Floor Coverings Stores

SIC 5713

Industry report:

Retail sellers of floor coverings under this classification of may also incidentally install floor coverings, but contractors who primarily install floor coverings for others are in SIC 1752: Floor Laying and Other Floor Work, Not Elsewhere Classified.

The retail floor covering industry includes sellers of rugs and carpets, linoleum, asphalt tile, and ceramic tile. Floor covering retailers include specialty stores, department stores, home improvement stores, and mass merchandisers. According the U.S. Census Bureau, there were 12,883 establishments in this industry in 2010. Together these firms employed 71,804 workers who earned a total annual payroll of around $2.4 million. Revenues for the industry reached $16 billion in 2011. Dun & Bradstreet reported that at the end of the first decade of the 2000s retail locations identified as floor covering stores accounted for the bulk of industry revenues, generating almost 60 percent of sales. Other significant segments included stores specializing in carpet (28 percent), rugs (9 percent), and floor tile (3 percent). Stores specializing in vinyl floor covering and linoleum generated the smallest portion of revenues.

In the first decade of the 2000s, approximately 70 percent of U.S. homes were carpeted. Traditionally, floor covering retail stores dominated industry sales. However, throughout the decade, they rapidly lost ground in the carpeting sector to big-box outlets like Home Depot and Lowes. By the end of the decade, flooring retailers held less than 50 percent of the flooring market. Another threat to the industry was Internet vendors, the fastest growing sector in terms of sales. In response, traditional flooring outlets began to focus more on hardwood, marble, and other hard floor surfaces.

Like many retail businesses, the flooring industry suffered from the effects of the economic recession at the end of the first decade of the 2000s as consumers limited their spending. Of particular interest to the industry was the decline in the housing market. In 2008 U.S. housing starts fell to their lowest level since 1959. The following year was even worse as single-family housing starts totaled only 554,000 in 2009, compared to 1.3 million in 2007. The flooring industry reacted by focusing on reducing inventory, selling stock, and downsizing. Floor covering retailers also made space for complimentary items to attract customers and categories that were less susceptible to market changes, such as bed and bath and door mats.

By 2011 the retail flooring industry was beginning to recover. Research firm IBISWorld predicted that sales would rise between 2012 and 2016 as the housing market revived and Americans gained more disposable income to spend on flooring. The report added that the industry would continue to be challenged, however, as "price-conscious consumers will increasingly turn to large home improvement stores instead of specialty businesses to purchase their floor coverings." Nevertheless, industry participants were optimistic in the early 2010s.

One of the most significant trends in the industry in the early 2010s was the introduction and expanding use of environmentally friendly carpeting and other floor coverings.

The largest U.S. floor covering retailer in the early 2010s was CCA Global Partners, a privately held company established in 1984 as Carpet Co-op of America. Its two largest affiliates were Carpet One and Flooring America. The cooperative operated more than 2,700 retail stores in the United States and abroad. Sales for CCA Global, which also included firms involved with mortgage banking, lighting products, formalwear, and biking, totaled $10.2 billion in 2008.

Abbey Carpet, of Bonita Springs, Florida, which had a network of close to 800 independently owned and operated stores across the United States, as well several in the Bahamas and Puerto Rico, was another leading floor covering retailer. The privately owned company sold carpet and area rugs, hardwood, laminate, and vinyl floorings, ceramic tile, and window coverings. Sales in 2010 exceeded $15 million.

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News and information about Floor Coverings Stores

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