The Tile Shop celebrates 30th anniversary

Home Inside FCNews The Tile Shop celebrates 30th anniversary

June 8/15, 2015; Volume 30/Number 1

By Amanda Haskin

“We have the widest assortment of tile in the industry, the most knowledgeable sales staff, the highest customer focus and we are growing across the country,” said Chris Homeister, CEO of The Tile Shop.

To say that The Tile Shop is growing is an understatement. The company, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, currently has 109 locations in 31 cities, more than half of which were opened within the last three years alone.

Based out of Plymouth, Minn., The Tile Shop is a specialty retailer of manufactured and natural stone tiles, setting and maintenance materials, and related accessories. It centers on providing inspiration for the DIY customer, offering more than 4,000 products and around 50 vignettes per store, along with numerous personalized services that help consumers turn their design fantasies into reality.

Bob Rucker founded The Tile Shop in 1985 out of a passion for tile and an impressive breadth of product knowledge. “Tile has come so far in a short amount of time,” Homeister said. “It allows people to personalize spaces and bring out who they are. The quantity of options is limitless.”

Those “limitless” options can be overwhelming

for many first-time DIYers, but the company seeks to simplify the process, providing the necessary tools to help customers eliminate the stress of a project and enjoy the experience. Highly qualified and specialized sales and design associates provide one-on-one consultations with customers, which are tailored to each individual’s design needs. In addition, products in each store are equipped with QR codes, allowing the customer to scan each product and view images to see what it looks like installed.

Other services include free shipping with qualified purchases, no restocking fees, a six-month return policy on unused products, a 25-year warranty on installation materials, a jobsite delivery program, free installation guides and design idea catalogs, educational workshops, and a free DIY class every Saturday morning.

The Tile Shop prides itself on keeping its immense product assortment up to date, reflecting the industry’s fluctuating trends. “My priority is keeping product selection current and relevant for our customers, especially design professionals,” said Kevin McDaniel, director of product development and design services. “I continuously seek feedback from industry professionals to ensure the products The Tile Shop offers are on-trend and of the highest quality and selection. I recently sourced more than 400 new products from around the world to add to our lineup, including water-jet mosaics made from a mix of stone, porcelain and glass as well as some conventional products produced with very unconventional materials such as antique mirrors and specialty metals like copper and brushed bronze.”

In addition to stocking tile products, the company also manufactures its own brand of installation materials, Superior, which includes sealants, caulks, grout, adhesives, floats, substrates, tile cutting tools and more.

Homeister noted that satisfied customers are quick to send in photos of finished installations, many of which are showcased on the company’s online designer blog. “I look at these photos and I’m always amazed at the creativity of consumers across the country. It’s great to think about how our tile has helped people create these spaces, and there is a great sense of satisfaction in helping people transform their homes. It’s a big responsibility that we take very seriously.”

But The Tile Shop certainly does not cater to DIYers alone; its customers also include homebuilders, architects, tile setters, interior designers and general contractors. For the builder segment the company has created The Pro Network, a benefit program for trade professionals that offers tiered discounts, in-house credit, jobsite delivery, exclusive offers, retail selection sheets and online order histories.

Looking into the future, the company’s seismic growth is on track to continue. Homeister predicts The Tile Shop will open eight to 10 more stores this year and 300 to 400 more over the next decade.

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