HICKSVILLE, N.Y.—Vinnie Virga, who recently parted ways with CCA Global Partners to pursue new ventures, including the opening of as many as 17 Big Bob’s Flooring Outlets, has agreed to joined FCNews’ team of distinguished columnists. His first article will appear in October.
Because of the emergent climate and shift in ways of doing business, Virga is in a unique place to share his experiences with the Floor Covering News audience. As the former president of Flooring America, Virga led the group through an explosive growth stage, then shepherded it through one of the nation’s most difficult economic times. By furthering many initiatives, not the least of which was a comprehensive e- marketing strategy, Flooring America members consistently outperformed the industry at large. This knowledge and success, coupled with his new experiences as a business owner, affords him a unique perspective on helping retailers navigate through what remains a challenging landscape.
“The column will offer a different viewpoint given I am someone who has held an array of positions in the industry, from retail to executive,” he said of his first-time writing endeavor.
Readers can look forward to his take on subjects like marketing today. While Big Bob’s has a library of materials from which to choose, there has been a great deal of individual effort into promoting his just opened Auburn, Mass., store. “It has been interesting as I started an advertising blitz for this campaign: Media continues to fragment so it’s a different thought process,” he explained. “It’s not like the old days when you could run an ad in a newspaper and get results. It continues to change at an amazing pace.”
Virga is looking forward to helping retailers through his FCNews column, just as Big Bob’s president Scott Perron has done for more than 10 years via his Retailer2Retailer column. “I like that the magazine takes the perspective of its readers and has given me that platform,” Perron said in a recent interview. “I’ve done a lot over the past 25 years, and what I’ve learned in the industry I’ve learned from someone else.”
Virga chose to align with the Big Bob’s operation due to the extraordinary value it presents in today’s market. “You have to have luxury or value, and I believe opening my own store with Big Bob’s was an easy choice,” he told FCNews. “They are fair, valuable and an easy choice for what customers want right now.”
Perron also expressed excitement about bringing Virga into the fold. “We’re 100% excited a gentleman of his caliber has chosen to align with us. He has a tremendous career and to choose us speaks highly of our model and offerings. We feel that says a lot about the opportunity, about the marketplace and the value proposition in flooring.” He sees the change in the retail market leading businessmen and women to seek a model that delivers value at a profit, because it’s the value proposition in the market people are seeking.
Aside from positioning for success with customers, it was a smart business choice from his end. “Going on my own didn’t scare me that much but the investment with Big Bob’s is unbelievably reasonable,” Virga said, explaining that the group symbolizes low cost and high quality. “Today’s consumer has either moved upstream in the sense that she wants what she wants, or she wants value. A good deal is chic in this group, so in that case we’re very chic.”
Opening new stores is not new to Virga—as the son of a floor covering store owner, he has spent his career learning the business from front to back. Store launches were part of his job description with companies like Carpet Giant and New York Carpet World, and he’s finding the entrepreneurial environment to be very inviting, likely because there is so little going on economically.
“Supplier partners and various government agencies couldn’t be more friendly or more aggressive about doing business with us,” he said. “This venture is the easiest in the sense of get- ting a business up and going. I think they’re just happy to have someone interested with an aggressive plan to grow.”