When brothers Ryan and Chris King opened National Design Mart’s flagship store in Medina, Ohio, two years ago, they turned to Mohawk’s Five Star program to help accelerate sales.
“We’ve always been a longtime Mohawk supporter, and the Five Star platform has offered a lot in relation to private labeling, in-store support, rebates and marketing,” said Ryan King, president of National Design Mart.
National Design Mart—with retail showrooms in Medina and Wooster, Ohio, plus commercial sales outposts in Cincinnati and Cleveland—was named the 2018 Five Star Retailer of the Year by Mohawk.
The Kings have exponentially grown the company founded by their father Dennis more than 50 years ago. The flagship National Design Mart location in Medina occupies 151,000 square feet, and the Wooster showroom is 40,000 square feet. Construction is also underway on an 80,000-square-foot warehouse that is due to be completed this year.
The supersized Medina location, which showcases 90,000 square feet of showroom space, features flooring, furniture, decor, cabinetry and countertops (fabricated in-house). Upon entering the store, shoppers immediately experience the “wow” factor; in addition to three functional kitchens for demos and tastings, the store offers a children’s play area and a complimentary café. Customers walk across acres of inset hardwood, rigid core, tile and carpet installations while they dream up their home projects.
To participate in Five Star, retailers must commit to supporting a mix of products and pay a quarterly fee, and in exchange, retailers receive marketing and in-store support to help their stores stand out.
Part of the program includes annual showroom updates that connect online stories with the in-store experience. This year, King said the team is strategically revamping displays to showcase the latest design trends mixed with branded storytelling to provide their customers with countless inspirations.
“The Kings do a masterful job of cross-merchandising all our different types of flooring within the inspirational vignette displays created for the ultimate ease of shopping,” said Jeff Meadows, Mohawk’s senior vice president of residential sales.
Product support gives retailers the advantage of Floorscapes and ColorCenter private-label products plus enhanced warranties, including a 60-day satisfaction assurance. In addition, Mohawk provides dealers with consumer promotions that attract consumers and close sales. Customizable advertising helps to drive traffic during national sales and point-of-purchase kits help to tie together the messaging in store.
King said the lead-generation tool has been particularly helpful: “We do our own lead generation via our website as well, but it is nice that Mohawk has programs like the national sales that capture consumer information and drive customers to our store.”
The business stocks a mix of roughly 800 rolls of carpet and several hundred pallets of assorted hard surfaces. About 70% of its flooring sales volume is with Mohawk’s SmartStrand and SmartStrand Silk carpet collections.
Mohawk uses various benchmarks to identify its Five Star Retailer of the Year. The company seeks retailers that are representatives of the program, as well as exhibit a commitment to elevating store standards, branded storytelling, consumer experience and community involvement.
National Design Mart’s philanthropic efforts create goodwill throughout the community. The retailer’s winter coat drive netted more than 2,000 donations, while a book drive for a local children’s hospital gathered more than 3,000 books. Additionally, “Socktober” was an initiative that brought in mountains of invaluable foot coverings for local shelter residents.
King said he and his team plan to leverage the benefits of Five Star program in 2019.
“Increasing revenue is always number one,” King said. “Everyone has got a bit of a question as to how strong the market is going to be this year, but honestly, we have built a destination, so we have a leg up on everyone else in the area.”
“We want to be better for our consumers—whether it’s installation or the shopping experience, we always want to do better for them. We continue to fine-tune our business to become the premier source for everything they might need.”