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Family Floors Considers Closing Up Shop Before Having Their Best Week of Business EVER

By John Grossi

Jay Glatman is a 3rd generation floorer in Long Beach. His grandfather started in Downtown Long Beach, and his father grew the business. When Jay and wife Melissa took over, their pride and joy was adding a brick and mortar residential shop to what had historically been a more commercial endeavor. Jay and Melissa’s passion is providing flooring dreams to families. One family selling to another. And then came COVID-19. “We were really worried in the first few weeks. My first thought is we sell the stores and we become just a flooring van and do in-house sales only.” Their business was considered essential because flooring is a part of new home construction. However, “essential” didn’t mean they had any business. All of the sudden their potential customers didn’t want “outside” flooring guys in their homes. They couldn’t measure square footage, show samples, or really do any of the in-home consultation work that usually keeps a full crew working 9-5 pm every day. Jay and Melissa had to face the idea of laying off employees. “That’s tough because, the thing is, we’ve gotten to a point where our guys are really good. This virus isn’t their fault. If we let them go and they don’t come back that’s tough to replace.” But at the same time, the more Coronavirus dominated the daily news, the less people wanted an in-home consultation or installation. The Glatmans, like many business owners, were sweating. A major changing point was hearing about, applying for, and receiving, the PPP (payroll protection program) loan so they could keep their employees. But then something even better for these family floorers happened. “I think while a lot of smaller businesses were struggling and unfortunately a lot of restaurant and entertainment staff was being laid off, there was another huge population that was still making money,” explained Jay. “Furthermore, their vacations were suddenly canceled, entertainment budgets were piling up, and they were sitting at home, bored, looking at their carpets and floors, and thinking. ‘Man I hate this floor. Let’s replace this floor.’” Perhaps being located next to an Ace Hardware store helped too. People were looking for somewhere to go, something to do. Soon people started filling his store. Jay realized there was a large population of Long Beachers, especially those in their 50-70’s, who wanted to go shopping despite concerns about the virus. “Long Beachers are different.” Said Jay. “A lot of our customers, especially the baby boomers and older, have been through tough times before. They weren’t worried. They want to see people and talk to people. What’s even cooler for us is they have this weird thing where they take so much pride in shopping local.” By the last week of May, Family Floors literally had its highest sales week EVER. They couldn’t believe it. “We have had non-stop business for weeks now and what’s crazy is we have to have even less staff in the store due to social distancing but everyone’s been so patient with us and they don’t care. People are just happy to be out, supporting a local business, and improving their homes.” Jay and Melissa are certainly thankful. They won’t forget their stress from the first few weeks or take their success for granted. Juggling fears of closing their shop in the midst of organizing classroom Zooms for their kids, worrying about the health of their parents but also utilizing the “grandparent babysitters,” worried about health and wellness of employees and clients. It has been a trying month. “We’re extremely thankful for everything the last month has brought us. We’re doing our best to pay it forward. We’re ordering from local restaurants, tipping heavy, and all of that stuff,” said Jay. “Fortunately for us, people right now are thinking about their homes. And we’re a business that can help them with that.” 908


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