The late Marvin Berlin, a visionary retailer who understood the importance of technology and used it to grow New York Carpet World from a two-store chain in 1967 to more than 250 stores in 17 states by 1996, will be inducted posthumously into the World Floor Covering Association’s Flooring Industry Hall of Fame. His legacy will be celebrated during the WFCA’s 50th anniversary dinner, set for Oct. 2 in Scottsdale, Ariz.
“Marv Berlin was a trail blazer in retail floor covering,” said D. Christopher Davis, president and ceo of the WFCA. “Most if not all of his innovations are commonplace practice to multi-store operations or buying groups today.”
Berlin was a pioneer of innovative management and information systems, which became models for multi-store merchandising, private labeling, and advertising for retailers and buying groups across the industry. As early as 1980, Berlin envisioned the concept of a portable, computerized measuring, calculating and selling system. The system he developed, called MeasureComp, is still widely used by major companies today.
Berlin was also committed to developing the largest and most automated distribution center in the industry. The company’s state-of-the-art distribution center and warehouse in Ringgold, Ga., made over 2,800 cuts a day off of a 60,000 roll stock platform designed to service all 250 stores daily.
He also developed a mainframe computer system that could track all aspects of the New York Carpet World. The system featured a complex pricing and commission system that allowed his company to operate at very high margins.
Along with his keen understanding of technology, Berlin is remembered for his personal touch. He was well known for visiting virtually every store in the New York Carpet World chain at least once a year. Additionally, he took a hands-on approach to training personnel. He is also remembered as a philanthropist who made giving a key part of his daily life.
Berlin will be the 37th inductee into the WFCA Flooring Industry Hall of Fame, a virtual who’s who of the industry.