There’s been a lot of talk in recent years about the death of the high street, and the problems facing the traditional retail industry in light of the ease and choice offered by the internet. However, there is still clearly a need for in-person experience, and the businesses that are thriving are those that embrace that connection and make shopping into a positive pleasure.
Perhaps that’s the reason why Floor Street, who have recently opened a new branch on the Abingdon Road in Oxford, is going from strength to strength: not only do they offer an impressive range of flooring options, but with them – it’s personal. We spoke with owner, Tony Wolf, to find out more.
What makes Floor Street unique?
The main things that make Floor Street unique are our people, our culture, and our values. We have a vision and we’re on a mission to create the best flooring company in the world in terms of customer service, design, and quality for our clients and a happy and prosperous workplace for all team members. Everyone at Floor Street understands the importance of this mission and the fact that it is bigger than us and we’re in a position to change the industry for the better of all consumers and employees.
Your Birmingham store on Pershore Road has established an incredible reputation. What’s brought you to Oxford?
Firstly, thank you so much for your kind words. At the time when we decided to open a second location, we looked at our customer geographic and found that we have a lot of existing clients and also friends on social media in the Oxfordshire and surrounding areas. So, it only made sense that we come to Oxford. As well as that, it’s very close to London where we have a lot of clients as well as a lot of interior design and developer partners.
Do you offer other services?
Our main business is flooring, carpets, rugs and stair runners and tiles. Of course, we offer home visits, design, and technical consultations. On our social media were lucky that we have a beautiful community so we do our best to offer help and advice in terms of how they can save money and time in their projects. Recently we have started to talk a lot about mental health and struggles of doing renovations to support anyone that may be going through a hard time.
What lead you into flooring in the first place?
I started in what I used to call the world’s smallest floor shop, but I have worked in the flooring industry since 2013. Ever since I was a little child I wanted to be a businessman so here we are (lol).
What trends do you see emerging in flooring?
The only trend we’re super focused on right now is sustainability. We’re working on making our business more sustainable in terms of reducing our carbon footprint. We’re constantly looking for new and more sustainable products. We’re almost forcing our current suppliers to start using renewable energy in their manufacturing and also using more sustainable materials in their products. I believe décor and colours are temporary trends that come and go and their very personal whereas sustainability is extremely important for our future.
What does social media add to your business?
Social media adds love and value to our business. Without social media we’ll just be a flooring retailer. With social media we are a community powered company that’s on a mission to improve lives.
I love your post on Instagram about carpet in the bathroom. Why do you think it was popular and what do you recommend for bathroom flooring?
Haha! I’m not sure why it was a trend at some point, but I know in the older days people wanted carpets everywhere. There are actually special carpets you can have in the bathroom that are waterproof and washable. I personally highly recommend good quality SPC flooring for bathrooms. I have it myself and we sell tons of it and it’s a great product to have in the bathroom and anywhere in the house really.
What's the most extravagant project you've ever undertaken?
We’ve done so many cool projects. Little ones and big ones, but one that always makes me feel we’re different from others was when a big developer contacted us. They had been let down by their supplier for 5680m2 of flooring. On the same day I drove two hours to their site to spec the flooring they had. The next day I sourced the floor and delivered it the day after. They could not believe the service and that we managed to get the floor so quickly. A delay on the project would have delayed 100s of families moving into their new homes and I wasn’t prepared to let that happen.
Who would be your dream client?
Anyone that cares about quality, design, and sustainability.
Find Floor Street in Oxford at 328-330 Abingdon Road, OX1 4QT or call 0333 188 1212