Over the past three years, Choices Flooring has solidified itself as one of the market leaders in retail flooring within Australia. This has been due to the approach of CEO Andrew Lewis and his executive team, who have changed the way Choices Flooring has marketed itself to consumers and embraced technology.
"The whole retail change that we implemented has been based on selling to the female consumer and making sure that the decision she is trying to make is made easier through our processes," Andrew says.
Andrew started with Newfurn, of which Choices Flooring is a subsidiary, in late 2012 after leaving his role as managing director of Polyflor Australia. Upon commencement, Andrew and his executive team quickly realised change was needed in order to take Choices Flooring to the next level in retail flooring. With the support of extensive research and by speaking individually to the 144 member retailers, the new approach needed to ensure it reconnected the brand to the customer.
It started with the tinkering of the brand to include the term flooring, then focusing in on a strategy of identifying opportunities to grow the new brand.
In the early 1990s, Choices Flooring as a brand didn't exist. Back then it was known as Carpet Choice, a strong retail brand within the industry. But in the late 2000s, the market had shifted and carpet was quickly losing share to other flooring types such as tiles, timber, and laminates. Coupled with the influx of DIY television shows, consumers were starting to look to alternatives when it came to flooring their homes.
"It wasn't a major concern to start with," states Andrew. "We already sold many of the alternative flooring types consumers were relating more with; however, our name Carpet Choice insinuated that we sold carpet and nothing else."
The Choices brand was introduced in 2011, which was a step in the right direction, but still lacked that key category identifier flooring. It wasn't until Andrew stepped into the role of CEO that the brand changed from Choices to Choices Flooring.
After starting his career at Polyflor Australia, Andrew worked his way up through the ranks and learned about the business and the flooring industry. It was this experience, Andrew says, that gave him the education he needed on leadership, good business, and the running of a company.