A national flooring installer and contractor is ready to step into Richmond after finding a local franchisee.
Colorado-based Footprints Floors plans to open a local outpost in the Innsbrook area in November. The company does flooring installation and restoration and offers hardwood, laminate, carpets and stone.
Its local outpost will have a service area that stretches from Northern Virginia to Virginia Beach. Like its other franchises, the Richmond franchise won’t have a showroom or do its own retail sales of flooring materials.
“Our business model is specific to the labor side,” said Brian Knuth, the company’s franchise development director.
Customers select and purchase materials independently from third-party vendors in consultation with Footprints employees. The materials needed for a job are expected to be on site before Footprints contractors arrive to do the installation.
At the helm of the Richmond franchise is Scott Ogburn, who for eight years has owned a local franchise for CarePatrol, which matches seniors with housing options.
Ogburn said the franchise model appeals to him because they provide a level of independence, and while standing up CarePatrol he came to value good employees as core to a business’s success.
“I grew up working with my brothers in their construction related businesses. So I’ve never really wanted to work in some big company. That mindset provided me the opportunity to start something on my own,” Ogburn said in an email.
He added, “When the Footprints opportunity came along I wasn’t really afraid of going for it because (a) the idea of the business model made complete sense to me and (b) I know there are great people out there who can help me get this thing going. I don’t have to do it all myself.”
To become a Footprints franchisee requires an investment of $68,000 to $96,000. The company requires a franchisee have liquid assets of $50,000 and a net worth of $350,000.
The local office, which is working to finalize a specific space in Innsbrook, will be home to about a dozen employees involved in project management and other roles. The actual installation work will be done by subcontractors.
The new office will be the company’s first major foray into Virginia. An already existing Asheville, North Carolina-based franchise does dip its toe into the southwestern part of Virginia with a service area that includes the Bristol area. The company has more than 60 locations in 15 states, according to its website.
The coronavirus pandemic has been good for Footprints’ bottom line, with strong sales over the last several months. That’s because as more people spend more time indoors, some have turned their attention to home improvement projects, Knuth said.
“Customers are spending more time in their houses and they’re putting their home higher on their priority lists,” he said.
Footprints is among the latest of several out-of-town retailers to plan an expansion into the Richmond region. East Coast Appliance, a discount appliance retailer, plans to open a location near Chesterfield Towne Center. A Charlottesville-based women’s clothing store opened a Carytown location in October.