Best Practices - November 2009
By Sonya Jennings
Los Angeles based Contempo Floor Coverings is an upper end retailer whose recipe for success is promoting fashionable flooring, aligning with independent interior designers, and focusing on referrals. While the company doesn’t promote through traditional advertising, most of its clientele comes from customer referrals and promotion through its website.
According to co-owner David Haloossim, “Our relationship with designers, architects and contractors drives our business.” Over the years, the stores have built long-lasting connections with design and building industry professionals that are always a source of new business for the store.
One of the ways the company has built those relationships is through its website (comtempofloors.com). The site contains a very effective tool for creating and enhancing the relationship between the store and local designers for the benefit of both. Many of Contempo’s clients are affluent, and with a visit to the company’s website, they can be connected with a local interior designer. The website has a designer’s directory detailing specific information about designers in the area, including a photo, design specialties, location, and more. By creating an avenue for designers to be connected with potential clients, Contempo Floor Coverings is able to serve designers and their clients when flooring needs are addressed.
Contempo Floor Coverings is also a member partner of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), the primary association for designers. Haloossim’s goal is to serve designers, architects and contractors with the utmost efficiency and care so that they see the stores as a place they can depend on for excellent quality and service. For instance, when a designer or architect gets too busy and can’t visit the showroom, a Contempo salesperson will determine what they need on the phone and then deliver and pick up samples as needed.
Haloossim also focuses on the importance of showing his appreciation to these professionals. “I know that a designer has other choices to shop from in this city, so I always send the message that I appreciate the fact that he or she chooses us,” Haloossim says. He often handwrites notes after a project is complete.
The website, created by Jason Haloossim, David’s son, has also been effective in connecting potential customers with the store. Customers can schedule measures, make private appointments to visit the showroom, request samples, ask questions, receive quotes, and more. In today’s society, many people choose to handle details online, so the store developed a website to meet that need.
The Contempo stores are members of the International Design Guild (IDG). Being a part of this CCA Global Partners buying group allows Contempo to offer unusual flooring products at lower prices. The IDG negotiates lower prices from exclusive high-end manufacturers for its members, and it offers a popular line of private label products. Only a handful of stores in the Los Angeles area are members of the IDG, so Contempo’s selection of products sets it apart from most of its competitors.
The stores’ staff believes that “one satisfied client can become hundreds of satisfied clients.” Often a customer will walk in with knowledge from an Internet search and think she knows what product she wants to buy. However, she might not have the whole story. Contempo sales associates work hard to make sure the product is actually well suited for the homeowner’s given set of circumstances. To find the right product match, the staff has learned to ask several qualifying questions. Who lives in this house? Kids? Do you have a dog? Is the dog large or small? How much traffic do you have in your home? Do your children eat and drink in their bedrooms? Which floor of your home is this product going into? Do you live in a house or condominium? These specific questions help the salesperson determine if what the customer needs is exactly what she is asking for. Many times the customer will leave with something different from her initial choice due to the education and direction that the salesperson provides. Haloossim adds, “What sets us apart is our realistic and warm approach toward identifying a client’s needs, then providing relevant options based on those needs.”
By continually updating and changing the look of the showrooms, Contempo Floor Coverings communicates the message that the store carries all the latest fashion-forward products the industry has to offer. It’s very important that the displays are dynamic and fresh, particularly for designers who visit the stores often. The displays and highlighted products are always changing to create interest and offer new ideas.
Brothers David and Mark Haloossim began Contempo Floor Coverings in 1975 after both worked at Bullock’s Department Store in Los Angeles. The first location was opened in Brentwood and still operates today in the same location. It now has triple the space. A second West Los Angeles location opened in 1999. The company offers carpet, hardwood, ceramic tile, vinyl, draperies, blinds, and environmental and chemical free flooring products. The company’s business is 35% commercial and 65% residential.
Copyright 2009 Floor Focus