Floor & Decor, the specialty retailer of flooring products and accessories, ended 2018 strong. The Atlanta-based company added to its nationwide network of warehouse stores to bring the total number to an even 100. Its leaders were also busy driving business to a robust e-commerce platform and hiring new employees in large distribution centers to deliver tile, wood, and stone products at competitive prices.
In a year-end statement, CEO Tom Taylor predicted Floor & Decor would march forward to 400 potential stores. “We remain highly confident in the long-term momentum that is building at Floor & Decor . . . and remain committed to and building on the same strategies and investments in our business that have made us successful for almost two decades,” he said in a press statement.
Taylor and his fellow leaders set a growth goal of 20 percent per year, and they hit that number by expanding their warehouse number to 120 in 2019 as openings and other factors brought an increase of 19.6 percent in net sales. Floor & Decor wanted to avoid lower-quality products like carpet and lure discerning buyers to beautiful locations by providing a customer-focused retail experience. The plan was working—and then the global pandemic hit.
As COVID-19 affected businesses worldwide, Floor & Decor looked to prioritize safety without jeopardizing its momentum and ambitious growth goals driven by ongoing retail expansion. The company announced safety measures, cut pay for top executives, reduced its hours, and pivoted to phone, app, and pickup orders.
The world changed and Floor & Decor changed with it. Employees transitioning out of the workplace and into the home office combined with the nation’s aging housing stock propelled the home furnishings sector forward. Although new openings slowed, 13 did occur. The company weathered the storm, increased net sales by 37.3 percent, and eyed 27 warehouse openings in 2021.
The trend and strategy have continued along the same line as Floor & Decor executes its ambitious plan to focus on stores, products, customers, and sales. Warehouse footprints approach (and sometimes top) 80,000 square feet, giving customers the chance to explore, see, and touch products. They can also interact with installation experts at design studios inside many Floor & Decor locations.
Customers who enter a typical location find a seemingly endless selection of floor coverings and surfaces in varieties of stone and wood. Partitioned displays of kitchen sinks, stovetops, and other areas invite visitors to visualize how unique combinations of bamboo, ceramic, and natural stones will come alive in their own homes.
Nothing at Floor & Decor has slowed down. The company succeeded with its plans for 27 new warehouse-format stores in 2021 and ended the year with 160. Taylor plans to open 32 more by the end of this year.
Ed Smith, senior director of construction, coordinates with six project managers who work across the United States to make it all happen. In March 2022, the company celebrated the opening of a 76,000-square-foot warehouse store and design center on Chicago’s south side. The sprawling location, created at the former Chatham Ridge Shopping Center’s Burlington site, carries one million square feet of product. In the same month, Floor & Decor had three other openings, including one 2,200 miles to the west in North Portland.
Before 2022 ends, Floor & Decor will have nearly 200 warehouse locations—but its overall long-term target of 400 has changed. “We now believe there is a path to operating at least 500 warehouse-format stores over the next 8 to 10 years,” Taylor said in early 2022. Floor & Decor is rapidly approaching that number, and Taylor’s team won’t rest until they do.