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As written by Franchise New Zealand

Carpet Court franchise partners have a strong brand and systems underfoot

Ronnie Montgomery appreciates the value of the Carpet Court franchise more than most. Having set up a flooring and installation business in Upper Hutt with his brother-in-law in 2001, the pair spent a dozen years building it successfully, ‘But we never reached the level I craved – until we joined Carpet Court four years ago,’ says Ronnie. ‘Since then, we’ve never looked back.

‘Everyone knows the Carpet Court brand, and I’d always followed their growth closely, saying I’d be happy to take a store if it became available. Well, the chance came in 2014. We didn’t even move shops – all we did was rebrand on the same site, and we’ve been flying ever since.’

The Carpet Court Group is New Zealand’s largest flooring retailer with over 60 stores, meaning franchisees enjoy big advantages in buying power, group marketing and almost every other aspect of business. ‘Our stores serve a very wide customer base indeed,’ says head of retail Colin Jones. ‘We are leaders in the retail residential market, the commercial office market, and have national relationships with insurance companies, group builders, retirement village operators and most other large commercial organisations.

‘We have key relationships with Mohawk, the world’s largest flooring company, and Cavalier Bremworth, New Zealand’s most trusted wool carpet brand. In addition, our direct sourcing programme imports exclusive high quality well-priced products from international manufacturers that are then distributed through our central warehouse. With television and digital marketing support (including a recent partnership on The Block NZ), Carpet Court sell more than three million square metres of flooring each year on average. Now we want more franchised stores in strategic areas to push that figure even higher.’

"All we did was rebrand on the same site, and we've been flying ever since" - Ronnie Montgomery, Carpet Court

Exceeding Expectations

Ronnie says it wasn’t just the impressive figures and the buying power that encouraged him to join Carpet Court. ‘I’d talked to many people in the industry, and got to know many of the franchisees, so I had all the low-down on how good the business actually was. That gave me a great deal of confidence.’ Like any good businessman, Ronnie still ran the figures past an accountant who knew the industry well. ‘He was right, he’s still right and so am I,’ he laughs. ‘We’ve reached and even exceeded the level I was aiming for.’

Four years on, Ronnie cannot say enough about the franchise or the support he has received over the years. ‘I’ve had all the back-office support I could want, and help is never more than a phone call away. Since I joined they’ve introduced a new training programme for staff and many other improvements – honestly, without their support we’d never be where we are today.’

Putting Sales and Management Skills to Work

In Te Awamutu, Brett Watson joined Carpet Court back in 2003, before it developed from a buying co-operative into a fully-supported franchise. ‘I’d done pretty well in the alarm industry after being a livestock agent for some years,’ he explains. ‘I was semi-retired, but my wife was quite keen I should go back to work. Well, as I quickly discovered, once you pass 50 your options are limited. Then I found an advertisement for a business, worked out it was the local Carpet Court and, to cut a long story short, I’d bought it within about an hour!’

Brett considers himself lucky. ‘I knew nothing about the industry whatsoever, but as the franchise developed more systems and with good management and good marketing, I turned the store from an “also ran” into what is consistently one of the best performers in the group, despite being in a small town. It’s a great business.

‘Fifteen years on I’m still loving it, and much of that is down to the culture in the franchise. We have some very good operators, and they are more than willing to help out newer franchisees in any way required. That’s what I’ve really enjoyed about the business – we are a network, and everybody has their own mentor, as well as the support from the franchisor team. From the point of view of building the business, it helps if you live in the district – people like to know who you are and what you do, so if you are prepared to get out there in the community and put in the hours, the business will serve you well.’ Ronnie Montgomery agrees: ‘These days, most of my business comes from referrals,’ he smiles.

"15 years on, I'm still loving it" - Brett Watson, Carpet Court

Long Term Business

Carpet Court is seeking suitable people to open new outlets in key locations around the country. An investment of around $250,000 will be required, with the total depending on location and fit-out. Carpet Court provides design and assists in fit-out management, as well as training and initial and ongoing support.

Ronnie sums up his experience. ‘My decision to buy the Carpet Court franchise four years ago has been totally vindicated and we’ve never looked back. Any business needs time and effort to succeed, but Carpet Court has delivered great results and a great lifestyle.’

Colin Jones concludes, ‘As Ronnie and Brett have both proved, if you work at it then Carpet Court can offer franchisees big long-term rewards. To learn more, contact me and let’s talk.’

See this advertorial on page 15 of Franchise New Zealand magazine Year 27 Issue 3

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