GCO became The Floor Trader when its parent company acquired Stone Mountain Carpet Mills, merged the two, and neither company wanted to take the other’s name. “I like the new name,” says Matt Merkel, who opened what was then a Georgia Carpet Outlet franchise in 1989.
He says Floor Trader reflects a changing emphasis in the industry. GCO was a renaming of Georgia Carpet Outlet, a name that had to go when the demand for other kinds of flooring became hard for even a carpet store to ignore. In 1989, says Merkel, 95 percent of the store’s sales were carpet. Now that’s down to 55 percent, with hardwood in second place, and wood laminates, bamboo, cork, and other surfaces taking up the rest.
Carpet, says Merkel, is “still the most economical floor finish. There’s a lot of misinformation about carpet and health concerns on the Internet. I don’t believe everything I read on the Internet. Do you?”
The Floor Trader, 2301 South Industrial, 995-8900. Mon.-Fri. 9 a.m.-7 p.m., Sat. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Closed Sun. floortraderannarbor.com