Best Practices - November 2010

By Sonya Jennings

 

Crest Wholesale Carpet & Flooring opened in 1952, but its owner Steve Weisberg has a fresh idea to help customers see his store’s products in a new way. The visual reality center concept is one that he has dreamed of creating for years, and he is now seeing his dream realized. This will change the way flooring is presented and sold in his store and possibly in other forward thinking stores as well. 

The idea for the visual reality center originated over a decade ago when the store ordered a large amount of Queen carpet. The product was a bit ahead of its time and was not selling. A small space was carved out in the warehouse to showcase the new product in a room scene. The space was called the visual reality room. When clients saw the product on the floor, in a room scene, it sold like wildfire. At that time, Weisberg told himself, “If I could, I would make an entire warehouse of these rooms in order to allow the customer to see the carpet in a room.” 

Years went by, and as the economy slid further into recession, new ideas were needed to spark business. Weisberg remembered his original idea. In the company’s main warehouse, a large portion of space had been filled with rolls for the builder business. With the builder business at a standstill, this area was designated as the spot for the new visual reality center. An interior designer was consulted to help decide how the warehouse should be set up to best highlight the products. Sixteen vignettes were constructed around the perimeter of the warehouse. Each vignette houses a room scene with a different product on the floor; 15 vignettes feature carpet and one features hardwood. In the middle of the warehouse, a flat screen television rolls footage of the rooms, old and new commercials, and tips for choosing flooring and decorating space. 

Weisberg sees the visual reality center as a tool for selling similar to a mannequin in a clothing store. He comments, “When a person sees an outfit on a mannequin, no matter how many clothes are on racks or in stacks around the store, she can visualize the outfit on her.” The visual reality center provides the same assurance that the carpet looks good in a real setting. It takes the guess work out of imagining what the product will look like on the floor of a real home.

Crest Wholesale Carpet & Flooring invests approximately 5% of its sales in advertising. Weisberg frequently appears in the company’s television commercials and has for many years. His commercials run on four different cable channels and local television channels as well. The tag line for the company is repeated in all forms of advertising, “No Sale Beats Wholesale.” Another theme repeated in the company’s advertising is, “Make your next flooring purchase your BEST flooring purchase.” Stores like Empire Today and Home Depot are the company’s main competition, and Crest Wholesale combats the perception that these stores offer greater value by creating special offers. For instance, Crest Wholesale offers product bundles of area rugs and carpet.

Most employees at Crest Wholesale Carpet and Flooring have been with the company for many years. Weisberg comments, “It says a lot about our store to have a team with so many long term employees. We are a family.” On a wall of the store, there is a picture of each team member with their start date. The general manager has been employed with Crest Wholesale for 33 years. More than half of the employees have been with the store for over 20 years. Having this information on the wall allows customers to realize that the employees in the store are true experts.

In 1952, Weisberg’s father started the company under the name Crown Floor Covering. In 1975, Weisberg took over the company. The business is now 75% residential and 25% corporate commercial and new builder. Crest Wholesale offers carpet, vinyl, LVT, hardwood, laminate and area rugs. Carpet accounts for 70% of the store’s business. 

Copyright 2010 Floor Focus 



Other Archived Articles

Unemployment Falls but August Job Gains Muted   Full Article
Washington, DC, Sept. 5, 2014 -- Employers in the U.S. added 142,000 jobs in August, the lowest monthly total of the year, according to the Labor Department.

Horizon Floors Signs Denver Hardwoods   Full Article
New York, NY, Sept. 5, 2014 -- Horizon Floors has a distribution agreement with Denver Hardwoods.

Invista Surfaces Makes Executive Promotions   Full Article
Kennesaw, GA, Sept. 5, 2014 -- Invista Surfaces has promoted Maggie Bidlingmaier to vice president of its residential business.

Gerflor Becomes Starnet Approved Vendor   Full Article
Chicago, IL, Sept. 5, 2014 -- Resilient flooring firm Gerflor said it has attained approved vendor status in Starnet.

USG Signs Private Label Agreement With Powerhold   Full Article
Chicago, IL, Sept. 5, 2014 -- USG Corporation said it has entered a private-label agreement with Powerhold, the largest flooring accessories distributor network in the country.

Shaw Ranked Fourth on E-learning List   Full Article
Dalton, GA. Sept. 5, 2014 -- Shaw Industries ranked fourth on E-learning! magazine’s Learning! 100.

H.B. Fuller Acquires ProSpec Construction Products   Full Article
St. Paul, MN, Sept. 4, 2014 -- H.B. Fuller Company said it has acquired ProSpec Construction Products, a provider of tile and stone installation products.

Builder Hovnanian Says Income Doubled   Full Article
Red Bank, NJ, Sept. 4, 2014 -- Homebuilder Hovnanian Enterprises reported third quarter net income of $17.1 million, or $0.11 a share, up from $8.5 million, or $0.06 a share, a year earlier.

Services Sector Expands at Faster Pace in August   Full Article
Tempe, AZ, Sept. 4, 2014 -- Growth in the services sector of the economy accelerated in August to the highest level since 2005, according to the Institute for Supply Management.

Initial Jobless Claims Still Near Eight-Year Low   Full Article
Washington, DC, Sept. 4, 2014 -- Initial claims for unemployment benefits last week ticked up although claims remain near an eight-year bottom.

Private Sector Job Growth Remains Steady   Full Article
Roseland, NJ, Sept. 4, 2014 -- Private sector employment increased by 204,000 jobs from July to August, according to the August ADP National Employment Report.

CRI's Mendez Named SGAC Board President   Full Article
Dalton, GA, Sept. 4, 2014 -- Carpet and Rug Institute vice president for government relations Jennifer Mendez was named president of the board of directors of the State Government Affairs Council.

Royal Adhesives Acquires Toronto-Based Chemque   Full Article
South Bend, IN, Sept. 4, 2014 -- Royal Adhesives & Sealants said that its subsidiary Royal Adhesives & Sealants Canada will acquire polyurethane foams and adhesives maker Chemque.

Domotex Bringing Back Innovations Event   Full Article
Hannover, Germany, Sept. 3, 2014 -- Domotex is bringing back its Innovations@Domotex for a second season next year.

Factory Orders Increase by Record Amount   Full Article
Washington, DC, Sept. 3, 2014 -- Factory orders rose by a record amount in July, mostly on the strength of commercial aircraft.

Shaw Moves Up on Selling Power List   Full Article
Dalton, GA, Sept. 3, 2014 -- Shaw Industries said it has been ranked no. 13 and is the only flooring manufacturer on the latest Selling Power 50 Best Companies to Sell For list.

Floor Focus Plans to Honor Young Professionals   Full Article
Chattanooga, TN, Sept. 3, 2014 -- Floor Focus Magazine plans to recognize young professionals in the flooring industry who are under 40 years old.

Bona AB Wins Swedish Export Award   Full Article
Aurora, CO, Sept. 3, 2014 -- Bona AB said it has received the Export Hermes 2014 Award.

Rug Market Schedules Set Through 2018   Full Article
Atlanta, GA, Sept. 3, 2014 -- AmericasMart has set the dates for its January and July markets, including its rug markets, through 2018.

Toll Brothers' Profit, Revenue Surge   Full Article
Horsham, PA, Sept. 3, 2014 -- Luxury homebuilder Toll Brothers Inc. reported third quarter net income of $97.7 million, or $0.53 a share, up from $46.6 million, or $0.26 a share, a year ago.