By Christie Contraguerro
David & Goliath, The Little Engine that Could, The Tortoise and the Hare, all these stories may come to mind when we think about the smaller retailer and the big-box stores. As chain stores and big-box stores take up more of the retail landscape, smaller stores, like my family’s flooring business, Carpet Showcase Flooring Center in Wheeling, continue to thrive and expand. You may wonder how that is possible when we have seen near extinction of the Mom and Pop shop.
This is our recipe for continued success; we embrace our specialized, family business. After we’ve been in business for 40 years, our customers shop and come here to ask questions, and we give them accurate answers. We focus on a single type of product, flooring. We may not catch the customer shopping for appliances, who stumble onto the flooring aisle, but we can meet very special needs.
Yet, many Americans frequent chain stores without considering their local merchants or other small business options. Please take a moment and ask yourself why? Do you overlook your local retailers?
Customers assume that pricing will automatically be higher at a small business in comparison to a corporate-owned store, as well as they dismiss the perks that many small businesses offer such as customer care, inventory assortment, and community support. However, did you know that many of these misconceptions about small businesses are just that — misconceptions?
Simply as a consumer, rather than as a business owner, I feel obligated – no let me rephrase – I want to shout from the rooftop – “Do not be misled!” Please do not assume that you are getting the best product for the lowest price from the large chains. The assumption is that only the large chains have buying power. Not true. At Carpet Showcase Flooring Center we have buying power. We are the largest Mohawk Floorscapes retailer in the area, and Mohawk is the largest flooring manufacturer in the world. We may be local, but our buying power is national. We maintain a 7,500 square-foot Warehouse of inventory and are getting ready to break ground on a new, state-of-the-art 10,000 square-foot facility. Take time to make an informed decision when making your purchases and please don’t assume that you are getting the “best bang for your buck” by purchasing from a chain or box-store.
Another difference between box-stores and the small business owner is we do not have to satisfy corporate investors, CEO’s, stockholders, etc.; we have to satisfy only our customers who are our shareholders, and they are the ones we strive to make happy. We provide the products you need and the brands you trust at the best possible price from the people you know.
During your decision-making process, it is also important to consider the small business owner lives in your community and is active in that community, sponsoring youth and local events such as parades, races, booths, fundraisers, and many other community activities. We are a part of your life even when you aren’t opening your wallets. We live, work, and prosper beside you.
With all that being said, if you still question where you should spend your dollars, stop by Carpet Showcase Flooring Center, and we will answer your questions. Visit your local hardware store, jeweler, baker, grocer, artisan, restaurant, etc. today and see what you may be missing.