Floor Coverings International
Road To Success: How Floor Coverings International
became the No. 1 flooring franchise in North America.
Floor Coverings International is North America’s oldest and largest shop-at-home floor covering retailer. It allows its customers to see, touch and feel its products – in the comfort of their own home. This has made all the difference in the road to success for this Norcross, Ga.-based company.
But contrary to what one might expect, Company President and CEO Tom Wood (seen above) says that the mobile concepts of the past have not been overwhelmingly successful in the flooring industry. That might be the case for some, but by putting a laser focus on consumer buying habits and expressed desires, the company’s operating model, growth ability, marketing and advertising as well as merchandising, Wood has built Floor Coverings International into a company that operates with Amazon-like efficacy.
In 2003, FirstService Brands, a Toronto-based company specializing in home service franchises, acquired the brand and started to apply its expertise in franchising, in-home service and mobile concepts to the system.
Wood took the helm of Floor Coverings International in 2004. This mobile flooring concept “brings your new floor to your door.” It is now the No. 1 mobile flooring franchise opportunity and one of the most successful flooring businesses in North America.
By specializing in residential, personalized flooring; selection, design and installation, in-home customer consultation, the company has created a discernable difference from other floor coverings companies.
“Our success is predicated on our ability to execute and deliver an entire experience in the home,” Wood says. “There is no need to go to the store. Our system is convenient; our process efficient; from removing your old floor to laying your new one and cleaning up can take less than two weeks. And our selection of 3,000 flooring choices always impresses our customers. Having a design associate help them choose their best option based on furniture and color schemes they already have throughout their home makes it a delightful experience.”
It wasn’t always thus. Wood took a step back in 2014 to study how “customer closes” could be improved. Along with team members and consultants also studying the current steps, an overall improvement plan developed and some changes to the process were implemented.
Those fixes, according to Wood, resulted in doing three main things well:
• A revamp of its home experience for consumers from top to bottom. The franchisee is not necessarily the person who visits the home but rather design associates are on staff to adhere to a rigorous experience model that demands perfection. “This allows the customer to learn who we are, what we do and how we do it,” Wood says.
• Franchisees were provided new training in areas such as coaching and skill development in team leadership and sales-team management. “This allows our franchisees to scale their businesses more quickly and keep their people longer,” Wood says.
• A high dollar investment was made in a mobile platform that allows design associates to demonstrate the Floor Coverings International system, choose from a vast selection of products, provide a quote and secure the sale all while in the customer’s home. “It’s the best in the industry,” Wood says.
An Explosive Machine
As a result, a once mom-and-pop franchisor that was slow and stodgy has evolved into a fast and explosive machine, with a franchise business model predicated on reaching $1.5 million in annual sales in quick fashion.
“We’re thrilled to be recognized as the leader in our category,” says Wood, referring to the company’s continuous ranking as top in its category. “This accomplishment is a testament to the strength of the brand, our franchisees, support team, and the Floor Coverings International franchise opportunity.”
Among some of the honors and rankings Floor Coverings International enjoys consistently by Entrepreneur magazine are:
• Top Franchises for Veterans
• Top Franchises For Any Budget
• Top Brands
• Top Global
• Fastest Growing Franchises
Floor Coverings International currently has 150-plus locations throughout the United States and Canada with plenty of opportunity and plans for continued expansion in 2019. Canada is developing nicely and is open for new locations in a booming real estate market.