Big Bob’s Flooring Outlet has been in existence for some 31 years, beginning as a single location in Kansas City and evolving into a unique operation perfectly poised for the retail floor covering industry’s next iteration. Serving the cash and carry segment of the industry, the firm has evolved into a franchise player with more than 50 locations throughout the country and three corporate locations in Kansas City. The brainchild of founder Dave Elyachar (then a mill rep, now the chairman) Big Bob’s originally focused on new and used carpet. It now offers a full array of flooring options including carpet, laminate, vinyl, tile and wood at what it calls outlet prices. And yes, it dropped the used carpet decades ago.
The unique niche the company has carved out for itself is with retailers who have found success, usually with full-service operations or with some other subset within their markets. These retailers are seeking to expand into areas that won’t dilute and doesn’t complement their prime operation. Most of Big Bob’s franchisees fit into this category—some with quite a number of stores, some with a single full-service location.