San Antonio Carpet World has been a well-known flooring retailer in Texas for going on four decades. When Jeff de Rojas was named president and coo of the company in 2007 after it was acquired by the Feik family of businesses a year earlier, he immediately set out to recreate the company.
“When I arrived, it was a brand that had been around for quite some time, and it was built on volume and commodity-based goods. Sort of a ‘come on down, nobody beats our prices’ warehouse atmosphere,” de Rojas explained. “There wasn’t necessarily any climate control or a nice customer atmosphere.”
“The rebranding was pretty challenging,” de Rojas acknowledged. “We built our business on a certain brand with a certain range of demographics, and we didn’t want to lose our customer base. We also didn’t want to raise the brand so much that it would scare anyone away. We wanted to elevate it just enough to appeal to other demographics that weren’t being served at the time.”
He said he prepared customers for the change early, talking about the transition about a year and a half before the name of the company changed. “We tried to educate people and make the two brands synonymous during preparations,” he noted. “We also didn’t completely dispose of the old brand. We’ve maintained that brand at one of our locations.”
De Rojas also opened two new stores. One of them is a design center near San Antonio’s country club communities. “We wanted to develop something where designers can present products one-on-one with their clients. It’s a standalone store with our smallest footprint, and it does not carry any inventory.” He said the idea behind the location is to get designers and clients talking through ideas, so they will then visit a CW Floors store to make their purchase.
To support local businesses, CW Floors also sources locally from vendors for many of its products. “It’s important to me to make sure that we support other businesses locally or at least in the state of Texas,” de Rojas explained. “We of course still give attention to the big flooring brands, but whenever we have the opportunity to sell a smaller vendor, we try to run with that.”
De Rojas is also moving forward with a new idea: a mobile design showroom. “We will have a design consultant travel around in this showroom, and they’ll be able to show the customer everything we have in our stores, all the latest and greatest trends.” He is putting the finishing touches on the first mobile design showroom, and hopes to have a fleet of 12 vans outfitted as mobile showrooms in the next year.