NEW YORK-With plans to open a handful of stores by year’s end, modular floor covering company FLOR officially opens its third U.S. store today, in the SoHo neighborhood of Manhattan.
The company already has locations in Chicago, where it is based, and Santa Monica, Calif. but the New York market is where it needed to be, Chip DeGrace, vice president of creative strategy, told HFN. “It’s the most dynamic city in the country.” And more locations are to come, as the company plans to open a store in Atlanta later this month, followed by other possible locations in such major markets as Brooklyn, Dallas and Houston by the end of the year. “You have to follow the customer where she wants to shop.”
The stores are ideal for customers who would rather handle and play with the tiles in person, rather than just viewing the line in a catalog or online, DeGrace said. “It’s totally participatory.” FLOR’s product line is a coordinating system of 50 centimeter squares in a range of colors, patterns and textures so consumers can build their own customized rugs. Though the new two-level store on Wooster Street was orderly yesterday, DeGrace wants consumers to “come in and mess it up” and throw tiles on the floor. “It’s absolutely my intent to change the vocabulary of the floor [and] to have people do things [with their
flooring] they wouldn’t have thought of otherwise.”