Great Floors is enjoying strong sales and is on the path to expansion.
By Alan Dorich, Senior Editor at Knighthouse Media
Some floor covering retailers may keep their distance from their clients, but Great Floors treats them like family. “We treat every customer the way we treat our mothers,” President and CEO Doug Chadderdon declares. This philosophy can be seen in how Great Floors guides its clients through the installation process.
The company’s installation managers call customers “throughout the process, because we realize many people haven’t done this before,” Executive Vice President Mike Nelson says. “When we’re done, it has to look right and live up to their expectations,” he says, noting that many issues can come up. “Helping them through the process is the most important part.”
Chadderdon’s father, Keith Chadderdon, founded the Coeur d’Alene, Idaho-based company in 1971, as a carpet distributorship that represented 10 different manufacturers. In 1975, he opened his first carpet retail store. Since then, Great Floors has grown to operate 21 locations in three states that not only sell carpet, but also hardwood, laminate, tile, natural stone and luxury vinyl tile flooring. “We’re one of the three largest independently owned dealers in the industry,” Doug Chadderdon says.
The company also has prospered by being diverse in the markets it serves. Nelson notes that Great Floors is active in the commercial, new residential and retail sectors. “This year, we’ve had reasonable growth in all three categories,” he says. Great Floors also thrives by staying committed to its values. “Our mantra is ‘Do it, do it right and do it right now,’” Doug Chadderdon says, adding that his father created this adage. “[We’ve] kept that focus on operational excellence and making sure the customer is satisfied.”
Great Floors is enjoying a boost from its location in the Pacific Northwest. The presence of publicly traded companies like Amazon and Boeing has created a healthy economy with a strong employment market, Chadderdon says. Thanks to their high-paying jobs, “There’s a lot of affluent customers on the retail side,” he says, noting that this has propelled its new home construction sales and raised the level of quality products customers are putting into their homes.
“The other major trend is the extraordinary commercial activity in the Pacific Northwest,” Chadderdon says, noting that Great Floors has completed work for many of the Northwest’s top firms. “There’s a lot of activity. We may be at the peak of that cycle, but it’s very robust.”
Great Floors recently purchased Michael’s Flooring, an existing dealer in Vancouver, Wash., which will allow it to better serve clients in Oregon. “Portland was a spot we had to try to service remotely,” Nelson recalls. The company, Chadderdon notes, was a good match for Great Floors since it had the same percentage of retail, new home construction and commercial business.
“We hope to continue their success and grow on that well-run operation,” he says. Great Floors also plans to continue expanding, through a mix of organic growth and acquisitions. Currently, “I’m looking at two new locations that we will build, as well as strategic acquisitions in markets that we want to expand to,” Chadderdon says. Acquisitions, he notes, represent the safest method of growth. “We get access to the labor pool that an existing dealership would have,” he says. “It’s a lower risk strategy.”