Carpet Call Group/The Floor Store
The Experts in the Trade
Back in 1975, Jim Smith, the founder and managing director of Carpet Call, opened his first carpet retail store in Alderley in Brisbane’s north. At the time he had to roll out carpet onto the street, quickly prepare and cut while there was no traffic. Times have certainly changed!
Jim Smith remains the owner, but now he manages a retail network of over 120 outlets including over 70 successful franchisees, some of whom have owned their stores for more than 20 years. Next year Solomons Flooring will be celebrating 130 years of age and Carpet Call 45 years of age.
Carpet Call has extensive retail networks in all mainland capital cities, and fully support this with state-based administration, support and warehousing facilities.
Carpet Call has one of the most recognised brands in retailing and their recognisable jingle ‘Call, call, Carpet Call, the experts in the trade’ is known by practically everyone in Australia.
Carpet Call continues to expand and develop markets around Australia and can lay claim to being one of the country’s most successful retail brands. We spoke to Jack McClane, the National Franchise Manager for Carpet Call and Solomons Flooring to find out how the Carpet Call Group has remained so successful in an everchanging market.
What is the secret to the company’s success?
Carpet has always been a favourite flooring product of choice for Australians. It’s comfortable, soft and is limitless in its patterns and colours but there’s no denying that carpet has been somewhat overshadowed in recent years by the growing popularity of hardwood and vinyl floors.
Although carpet remains the groups most popular and successful product, the Carpet Call Group specialise in timber, laminates, vinyl planks, sheet vinyl and an all-new hybrid range of flooring. According to Jack, “Modern technology and manufacturing methods means that we have some of the most current and stylish flooring options on offer.”
Remaining relevant has been the key to the group’s success, and Jack explains, “This means you must be conscious that change is inevitable and can happen at any time, you must pay attention to the landscape of your industry and know what areas will be the most likely to change.” It was important for the group to expand their offering and remain relevant, so “Most of our stores also offer blinds and shutters to complete homeowners’ renovations” says Jack.
Advertising has also played a pivotal role in the success of the two famous brands. The consistency of the high impact advertising campaigns across television, catalogues, Google Adwords and flyers means that the selling job has been much easier for the retail stores. The national advertising expenditure is constantly increasing in line with the growth in existing store sales as well as new store openings across Australia.
Innovative shopping experiences
By offering a great inhome experience, including free flooring measure, ideas and advice, promotions and expert advice, customers have remained loyal to the brand. The group's website allows customers to easily browse through the range without having to leave the comfort of their homes. The ‘Shop at Home’ service means that the teams flooring specialists can also visit the customer with the pre-agreed samples to test in their home or office, making the entire process easier for the customer.
People always want to keep their homes looking fresh and modern, and Jack says, “With today’s flooring and windows options, we are finding people are updating their homes more often than ever before. The great thing about our service is that we will bring samples to the customers home for an obligation free consultation to see how the samples look in the customers own home. Does the sample match well with the existing paint colour on the walls? How does it look next to the furniture? Seeing a product in the home in real conditions is a great way to shop.”
Carpet Call sources all their products locally and internationally, cutting out wholesalers and distributors, which means direct savings for their customers. It’s from this global network of suppliers that they can ensure all products meet the highest quality standards across all areas. Jack says “Our buying power is second to none, so customers can be assured we always offer the best prices. We have national warehouse facilities - a warehouse in every mainland capital city - allowing our stock to be delivered fast, when and wherever it’s needed, anywhere in Australia.”
Carpet Call has developed the “sales track”, a proven, prepared presentation for all of the group’s salespeople. The sales track is the sales process from start to finish for in-store and in-home sales. It is a series of steps that provide the best chance of sales success and customer satisfaction.
Franchisees will be fully trained in understanding, appreciating and ultimately mastering the sales track. Carpet Call’s process is easy to follow and focuses on the customer’s needs and importantly allows franchisees to implement their style and personality on the process.
The support system
Each state has a dedicated state franchise manager who offers support to the franchisees through training, marketing planning and business coaching to help the franchisee with all aspects of their business. They are there to guide, assist, manage, coach & encourage the franchisee.
The critical advantage that franchising has over an independent operation is the reassurance that the franchisee is never alone. Support is never far away. The Carpet call franchise managers are a first-point-of-call, and the administrative, accounting and operational staff are there to support the new business as well.
According to Jack, “The managers are one of the most important aspects of your business and are chosen by us specifically for their broad range of business and commercial acumen.”
Business skills are tailored to suit the individual needs of each franchisee in the network because, despite the uniform nature of franchising, no two franchisees are ever the same.
Joining the Carpet Call family also means direct access to many more fellow franchisees operating in the same system with the same products. Franchisees are encouraged to connect and support each other.
Carpet Call has been Australia’s leading flooring retailer since the early 1980s. Over the years, 10’s of millions of dollars have been spent establishing the Carpet Call brand names. These symbolise experience, trust and consumer confidence, with an enviable reputation for quality, range and genuine value — this position of strength assists in maximising benefit from a franchisees investment.
Carpet Call hold over $20 million of carpet, timber, laminate and vinyl stock in their national warehouses. Product is distributed to the franchisee as required. All stock is all handled by the internal computerised stock enquiry and order processing system, meaning franchisees are relieved of the huge financial burden of carrying stock and working capital is not tied up in expensive stock, and there are no short ends or wastage.
Want to get involved?
Franchising is growing and will continue to grow. To a prospective business person, the advantages of franchising are numerous, with some of the inherent dangers in small business eliminated. Franchising provides advantages to persons not previously experienced in business or management and allows them to enter into a successful business system.
Jack says, “We are looking for franchisees who want a great job and work/life balance; people who can represent our brands with the utmost professionalism and passion. Previous industry experience isn’t necessary rather a positive attitude and willingness to work hard on their business is always something we are searching for.”
The initial entry cost into the Carpet Call franchise system is extremely low which means potential franchisees can use their valuable capital for the important aspects of the business – positive cash flow, adequate working capital, store set up and signage, local promotion and advertising.
What are you waiting for?
The group have plenty of opportunities across Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria, particularly in Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sydney, Newcastle, Melbourne and Wollongong waiting for the right franchisee. There are also plenty of regional opportunities across the country.
Want to find out more?
Jack McClane, National Franchise Manager
0402 791 187