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SELLING A BUSINESS

Business for Sale: A Flooring and Remodeling Store

Would you pay $318,000 to buy this California retailer?

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Lake Tahoe properties, many of which are vacation homes, tend to have high turnover rates. That creates steady demand for carpets, flooring, kitchen cabinets, countertops, and window treatments.

Back in 1983, Doug Bolton traded in the dark winters of Wisconsin for the bright sunshine of Lake Tahoe, California. Upon landing in California, Bolton obtained his independent contractor's license and opened up The Floor Show, a flooring and remodeling supplies business that now occupies a prime location in the town of Lake Tahoe.

Now, in its 24th year, the business is well known among area homeowners. Lake Tahoe properties, many of which are vacation homes, tend to have high turnover rates. That creates steady demand for carpets, flooring, kitchen cabinets, countertops, and window treatments. Bolton says customers choose his business over larger retailers for its convenient location — the nearest big-box competitor is 45 minutes away — and the individual attention he can offer. The building in which the business is housed is not included in the sale price, but it may also be available for purchase from Bolton's landlord.

Bolton, 54, says he and his wife, Janet, want to work fewer hours and spend more time outdoors in the mountains. But he is interested in continuing to work part time with a new owner. "I would enjoy staying on in the business if someone else were to steer the ship and I would be the support person," he says.

Price Rationale: An appraisal conducted in June by GCF Valuation in Tampa valued the business at $318,000, based on the value of the company's assets and the selling prices of comparable floor-covering businesses.

The Pros: The business has strong relationships with suppliers such as Benjamin Moore and Color Tile, as well as high-profile clients such as Larry Ellison and Tommy Hilfiger. A buyer would have the option of locking in a lease through 2027 or, perhaps, buying the building in which the store is housed.

The Cons: As consumer spending has declined, sales and profits have also dropped. Future growth will depend primarily on an eventual rebound in the California housing market, particularly the market for vacation homes.

The Bottom Line: The Floor Show is a profitable turnkey business for someone interested in entering the home supplies business, either as an operator looking to relocate or for someone with an existing business who sees opportunity for growth in the Lake Tahoe market.

Inc. has no stake in the sale of the business featured. The magazine does not certify the accuracy of financial or other information provided by the seller. Inquiries should be directed to Kathryn Scarmato at info@ascendcapitalgroup.com or 925-570-3540.

Inc. also publishes paid business listings in the back of the magazine.

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Last updated: Aug 24, 2010

DARREN DAHL

Darren Dahl is a contributing editor at Inc. magazine, which he has written for since 2004. He also works as a collaborative writer and editor and has partnered with several high-profile authors. Dahl lives in Asheville, North Carolina.




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