By Ken Ryan
Republic Flooring has graduated from specialty vendor to core vendor of the National Floorcovering Alliance (NFA). The move represents another feather in the cap of this flourishing, six-year-old company, which is also a supplier partner for CCA Global, the industry’s largest buying group.
“We’re very excited to be joining the NFA,” said Rotem Eylor, CEO of Commerce, Calif.-based Republic, an SPC supplier known for its proprietary Triple Moisture Protection technology and vast assortment of colors.
Republic has been planning for this opportunity with NFA—an influential group represented by 43 of the most prominent dealers in the industry—for more than a year. While other flooring companies were hunkered down during the first half of 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, Republic stepped up its efforts. Its June was the best month in company history—that is, until August arrived and the company did 50% more business than in any previous month, according to Eylor.
At the same time, its representatives flew across the country to set up one-on-one meetings with NFA members. Eylor said Republic has essentially built a separate operation within the organization just to handle NFA accounts. It includes warehousing of inventory and customer service personnel dedicated to the NFA.
Republic is also in the process of expanding its reach from the West Coast, with plans to add 20-plus warehouses over the next five years, including seven new locations in the next six to eight months. In some instances, the company said it is acquiring space from distributors or have bought their businesses outright. “We’re investing anything we have,” Eylor told FCNews, adding that the company just ordered another 12 tractor trailers to its existing fleet of 35 trucks.
As part of its program with NFA members, Republic is absorbing any freight costs. As Eylor explained, “Whether you are on the West Coast or in Dalton, the price is the same for NFA members, which means they are going to get the best rates.”
NFA retailers who have done business with Republic in the past say the company will be a welcome addition to the group. Case in point is Oxnard, Calif.-based Flooring 101, which has done business with Republic for more than five years. “They are very good at what they do,” said Ian Newton, general manager. “Republic has the design capability, and they always seem to be a step ahead as far as fashion and colors. Here on the West Coast that is a big advantage because this is where trends start. I believe they will be a great core vendor for the group.”
Fellow NFA member Dan Mandel, co-owner of Sterling Carpet & Flooring, Anaheim, Calif., said Republic started out as an underdog but has made great strides to become an important vendor in his stores. “They have great looking visuals and very competitive pricing,” he said. “They have made some personnel changes from reps to the back office people and are very flexible. Since then, we have zero issues or problems with them, and our business has grown with them because of this. Republic understands that while the NFA has large and strong buying potential, we also embrace one another’s individuality. They seem to sense this and are willing to work with each member and see what fits the best.”