Retailer awardees were honored in two separate categories. Named Retailer of the Year in the single-store category was Bob Chandler of Columbia, Miss. Lonnie Moline and Elias Ain of California won the award in the multi-store store category.
Partners Moline and Ain own and operate 17 Color Tile licensed stores in California. Moline was originally and employee of now-bankrupt Color Tile Inc., then an owner of Color Tile franchise stores. Ain was the first Color Tile Inc. franchisee in 1991. The two joined forces in 1996 and became licensees when Jim Gould purchased the trademark from bankruptcy to form the current company, Color Tile LLC.
Although Bob Chandler’s single store location in Columbia draws on a highly mobile population of only 125,000, his store did nearly $3 million in retail sales last year. Because its two largest employers are a university and an insurance company headquarters, the population in Columbia is constantly on the move.
During his address at the annual membership meeting, Gould unveiled the company’s Platinum Program, made possible by a new level of membership, that gives members the opportunity to increase earned rebates to 4% on all core products offered. The program also provides for automatic annual license renewal to qualifying members, and additional advertising support.
“This is a new program available to every licensee,” Gould said. “It is a thank you to those who have supported us through some challenging start up times, and a showing of commitment to continued growth.”