The pandemic has been a tough time for us all, both personally and professionally, but for flooring retailers, there’s been a bit of silver lining during this challenging time. With people spending more time at home, home improvement has become a priority, and in several cases, a necessity, much to the benefit of the independent flooring retailer.

“Our members had a surprisingly good year,” said Vinnie Virga, CEO of Floors and More. “Most of our members—over 80 percent of our members—were up last year over the prior year, so that’s really great news.”

The buying group acted quickly to help its membership pivot at the onset of the pandemic, ensuring that its members stayed profitable during an uncertain time. Weekly webinars guided members through things like PPE, business restores, shop at home and going after commercial business. Basically, how to turn lemons into lemonade, says Virga.

With that mindset, Floors and More’s leadership put a considerable amount of attention and detail into the quality of its first-ever digital-only convention, which took place last month. Much like the group’s in-person events, the convention saw strong attendance, a robust exhibit hall, networking and welcomed elements of fun and connection among members—even in a digital space.

As 2021 moves on, Virga says he is encouraging Floors and More’s membership to make their year in the first seven months, if possible, as he predicts business will lose steam as things begin to reopen.

This timeline also helps to alleviate the membership’s biggest concern, which Virga says is the possible second wave of the pandemic. “Consistently what I hear from members is, ‘is there another wave of shutdowns?’ or ‘is there a different strain of the virus that will create an issue for the business?’”

If or when that second wave does happens, Floors and More is prepared to be there, once again, to help its membership remain profitable and competitive, says Virga. “For someone right now who isn’t aligned, there’s never been a better time to get involved with a group like Floors and More. Or if not our group, they should be talking to one of the groups. The things we are doing for members digitally to drive traffic into their business right now makes it so cost effective to be in a group.”

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