contains standard and customary covenants for agreements of this type, including various reporting, affirmative and negative covenants. Among other things, these covenants limit our ability to:

create or incur liens on assets;
make acquisitions of or investments in businesses (in excess of certain specified amounts);
engage in any material line of business substantially different from the Company’s current lines of business;
incur indebtedness or contingent obligations;
sell or dispose of assets (in excess of certain specified amounts);
pay dividends or repurchase our stock (in excess of certain specified amounts);
repay other indebtedness prior to maturity unless we meet certain conditions; and
enter into sale and leaseback transactions.


The Facility also requires us to remain in compliance with the following financial covenants as of the end of each fiscal quarter, based on our consolidated results for the year then ended:

Consolidated Secured Net Leverage Ratio: Must be no greater than 3.00:1.00.
Consolidated Interest Coverage Ratio: Must be no less than 2.25:1.00.

Events of Default
 
If we breach or fail to perform any of the affirmative or negative covenants under the Facility, or if other specified events occur (such as a bankruptcy or similar event or a change of control of Interface, Inc. or certain subsidiaries, or if we breach or fail to perform any covenant or agreement contained in any instrument relating to any of our other indebtedness exceeding $20 million), after giving effect to any applicable notice and right to cure provisions, an event of default will exist. If an event of default exists and is continuing, the lenders’ Administrative Agent may, and upon the written request of a specified percentage of the lender group shall:

declare all commitments of the lenders under the facility terminated;
declare all amounts outstanding or accrued thereunder immediately due and payable; and
exercise other rights and remedies available to them under the agreement and applicable law.


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Collateral
 
Pursuant to a Second Amended and Restated Security and Pledge Agreement, the Facility is secured by substantially all of the assets of Interface, Inc. and our domestic subsidiaries (subject to exceptions for certain immaterial subsidiaries), including all of the stock of our domestic subsidiaries and up to 65% of the stock of our first-tier material foreign subsidiaries. If an event of default occurs under the Facility, the lenders’ Administrative Agent may, upon the request of a specified percentage of lenders, exercise remedies with respect to the collateral, including, in some instances, foreclosing mortgages on real estate assets, taking possession of or selling personal property assets, collecting accounts receivables, or exercising proxies to take control of the pledged stock of domestic and first-tier material foreign subsidiaries.

 As of January 3, 2021, we had outstanding $282.2 million of term loan borrowing and $3.0 million of revolving loan borrowings under the Facility, and had $1.6 million in letters of credit outstanding under the Facility. As of January 3, 2021, the weighted average interest rate on borrowings outstanding under the Facility was 1.89%.

Under the Facility, we are required to make quarterly amortization payments of the term loan borrowings, which commenced in the fourth quarter of 2018. The amortization payments are due on the last day of the calendar quarter.
 
We are currently in compliance with all covenants under the Facility and anticipate that we will remain in compliance with the covenants for the foreseeable future.
 
In the third quarter of 2017 and first quarter of 2019, we entered into interest rate swap transactions that fixed the variable interest rate with respect to $100 million and $150 million, respectively, of the term loan borrowings then outstanding under the Syndicated Credit Facility. In the fourth quarter of 2020, we terminated both interest rate swaps and paid approximately $13 million to terminate the swap agreements. For additional information on interest rates, please see Item 7A and Note 9 entitled “Long-Term Debt” in Item 8 of this Report.

Senior Notes

On November 17, 2020, the Company issued $300 million aggregate principal amount of 5.50% Senior Notes due 2028. The Senior Notes bear an interest rate at 5.50% per annum and mature on December 1, 2028. Interest is paid semi-annually on June 1 and December 1 of each year, beginning on June 1, 2021. The Company used the net proceeds to repay $269.7 million of outstanding term loan borrowings and $21.0 million of outstanding revolving loan borrowings under the Facility. In connection with the issuance of the Senior Notes, the Company recorded $5.7 million of debt issuance costs. These debt issuance costs were recorded as a reduction of long-term debt in the consolidated balance sheets and will be amortized over the life of the outstanding debt.

The Senior Notes are unsecured and are guaranteed, jointly and severally, by each of the Company’s material domestic subsidiaries, all of which also guarantee the obligations of the Company under its existing Facility. The Company’s foreign subsidiaries and certain non-material domestic subsidiaries are considered non-guarantors. Net sales for the non-guarantor subsidiaries were approximately $548 million for fiscal year 2020. Total indebtedness of the non-guarantor subsidiaries was approximately $88 million as of January 3, 2021. The Senior Notes can be redeemed on or after December 1, 2023 at specified redemption prices. See Note 9 - entitled “Long-Term Debt” in Item 8 of this report for additional information.


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Analysis of Cash Flows
 
The following table presents a summary of cash flows for fiscal years 2020, 2019, and 2018:

 Fiscal Year
 202020192018
(in thousands)
Net cash provided by (used in):  
Operating activities$119,070 $141,768 $91,767 
Investing activities(61,689)(74,222)(455,685)
Financing activities(42,715)(66,677)361,526 
Effect of exchange rate changes on cash7,086 (557)(3,656)
Net change in cash and cash equivalents21,752 312 (6,048)
Cash and cash equivalents at beginning of period81,301 80,989 87,037 
Cash and cash equivalents at end of period$103,053 $81,301 $80,989 

We ended 2020 with $103.1 million in cash, an increase of $21.8 million during the year. The increase was primarily due to the following:

Cash provided by operating activities was $119.1 million for 2020, which represents a decrease of $22.7 million compared to 2019. The decrease was primarily due to lower net income due to the impacts of COVID-19, offset by working capital sources of cash, specifically a decrease in accounts receivable of $40.1 million, lower inventories of $38.7 million and lower prepaid and other expenses of $13.0 million. These sources of cash were offset by a $60.9 million use of cash in accounts payable and accrued expenses to fund normal operations.

Cash used in investing activities was $61.7 million for 2020, which represents a decrease of $12.5 million from 2019. The decrease was primarily due to lower capital expenditures compared to 2019 due to fewer project demands and lower capital investment as a result of the impacts of COVID-19.

Cash used in financing activities was $42.7 million for 2020, which represents a decrease of $24.0 million compared to 2019. Financing activities for 2020 include higher loan borrowings of $320.0 million due to the issuance of $300 million of Senior Notes, offset by (1) higher repayments of revolving and term loan borrowings as the proceeds from the issuance of the Senior Notes were used to repay $290.7 million of outstanding term and revolving loan borrowings under the Syndicated Credit Facility and (2) a decrease in dividends paid of $9.8 million.

We ended 2019 with $81.3 million in cash, an increase of $0.3 million during the year. The most significant uses of cash in 2019 were (1) repayments on our Syndicated Credit Facility of $111.7 million offset by borrowings of $90 million, (2) capital expenditures of $74.6 million, (3) $25.2 million to repurchase 1.6 million shares of the Company’s outstanding common stock, and (3) dividend payments of $15.4 million These uses were offset by cash flow from operations of $141.8 million, primarily generated from (1) net income of $79.2 million, (2) $19.4 million for increases in accounts payable and accrued expenses, and (3) $2.6 million due to a decrease in inventories. These sources of cash were reduced by working capital uses of (1) $9.7 million due to increases in prepaid expenses and (2) $0.9 million due to increases in accounts receivable.

We ended 2018 with $81.0 million in cash, a decrease of $6.0 million during the year. During 2018, we borrowed $462.8 million of new term loan debt to finance the acquisition of nora. The cash purchase price for nora, net of cash acquired, was $400.7 million. Other than the nora purchase transaction, the most significant uses of cash in 2018 were (1) repayments on our Syndicated Credit Facility of $64.5 million, (2) capital expenditures of $54.9 million, (3) dividend payments of $15.5 million and (4) $14.5 million of cash used to repurchase our common stock. These uses were offset by cash flow generated by operations of $91.8 million. Our cash flow from operations was primarily generated by net income of $50.3 million. This net income was offset by working capital uses, primarily $18.8 million for an increase in inventory and $15.5 million due to increases in prepaid and other current assets. The Company generated cash of $9.9 million for increases in accounts payable and accrued expenses. In addition to working capital generation of cash, the Company also borrowed $17 million under its Syndicated Credit Facility during 2018.

We believe that our liquidity position will provide sufficient funds to meet our current commitments and other cash requirements for the foreseeable future. 
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Funding Obligations 
 
We have various contractual obligations that we must fund as part of our normal operations. The following table discloses aggregate information about our contractual obligations and the periods in which payments are due. The amounts and time periods are measured from January 3, 2021.

  Payments Due by Period
 Total Payments
Due
Less than
1 year
1-3 years3-5 yearsMore than
5 years
 (in thousands)
Long-Term Debt Obligations(1)
$585,215 $15,319 $30,638 $239,258 $300,000 
Operating and Finance Lease Obligations(2)
143,198 20,653 30,457 21,344 70,744 
Expected Interest Payments(3)
160,257 23,439 45,729 41,589 49,500 
Unconditional Purchase Obligations(4)
14,529 14,529 — — — 
Pension Cash Obligations(5)
36,923 7,262 6,315 6,624 16,722 
Total Contractual Cash Obligations(6)
$940,122 $81,202 $113,139 $308,815 $436,966 
  


(1)Total long-term debt in the consolidated balance sheet includes a reduction for unamortized debt issuance costs of $8.6 million which are excluded from the long-term debt obligations in the table above. The table above includes $15.3 million classified as the current portion of long-term debt in the consolidated balance sheet of January 3, 2021.

(2)Operating and finance lease obligations represent undiscounted future lease payments.

(3)Expected interest payments to be made in future periods reflect anticipated interest payments related to the $300.0 million of 5.50% Senior Notes due 2028 outstanding, $282.2 million of Term Loan borrowings outstanding and the $3.0 million of revolving loan borrowings outstanding under our Syndicated Credit Facility as of January 3, 2021. We have also assumed in the presentation above that these borrowings will remain outstanding until maturity with the exception of the required amortization payments for our term loan borrowings.

(4)Unconditional purchase obligations do not include unconditional purchase obligations that are included as liabilities in our consolidated balance sheet. Our capital expenditure commitments of approximately $9.6 million are included in the table above.

(5)We have three foreign defined benefit plans and a domestic salary continuation plan. Our domestic salary continuation plan and the nora plan are unfunded plans, and we do not currently have any commitments to make contributions to these plans. However, the table above includes the expected benefit payments for these unfunded plans which will be paid by the Company. We use insurance instruments to hedge our exposure under the salary continuation plan. Contributions to our other employee benefit plans are at our discretion. The above table does not reflect expected benefit payments for two of our funded foreign defined benefit plans of approximately $114.8 million, which will be paid by the plans over the next ten years.

(6)The above table does not reflect unrecognized tax benefits of $10.8 million, the timing of which payments are uncertain. See Note 17 entitled “Income Taxes” in Item 8 of this Report for further information.








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Forward-Looking Statement on Impact of COVID-19

While we are aggressively managing our response to the COVID-19 pandemic, its impacts on our full year fiscal 2021 results and beyond are uncertain. We believe the most significant elements of uncertainty are (1) the intensity and duration of the impact on construction, renovation, and remodeling; (2) corporate, government, and consumer spending levels and sentiment; and (3) the ability of our sales channels, supply chain, manufacturing, and distribution partners to continue operating through disruptions. Any or all of these factors could negatively impact our financial position, results of operations, cash flows, and outlook. As the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect companies with global operations, we anticipate that our business and results in the first quarter of 2021 will continue to be adversely affected, and the timeline and pace of recovery is uncertain. Due to customary seasonality and the impact of COVID-19, we anticipate a sequential decrease in revenue and operating income in the first quarter of fiscal year 2021 compared with the fourth quarter of 2020.

During 2020, the Company implemented several cost reduction and avoidance initiatives to align with anticipated customer demand, including a voluntary employee separation program, temporary employee furloughs and other time-and-pay reduction programs, involuntary employee separations where necessary to streamline roles and responsibilities, and various other cost reducing initiatives. The Company also suspended merit-based salary increases, as well as its 401(k) and Non-Qualified Savings Plan (NSP) matching contributions, and benefited from lower than originally anticipated performance-based compensation and variable compensation for 2020. In addition, the Company reduced its capital spending plans.

In January 2021, the Company resumed its 401(k) and NSP matching contributions on a prospective basis, as well as customary merit-based salary increases for fiscal year 2021. The Company will also establish new performance-based compensation and variable compensation targets for fiscal year 2021. All of these items will increase costs compared to fiscal year 2020.

Cash flows from operations, cash and cash equivalents, and other sources of liquidity are expected to be available and sufficient to meet foreseeable cash requirements. However, the Company’s cash flows from operations can be affected by numerous factors including the uncertainty of COVID-19 and its impact on global operations, raw material availability and cost, demand for our products, and other factors described in “Risk Factors” included in Part I, Item 1A of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.




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Critical Accounting Policies
 
The policies discussed below are considered by management to be critical to an understanding of our consolidated financial statements because their application places the most significant demands on management’s judgment, with financial reporting results relying on estimations about the effects of matters that are inherently uncertain. Specific risks for these critical accounting policies are described in the following paragraphs. For all of these policies, management cautions that future events may not develop as forecasted, and the best estimates routinely require adjustment.
 
Impairment of Long-Lived Assets. Long-lived assets are reviewed for impairment at the asset group level whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying value may not be recoverable. If the sum of the expected future undiscounted cash flow is less than the carrying amount of the asset, an impairment is indicated. A loss is then recognized for the difference, if any, between the fair value of the asset (as estimated by management using its best judgment) and the carrying value of the asset. The management estimate of fair value considers undiscounted cash flows, market conditions and trends, and other industry specific metrics. If actual market value is less favorable than that estimated by management, additional write-downs may be required.
 
Deferred Income Tax Assets and Liabilities. The carrying values of deferred income tax assets and liabilities reflect the application of our income tax accounting policies in accordance with applicable accounting standards and are based on management’s assumptions and estimates regarding future operating results and levels of taxable income, as well as management’s judgment regarding the interpretation of the provisions of applicable accounting standards. The carrying values of liabilities for income taxes currently payable are based on management’s interpretations of applicable tax laws and incorporate management’s assumptions and judgments regarding the use of tax planning strategies in various taxing jurisdictions. The use of different estimates, assumptions and judgments in connection with accounting for income taxes may result in materially different carrying values of income tax assets and liabilities and results of operations.
 
We evaluate the recoverability of these deferred tax assets by assessing the adequacy of future expected taxable income from all sources, including reversal of taxable temporary differences, forecasted operating earnings and available tax planning strategies. These sources of income inherently rely heavily on estimates. We use our historical experience and our short and long-term business forecasts to provide insight. Further, our global business portfolio gives us the opportunity to employ various prudent and feasible tax planning strategies to facilitate the recoverability of future deductions. To the extent we do not consider it more likely than not that a deferred tax asset will be recovered, a valuation allowance is established. As of January 3, 2021, and December 29, 2019, we had state net operating loss carryforwards of $142.7 million and $87.6 million, respectively. Certain of these state net operating loss carryforwards are reserved with a valuation allowance because, based on the available evidence, we believe it is more likely than not that we would not be able to utilize those deferred tax assets in the future. The remaining year-end 2020 amounts are expected to be fully recoverable within the applicable statutory expiration periods. If the actual amounts of taxable income differ from our estimates, the amount of our valuation allowance could be materially impacted.
 
Goodwill. Prior to the adoption of ASU 2017-04 “Intangibles-Goodwill and Other”, we tested goodwill for impairment at least annually using a two-step approach. In the first step of this approach, we prepared valuations of reporting units, using both a market comparable approach and an income approach, and those valuations are compared with the respective book values of the reporting units to determine whether any goodwill impairment exists. In preparing the valuations, past, present and expected future performance is considered. If impairment was indicated in this first step of the test, a step two valuation approach was performed. The step two valuation approach compared the implied fair value of goodwill to the book value of goodwill. The implied fair value of goodwill was determined by allocating the estimated fair value of the reporting unit to the assets and liabilities of the reporting unit, including both recognized and unrecognized intangible assets, in the same manner as goodwill is determined in a business combination under applicable accounting standards. After completion of this step two test, a loss was recognized for the difference, if any, between the fair value of the goodwill associated with the reporting unit and the book value of that goodwill. If the actual fair value of the goodwill was determined to be less than that estimated, an additional write-down may be required.

 On December 30, 2019, the Company adopted Accounting Standards Update 2017-04, “Intangibles - Goodwill and Other,” that provides for the elimination of Step 2 from the goodwill impairment test. Under the new guidance, impairment charges are recognized to the extent the carrying amount of a reporting unit exceeds its fair value with certain limitations.




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In accordance with applicable accounting standards, the Company tests goodwill for impairment annually and between annual tests if an event occurs or circumstances change that would more likely than not reduce the fair value of a reporting unit below its carrying amount. During the fourth quarters of 2020, 2019 and 2018, we performed the annual goodwill impairment test. We perform this test at the reporting unit level. For our reporting units which carried a goodwill balance as of January 3, 2021, no impairment of goodwill was indicated. As of January 3, 2021, if our estimates of the fair value of our reporting units were 10% lower, we believe no additional goodwill impairment would have existed. However, the full extent of the future impact of COVID-19 on the Company’s operations is uncertain, and a prolonged COVID-19 pandemic could result in additional impairment of goodwill.
 
Inventories. We determine the value of inventories using the lower of cost or net realizable value. We write down inventories for the difference between the carrying value of the inventories and their net realizable value. If actual market conditions are less favorable than those projected by management, additional write-downs may be required.
 
We estimate our reserves for inventory obsolescence by continuously examining our inventories to determine if there are indicators that carrying values exceed net realizable values. Experience has shown that significant indicators that could require the need for additional inventory write-downs are the age of the inventory, the length of its product life cycles, anticipated demand for our products and current economic conditions. While we believe that adequate write-downs for inventory obsolescence have been made in the consolidated financial statements, consumer tastes and preferences will continue to change and we could experience additional inventory write-downs in the future. Our inventory reserve on January 3, 2021 and December 29, 2019, was $35.0 million and $28.3 million, respectively. To the extent that actual obsolescence of our inventory differs from our estimate by 10%, our 2020 net income would be higher or lower by approximately $3.2 million, on an after-tax basis.

Pension Benefits. Net pension expense recorded is based on, among other things, assumptions about the discount rate, estimated return on plan assets and salary increases. While management believes these assumptions are reasonable, changes in these and other factors and differences between actual and assumed changes in the present value of liabilities or assets of our plans above certain thresholds could cause net annual expense to increase or decrease materially from year to year. The actuarial assumptions used in our salary continuation plan and our foreign defined benefit plans reporting are reviewed periodically and compared with external benchmarks to ensure that they appropriately account for our future pension benefit obligation. The expected long-term rate of return on plan assets assumption is based on weighted average expected returns for each asset class. Expected returns reflect a combination of historical performance analysis and the forward-looking views of the financial markets, and include input from actuaries, investment service firms and investment managers. The table below represents the changes to the projected benefit obligation as a result of changes in discount rate assumptions:

Foreign Defined Benefit PlansIncrease (Decrease) in
Projected Benefit Obligation
 (in millions)
1% increase in actuarial assumption for discount rate$(55.8)
1% decrease in actuarial assumption for discount rate72.0 
 
Domestic Salary Continuation PlanIncrease (Decrease) in
Projected Benefit Obligation
 (in millions)
1% increase in actuarial assumption for discount rate$(3.5)
1% decrease in actuarial assumption for discount rate4.3 
 

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Allowances for Expected Credit Losses. We maintain allowances for expected credit losses resulting from the inability of customers to make required payments. Estimating the amount of future expected losses requires us to consider historical losses from our customers, as well as current market conditions and future forecasts of our customers’ ability to make payments for goods and services. By its nature, such an estimate is highly subjective, and it is possible that the amount of accounts receivable that we are unable to collect may be different than the amount initially estimated. Our allowance for expected credit losses on January 3, 2021 and December 29, 2019, was $6.6 million and $3.8 million, respectively. To the extent the actual collectability of our accounts receivable differs from our estimates by 10%, our 2020 net income would be higher or lower by approximately $0.6 million, on an after-tax basis, depending on whether the actual collectability was better or worse, respectively, than the estimated allowance.
 
Product Warranties. We typically provide limited warranties with respect to certain attributes of our carpet products (for example, warranties regarding excessive surface wear, edge ravel and static electricity) for periods ranging from ten to twenty years, depending on the particular carpet product and the environment in which the product is to be installed. Similar limited warranties are provided on certain attributes of our rubber and LVT products, typically for a period of 5 to 15 years. We typically warrant that any services performed will be free from defects in workmanship for a period of one year following completion. In the event of a breach of warranty, the remedy typically is limited to repair of the problem or replacement of the affected product. We record a provision related to warranty costs based on historical experience and periodically adjust these provisions to reflect changes in actual experience. Our warranty and sales allowance reserve on January 3, 2021 and December 29, 2019, was $3.2 million and $3.9 million, respectively. Actual warranty expense incurred could vary significantly from amounts that we estimate. To the extent the actual warranty expense differs from our estimates by 10%, our 2020 net income would be higher or lower by approximately $0.3 million, on an after-tax basis, depending on whether the actual expense is lower or higher, respectively, than the estimated provision.
 
nora Acquisition. We are required to estimate the fair value of the assets acquired and liabilities assumed in business combinations as of the acquisition date, including identified intangible assets. The amount of purchase price paid in excess of the net assets acquired is recorded as goodwill. The fair values are estimated in accordance with accounting standards which define fair value as the price that would be received to sell an asset or paid to transfer a liability in an orderly transaction between market participants. The fair values of the net assets acquired are determined primarily using Level 3 inputs (inputs that are unobservable to the marketplace participant).

The most significant of the fair value estimates is related to intangible assets not subject to amortization and intangible assets subject to amortization. We acquired $103.3 million of intangible assets in connection with the nora acquisition. This amount of intangible assets was determined based primarily on nora’s projected cash flows. The projected cash flows include various assumptions, including the timing of projects embedded in backlog, success in securing future business, profitability of the business, and the appropriate risk-adjusted discount rate used to discount the projected cash flows. At January 3, 2021 intangible assets, net of amortization and impairments, were approximately $87.7 million. The final residual value assigned to goodwill related to the nora acquisition was $201.9 million, at the acquisition date exchange rate. We completed our final valuation of the assets acquired and liabilities assumed at the acquisition date in the second quarter of 2019. At January 3, 2021, goodwill, net of impairments, was $165.8 million.
 
Off-Balance Sheet Arrangements
 
We are not a party to any material off-balance sheet arrangements.
 
Recent Accounting Pronouncements 
 
Please see Note 2 entitled “Recent Accounting Pronouncements” in Item 8 of this Report for discussion of these items.
 
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ITEM 7A. QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE DISCLOSURES ABOUT MARKET RISK

Market Risk
 
As a result of the scope of our global operations, we are exposed to an element of market risk from changes in interest rates and foreign currency exchange rates. Our results of operations and financial condition could be impacted by this risk. We manage our exposure to market risk through our regular operating and financial activities and, to the extent we deem appropriate, through the use of derivative financial instruments.
 
We employ derivative financial instruments as risk management tools and not for speculative or trading purposes. We monitor the use of derivative financial instruments through objective measurable systems, well-defined market and credit risk limits, and timely reports to senior management according to prescribed guidelines. We have established strict counter-party credit guidelines and enter into transactions only with financial institutions with a rating of investment grade or better. As a result, we consider the risk of counter-party default to be minimal.
 
Interest Rate Market Risk Exposure
 
Changes in interest rates affect the interest paid on certain of our debt. To mitigate the impact of fluctuations in interest rates, our management monitors interest rates and has developed and implemented a policy to maintain the percentage of fixed and variable rate debt within certain parameters, subject to approval by our Board of Directors. In 2017 and 2019, the Company entered into interest rate swap transactions with regard to a portion of its term loan debt. The Company’s interest rate swaps were designated and qualified as cash flow hedges of forecasted interest payments. Both of the Company’s interest rate swaps were terminated in the fourth quarter of 2020.
 
Foreign Currency Exchange Market Risk Exposure
 
A significant portion of our operations consists of manufacturing and sales activities in foreign jurisdictions. We manufacture our products in the United States, Northern Ireland, the Netherlands, Germany, China, Thailand and Australia, and sell our products in more than 100 countries. As a result, our financial results have been, and could be, significantly affected by factors such as changes in foreign currency exchange rates or weak economic conditions in the foreign markets in which we distribute our products. Our operating results are exposed to changes in exchange rates between the U.S. dollar and many other currencies, including the Euro, British pound sterling, Canadian dollar, Australian dollar, Thai baht and Chinese Renminbi. When the U.S. dollar strengthens against a foreign currency, the value of anticipated sales in those currencies decreases, and vice versa. Additionally, to the extent our foreign operations with functional currencies other than the U.S. dollar transact business in countries other than the United States, exchange rate changes between two foreign currencies could ultimately impact us. Finally, because we report in U.S. dollars on a consolidated basis, foreign currency exchange fluctuations could have a translation impact on our financial position.

At January 3, 2021, we recognized a $52.8 million decrease in our accumulated other comprehensive loss – foreign currency translation adjustment account compared with December 29, 2019, because of the strengthening of the Euro, British pound sterling, Australian dollar, and Chinese Renminbi against the U.S. dollar in 2020.
 
Sensitivity Analysis
 
For purposes of specific risk analysis, we use sensitivity analysis to measure the impact that market risk may have on the fair values of our market-sensitive instruments.
 
To perform sensitivity analysis, we assess the risk of loss in fair values associated with the impact of hypothetical changes in interest rates and foreign currency exchange rates on market-sensitive instruments. The market value of instruments affected by interest rate and foreign currency exchange rate risk is computed based on the present value of future cash flows as impacted by the changes in the rates attributable to the market risk being measured. The discount rates used for the present value computations were selected based on market interest and foreign currency exchange rates in effect at January 3, 2021. The values that result from these computations are then compared with the market values of the financial instruments. The differences are the hypothetical gains or losses associated with each type of risk.





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Interest Rate Risk 
 
As discussed above, our Syndicated Credit Facility is comprised of a combination of term loan and revolving loan borrowings. The following table summarizes our market risks associated with our variable rate debt obligations under the Syndicated Credit Facility as of January 3, 2021. For debt obligations, the table presents principal cash flows by year of maturity.

Rate-Sensitive Liabilities2021202220232024ThereafterTotalFair Value
 (in thousands)
Long-term Debt:       
Variable Rate$15,319 $15,319 $15,319 $15,319 $223,939 $285,215 $285,215 
Fixed Rate$— $— $— $— $300,000 $300,000 $315,999 
 
Our weighted average interest rate, including the effect of any active interest rate swaps, for our outstanding borrowings under the Syndicated Credit Facility as of January 3, 2021 and December 29, 2019 was 1.89% and 3.27%, respectively.

An increase in our effective interest rate of 1% on our variable rate debt would increase annual interest expense by approximately $2.9 million. We will continue to review our exposure to interest rate fluctuations and evaluate whether we should continue to manage such exposures through any future interest rate swap transactions. Based on a hypothetical immediate 100 basis point increase in interest rates, with all other variables held constant, the fair value of our fixed rate long-term debt would be impacted by a net decrease of $13.2 million. Conversely, a 100 basis point decrease in interest rates would result in a net increase in the fair value of our fixed rate long-term debt of $9.9 million.

Foreign Currency Exchange Rate Risk
 
As of January 3, 2021, a 10% decrease or increase in the levels of foreign currency exchange rates against the U.S. dollar, with all other variables held constant, would result in a decrease in the fair value of our short-term financial instruments (primarily cash, accounts receivable and accounts payable) of $11.9 million or an increase in the fair value of our financial instruments of $14.6 million, respectively. As the impact of offsetting changes in the fair market value of our net foreign investments is not included in the sensitivity model, these results are not indicative of our actual exposure to foreign currency exchange risk.

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ITEM 8. FINANCIAL STATEMENTS AND SUPPLEMENTARY DATA

INTERFACE, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS
(in thousands, except per share data)
 
 FISCAL YEAR
 202020192018
Net sales$1,103,262 $1,343,029 $1,179,573 
Cost of sales692,688 810,062 749,690 
Gross profit on sales410,574 532,967 429,883 
 
Selling, general and administrative expenses333,229 389,117 332,975 
Restructuring, asset impairment and other charges(4,626)12,947 20,529 
Goodwill and intangible asset impairment charge121,258   
 
Operating income (loss)(39,287)130,903 76,379 
 
Interest expense29,244 25,656 15,436 
Other expense10,889 3,431 5,952 
 
Income (loss) before income tax expense(79,420)101,816 54,991 
Income tax expense (benefit)(7,491)22,616 4,738 
 
Net income (loss)$(71,929)$79,200 $50,253 
 
Net income (loss) per share – basic$(1.23)$1.34 $0.84 
Net income (loss) per share – diluted$(1.23)$1.34 $0.84 
 
Basic weighted average common shares outstanding58,547 58,943 59,544 
Diluted weighted average common shares outstanding58,547 58,948 59,566 
 
See accompanying notes to consolidated financial statements.

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INTERFACE, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES 
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF COMPREHENSIVE INCOME (LOSS)
(in thousands)
 
 FISCAL YEAR
 202020192018
Net income (loss)$(71,929)$79,200 $50,253 
Other comprehensive income (loss), after tax   
Foreign currency translation adjustment52,808 (11,652)(22,544)
Cash flow hedge gain (loss)(2,027)(5,489)422 
Pension liability adjustment(12,588)(13,090)12,944 
 
Comprehensive income (loss)$(33,736)$48,969 $41,075 
 
See accompanying notes to consolidated financial statements.

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INTERFACE, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS
(in thousands, except par values)
 
 END OF FISCAL YEAR
 20202019
ASSETS  
Current assets  
Cash and cash equivalents$103,053 $81,301 
Accounts receivable, net139,869 177,482 
Inventories, net228,725 253,584 
Prepaid expenses and other current assets23,747 35,768 
Total current assets495,394 548,135 
Property, plant and equipment, net359,036 324,585 
Operating lease right-of-use assets98,013 107,044 
Deferred tax asset18,175 19,683 
Goodwill and intangibles, net253,536 346,474 
Other assets81,857 77,128 
 
Total assets$1,306,011 $1,423,049 
 
LIABILITIES AND SHAREHOLDERS’ EQUITY  
Current liabilities  
Accounts payable$58,687 $75,687 
Accrued expenses105,739 140,652 
Current portion of operating lease liabilities13,555 15,914 
Current portion of long-term debt15,319 31,022 
Total current liabilities193,300 263,275 
Long-term debt561,251 565,178 
Operating lease liabilities86,468 91,829 
Deferred income taxes34,307 35,550 
Other long-term liabilities104,147 99,015 
 
Total liabilities979,473 1,054,847 
 
Commitments and contingencies
 
Shareholders’ equity  
Preferred stock, par value $1.00 per share; 5,000 shares authorized; none issued or outstanding at January 3, 2021 and December 29, 2019
  
Common stock, par value $0.10 per share; 120,000 shares authorized; 58,664 and 58,416 shares issued and outstanding at January 3, 2021 and December 29, 2019, respectively
5,865 5,842 
Additional paid-in capital247,920 250,306 
Retained earnings208,562 286,056 
Accumulated other comprehensive loss – foreign currency translation(60,331)(113,139)
Accumulated other comprehensive loss – cash flow hedge(6,190)(4,163)
Accumulated other comprehensive loss – pension liability(69,288)(56,700)
 
Total shareholders’ equity326,538 368,202 
 
Total liabilities and shareholders’ equity$1,306,011 $1,423,049 

See accompanying notes to consolidated financial statements.
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INTERFACE, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS
(in thousands)

 FISCAL YEAR
 202020192018
OPERATING ACTIVITIES:  
Net income (loss)$(71,929)$79,200 $50,253 
Adjustments to reconcile net income (loss) to cash provided by operating activities:   
Depreciation and amortization45,920 44,932 39,084 
Stock compensation amortization expense (benefit)(502)8,691 14,496 
Loss on disposal of fixed assets4,996  8,569 
Enactment of U.S. Tax Cuts and Jobs Act benefit  (6,739)
Bad debt expense3,843 1,206 222 
Deferred income taxes and other(20,794)(9,497)(11,709)
Amortization of acquired intangible assets5,457 5,903 5,387 
Amortization of acquired inventory step-up