Colin Wright is letting his nearest and dearest in on the ground floor of success.
Both his son Richard and wife Alyson lend a helping hand at his Jarrow town centre store, making work a real family affair.
At least I know who to hand the business over to when I finally retire!”Colin Wright
The Franks the Flooring Store in the Viking Centre recently had a £40,000 refurbishment, which includes new flooring, ceilings, display stands and music system.
And business has also been boosted by an increase in the sale of newer products, including some which might come as a surprise to the casual customer.
A flooring store might not be expected to attract many gardeners, but Colin has seen a sharp rise in interest from busy homeowners wanting a pain-free way to give their greenery an overhaul.
New, more realistic forms of artificial grass are becoming increasingly popular as people opt for lower-maintenance gardens.
Colin, 51, has more than 30 years’ experience in the trade, having worked in the flooring industry since leaving school.
He took over the running of the Jarrow Frank’s store 10 years ago.
He has seen the business grow year-on-year, and as well as Richard, also employs another full-time member of staff, while Alyson chips in as and when needed on a part-time basis.
He has seen some changes: “When I first started in the industry, it was predominantly just about carpets, but wooden flooring has becoming increasingly popular in recent years,” he said.
“And the artificial grass is even newer, but selling very well.
“We now have 20 different ranges of artificial grass, and sales of this in the store have increased by 20% over the last few years.
“It’s because people now tend to have multiple flooring choices in their homes, whether it’s wooden floors in the living room, vinyl in the kitchen, carpets in the bedroom and artificial grass in their garden.
“When I initially took over the store it was just me, but I had to employ Richard and my other full-time member of staff, James, to keep up with demand.
“I even rope Alyson in when we’re really busy, so it’s definitely a family affair.
“At least I know who to hand the business over to when I finally retire!”