Contact The Carpet Store for all types of flooring!
Everybody knows that there is no place like home.
No one takes building or buying a new home lightly, nor would they take lightly the things they put inside their home, and that starts with the right choice of flooring.
Designers would be the first to say that decorating a home from the floor up is the right way to go.
In today’s ultra-modern, busy world where many people are either in a hurry or buy everything online, The Carpet Store remains one of those rare blends of modern and old school charm you are unlikely to find elsewhere.
Now in its 30th year, The Carpet Store is the only flooring establishment of its kind in the Region. Most flooring retailers now are what the owner, Sue Demeter describes as, “cash and carry.”
That isn’t The Carpet Store’s way of doing business and they’re proud of it.
They offer friendly, personal, individual service, featuring their own in-store design afficionados and their own dedicated, professional installers.
“A lot of people want the more personalized service,” says Demeter. “They want to come in and sit down and talk to somebody and get advice.”
That’s exactly how The Carpet Store has operated from day one.
The first thing most people encounter as they enter The Carpet Store is – besides a multitude of flooring options – the salespeople. These aren’t ordinary salespeople.
They don’t run around, out of breath, chasing down customers to make a quick sale. They aren’t rushed off their feet, as Demeter puts it, trying to make a quick sale. They prefer to take the more civilized, personal route.
Part of that old-world charm runs deep in the company’s veins and its roots from the days when Sue’s husband, John, ran the business.
“Yes, this is a pretty friendly place,” Demeter says. “(This is) my house but it was also my husband’s and still has his influence here. (That’s why) we still have people that come back time and again and they’ve been doing flooring with us for 30 years now.”
John Demeter passed away just 4 ½ years ago now. He and Sue were married 36 years. John started the business in 1991 after 10 years of working with another now-defunct carpet store where he became district manager. When that business closed, John decided to open The Carpet Store, which is the original flooring store in Kitchener.
“Yes, we’ve been here the longest,” Demeter says.
Sue, meanwhile, was a Human Resources manager for NCR Corporation and wasn’t really involved in the store, but made the decision to keep the store open following her husband’s untimely death. The first thing Sue did was talk to their staff:
“At the time, they said they wanted to stay, and they’d all been there ‘forever,’ like 15 to 20 to 30 years for some. I realized they wanted to keep going and so I said I would keep it going.”
She’s never regretted that decision for a single moment and a good part of the reason for that is the staff, who are also more akin to family.
Sue trusted them implicitly, which made the decision to keep the doors open easy.
“I couldn’t have made the transition (from human resources to retail) without my staff,” Demeter says. “They basically know everything.”
Demeter believes it is The Carpet Store’s full-service aspect that most appeals to her customers, whether it’s a local homebuilder or a homeowner.
They’ve been full-service from day one, which means they literally do everything from measuring to advice, to installations and they even follow-up with the installers – they have a stable of 15 highly-skilled installers from which to choose – if the customer isn’t completely satisfied. It also means The Carpet Store stands by their work.
Nowadays, most carpet retail outlets – of the cash and carry type – simply sell you something and you find your own installer. The Carpet Store takes ownership of the project from start to finish.
“We’re one of the only full-service (flooring retailers) left,” she says, adding that other stores leave it to the customer to arrange and deal with the headaches of finding their own installers.
The name “carpet,” is also a bit deceptive.
The Carpet Store carries a complete line of products from the world’s leading manufacturers, from carpet to ceramics for floor and backsplashes, laminates, vinyl and hardwood. They also feature a full selection of rugs in just about any size or colour. In fact, they have the one of the area’s largest selections of flooring products from some of the world’s most reputable suppliers. The optimum word here is “quality.”
They also provide free store samples of products you might be considering and let you take them home to make sure the flooring you choose will work with your décor.
“We let you take area rugs home (and check them out),” Demeter says, “because, as we say, you can’t make a decision without seeing it in the light of your own home.”
The Covid-19 did affect business to some degree.
“It did affect us,” she says. “But we were (able) to continue to support our builders.”
Demeter says the company has about five or six custom builders that work exclusively with The Carpet Store and they were able to continue building houses during the pandemic shutdown.
“So, they would send in a customer to pick their flooring and we were able to set up appointments. We did that for two months with a skeleton staff,” she recalls.
Demeter was glad she was just able to continue paying her staff and, ultimately, none of them had to apply for the Federal government’s CERB benefits program as they continued to receive their wages.
“My feeling was,” she says, “they have been with the company for 25 and 30 years so I wasn’t going to lay them off. We’re like family I guess.”
Demeter says she isn’t so much interested in franchising or growing it into an even larger operation. She and her staff feel at home with the way things are now, with no designs to get super rich.
“We are now at a point where we’re happy,” she says. “It was never our goal to grow into a big business or a franchise operation. Our goal was to keep it manageable, with a few staff that could handle it and everyone could make a good living; and that would be it, so it’s kind of where we’re still at now.”
John would likely agree.
“When he opened his own business in 1991,” Demeter recalls, “he had to wear a suit, keep his hair short, you know; he was a businessman, but he was also a musician. He played Blues in the Kitchener area, so when he opened his own business, he stopped cutting his hair and said he wouldn’t cut his hair until he actually had a year where he lost money.”
“His hair got longer and longer and he was known as the guy with the long ponytail.”
As Demeter says, “He never lost money.”
The Carpet Store is located at 1170 Victoria St. North Kitchener.
For more information, visit http://www.thecarpetstoreinc.com/