Here's a subject near and dear to my heart...BUY LOCAL.
As the last, independent, locally owned, retail flooring store still in business located on a mainstream highway that used to be home to at least four other carpet or tile retail stores---
I'd like to take a minute to ask consumers to consider giving their local businesses the opportunity to get their sale.
Here's why. If you don't help support local businesses, they will no longer exist.
Just like small grocery stores, independent pharmacies and clothing stores, sporting goods and hardware stores, flooring stores find themselves in a constant battle against the Big Box stores who run unrealistic "specials" to drive consumers into their store.
Make no mistake that this is a tactic.
The bottom line is equally important to Big Box stores and they find a way to make back what is given away in such "specials". It may be the carpet style that is available in this special is so cheap most people don't want it and end up "up-grading" to a higher priced carpet. It may be they make it up by charging for every single nail and tack strip used or over priced padding. Or the consumer pays trip charges, delivery charges and paying for an in-home
measure. And on...and on.
When we have provided estimates for flooring against Big Box stores, and many times people are surprised with the results.
If you want locally owned, Mom and Pop stores in your community..give them the chance to get the sale!
We know that consumers are shopping for the best deal. In this economy there aren't many who aren't trying to
make good choices with their money.
We don't run specials, we don't mark up inventory every other week, we don't charge for necessary items like nails and tack strip. We provide an on site measure (within 20 miles of GR) at no cost, we provide a drawing if you have multiple rooms, you receive an estimate that spells out the costs, we track your order, we genuinely like working with people on their projects and our customers benefit from our years of experience.
In contrast to the Big Box stores, we know our installers. In fact, we often find ourselves sitting across from
them at Sunday dinners! The 8 primary vendors that we buy our materials through are local. We make a conscious
effort to also support other local business.
Here's something to think about...Grand Rapids Local First commissioned a study on how locally spent dollars effect the community. According to research firm Civic Economics, when West Michigan consumers choose a locally owned business over a non-local alternative, $73 of every $100 spent stays in the community.
By contrast, only $43 of every $100 spent at a non-locally owned business remains in the community.
Interesting isn't it? I think sometimes we forget that little changes can have surprising impact.
"The doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live." ~Flora Whittemore
Alright, I'll get off my soapbox...but I want to encourage you the reader, wherever you may be - to support your local business community. It will make a difference!
The Floor Network
I've been in the flooring business since I was a teenager and became my Dad's apprentice. Many things have changed since...new products, new techniques, "green" products that don't produce fumes that make you sick, but the bottom line is everyone starts with a solid floor or wall and then, with some thought and planning, it becomes the foundation for the design style of your home!