Carpet Court Australia is the largest and one of the most experienced specialist floor covering and window furnishing store networks in Australia. With over 200 outlets nation-wide, Carpet Court has the size and reach to provide quality products and services to almost every household and business in the country.
Carpet Court understands that flooring and window treatments exist in the realm of interior design, and for every customer, this is a purchase that is both emotional and personal. Design and trends play an increasingly important role in any flooring and window coverings purchase. Carpet Court delivers on their customer’s needs by engaging with their clients early in their purchase journey through advertising, and one of the most informative and engaging websites in the industry.
Eventually, Carpet Court customers will engage with one of 205 stores around the country, located in cities and regional areas across Australia. It is here that the backing and support from Carpet Court becomes apparent. James Hayward is CEO of Carpet Court. He said, “an incredibly large number of unique customers visit our website every month. We see the site as a dream-space where people can see what’s possible and be inspired. We provide all the tools our customers need to make an informed decision through our website and via catalogues, buying guides and professional design input from our style influencers.”
Carpet Court is serious about flooring and window furnishings as a style element. Renowned style influencers including Heather Nette King and Darren Palmer team up with Carpet Court to ensure the latest trends and innovations are made available to their customers. In recent years the home has taken on a renewed importance in people’s lives and the style and quality of the lived-in environment has taken on a new significance. James believes the industry is poised to go from strength to strength and Carpet Court, built on almost fifty years’ experience, will continue to be a key industry driver.
Carpet Court Australia as it is known today started in 1973 as independent state-based buying groups, primarily on the eastern seaboard. The key driver was to leverage the purchasing power of the group to reduce overall purchase cost. The initial stores purchased across several categories including flooring, curtains, and a wide range of living and bedroom furniture.
In 1994 the Carpet Court alliance was formed with the state alliances agreeing to operate under one Carpet Court banner, moving away from furniture completely to focus on floor coverings. In 1999 Carpet Court Australia Limited was formed (with Southern and Northern regions) to support the state groups in national promotion, marketing, and product development.
In 2007 the northern and southern regions agreed to merge under the one trading entity headquartered in Melbourne Victoria. In 2016, Carpet Court reset its strategy to evolve from a buying group to a Merchandise and Marketing group. Carpet Court promotes the Carpet Court Brand and provides a range of services to members. The key goal is to increase the value of member businesses, creating win-win relationships with their core range suppliers that lead to significant benefits for the consumer.
Committed to consumer and industry
Over the last five decades, Carpet Court has demonstrated a strong commitment to the future of the Australian flooring industry. They see themselves, along with other suppliers, as stewards of the industry and work to address current industry issues such as trades training, product sales knowledge, and environmental concerns such as sustainability, waste, landfill, and recycling.
James sees industry training as a major concern for the flooring industry with flooring often (mistakenly) overlooked as a trade. “Delivering a great customer experience does not end when a contract is signed,” he says, “The professionalism and skills of our installers plays a big part of that experience, and so, our training programs, both at sales and trades levels are amongst our most important focus.” At Carpet Court a flooring specific training portal exists to support members’ product knowledge.
Carpet Court Australia supports the key Industry body called the Floor Covering Institute of Australia (FCIA), whose primary focus is to train apprentices in flooring. There are many suppliers, retailers, manufacturers, commercial contractors, and flooring installers who are members of the FCIA. The hope of the FCIA is that all retailers, suppliers, manufacturers and the like join the peak body as installation of flooring is an industry challenge to solve. As an example of the FCIA’s commitment to the trades, they currently have around 157 apprentices in New South Wales alone, and many more apprentices across the country.
Carpet Court in the community
Carpet Court is a company committed to the community and Corporate Social Responsibility. RizeUp Australia is a community-driven organisation dedicated to supporting families affected by domestic and family violence. RizeUp relies on donations of cash, goods, services and gift vouchers from the community, businesses, and organisations like Carpet Court. For Carpet Court, creating the perfect space starts from the floor up and literally dozens of stores Australia-wide make the effort to support this worthwhile institution, including an Easter drive this year to collect Easter goodies to distribute to all the little people living in refuge.
Carpet Court and the environment
Carpet Court install floor and window coverings in excess of 120,000 houses and 40,000 businesses every year, so they are focused on sustainable programs now and into the future. Carpet Court is involved in the worldwide movement to re-purpose nylon product. As James relates, “We are well and truly underway with these exciting initiatives.” A brilliant example of Carpet Court’s commitment to the future is the re-use of material sourced from abandoned fishing nets in carpet. An estimated 164,000 metric tons of fishing gear is discarded in the oceans each year. Recovered fishing nets are used by some of the world’s top fashion labels to produce items such as sunglasses, bicycle accessories, footwear, and clothing. One ton of nylon nets can create 26,000 socks or Carpet Court ECONYL® regenerated nylon carpet.
Carpet Court organisation
Carpet Court is a public unlisted company with a Board of Directors of which six are members, or store owners, and one as an external Director, Rod Walker, who is the Chairman of the group. Members own the company and are essentially shareholders of the group. James Hayward manages the National Support Centre with a small team of people he describes as, “breathtakingly talented who provide professional financial, marketing, merchandise and operational expertise, at both National and State levels.” He comments on the industry in general, “The flooring industry used to be a cottage industry, but over the years we’ve become a very professional, multi-billion-dollar industry. Our goal at Carpet Court is for our suppliers, members, and customers to all win when dealing with our Brand.”
Carpet Court aims to inspire beyond expectations in everything they do. Through National conferences and State meetings, Members are supported in every aspect of their business and benefit from the group’s buying power and financial rebates. Weekly bulletins through the Carpet Court intranet portal disseminate data collected on what works, fashion trends, and lessons to be learned. Carpet Court delivers an extensive commitment to training and skills at all levels; a strong brand supported by strong management, so members and their customers are ‘On trend with Carpet Court.’
Article by Philip Ashley