From left, Jake and Luke Robinson are leading an expansion of Robinson's Interiors and an affiliation with flooring co-op Carpet One. Photo contributed
Written by The Business Journal Staff
Robinson’s Interiors is moving to a bigger Fresno location, affiliating with Carpet One Floor & Home and having its new grand opening June 4.
The company, currently operating as Robinson’s Flooring in River Park, has served flooring customers in the Fresno area since 2009.
“We had been looking to become a Carpet One store in Fresno for a number of years,” said Luke Robinson, who manages the store with his brother, Jake Robinson. “When the territory became available, we applied.”
Jake added, “We had outgrown our location in Fresno, so the time was ripe to move to a bigger building as well.”
They purchased the former Allied Linoleum & Carpet business at 292 W Herndon Ave.
This location and new affiliation will allow them to hire more staff, including in-house labor, and bring in the Carpet One brands. “There’s no better carpet than Relax it’s Lees,” said Jake. “And with the bigger showroom, customers can see, feel, and touch more samples.”
Robinson’s Interiors began in Hanford when their father, Mike Robinson, rented a warehouse in downtown Hanford for $35 and a handshake. That was 1980. Since then the Hanford location has served both residential and commercial customers, including large institutions.
In the early ‘90s, Mike was frustrated with what he termed the “Wild West” of the flooring business, where too many people were “shooting from the hip.” He was looking for better ways to serve his customers. He noticed some of his contacts, whom he respected, were Carpet One members. He investigated and determined Carpet One was a good fit for his business. Jake recalled his father saying, “They were good people who wanted to do good work.”
When Mike opened Robinson’s Flooring in Fresno in 2009, he was unable to open under the Carpet One umbrella because it was unavailable.
Today, there are about 1,100 stores in the co-op, making it the largest co-op in the world. Because they buy under one account, they get significant discounts which are passed on to customers. That means Carpet One stores compete on price with big box stores. Jake added that Carpet One also provides members with access to superior products, state-of-the-art product knowledge, systems, and marketing. He noted the importance of the difference between a co-op and a franchise. “As a co-op we have a lot of resources, but very few requirements. We can be creative.”
Mike Robinson passed in 2019, but the family is carrying on the business. Robinson’s Interiors is family-owned and community involvement is important. Their most recent project involved building beds for needy children so they don’t have to sleep on the floor.