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Date: Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Puckett’s Flooring’s Drive Delivers

[Tempe, Ariz.] At Puckett’s Flooring, a member of The American Home Surfaces Group (AHSG) in the Metropolitan Phoenix area, its bright showroom invites customers to browse the broad collection of flooring on the well-traversed South Priest Drive. Thanks to strong branding, a durable partnership and savvy diversification of business, Puckett’s Flooring ensures its longevity and consistent sales performance.


At Puckett’s Flooring, Ben Doughty, general manager, said the store’s secret sauce includes paying considerable attention to the portfolio offered to consumers. “Our installation costs, our labor costs tend to be a little bit sharper. We buy in bulk. At any given time, we typically stock about 25 different carpet SKUs. We keep on hand about 18 to 20 different vinyl SKUs and the gluedown sector. And then we also have click, we’ve got 12 different click products that we stock. We stock VCT, we stock sheet vinyl, glue, transitions, you name it. If it’s a product category in the flooring industry, we try to have at least something here as an offering,” explained Doughty.

In a bright, easily navigated showroom floor, a COREtec display greets customers as they enter the store.

And that stock is a tool that Puckett’s Flooring leverages to its success. “That buying power allows us to pass that along to our retail customers, and then give them the type of service where we can do next day installs, which is not very common in the retail world,” he said.

Serving the Arizona marketplace comes with a variety of challenges, Topher Clark, commercial division, noted, and this diversification of stock is incredibly helpful in mitigating this challenge. “Hardwood’s rare — it’s really dry here. And so you have to keep the humidity at a certain point. Otherwise, it gets cracked and dries out. As well as sun bleaching — but that happens to every floor here. We recommend window coverings on any hard surface, even the carpet that we sell.”

Topher Clark shared Puckett’s Flooring’s RevWood selection, featured prominently on the showroom floor.

However, while this variety of options gives the customer a great deal of options to choose from, Puckett’s Flooring’s approach to its customers makes the difference between someone who browses and someone who purchases.

As Doughty remarked, “One of the first questions we always ask isn’t ‘What can we help you with?’ It’s ‘What are you working on? Tell me about your projects. Tell me about your family. Tell me about the use of the home. Is it a rental? Do you have pets in the home? How long do you intend on being there?’ These types of questions allow us to be an asset to our customers as opposed to just a retail sales environment. Which we love, and people need to go somewhere to buy floors. But we want to really differentiate ourselves and be a true value add and a partner throughout their remodel process, regardless of what stage the customer’s in.”

Puckett’s Flooring’s showroom location acts as a fabulous advertisement, Doughty shared. “We built this building in 2001. And at that time we were strictly multifamily property management company and we did some light commercial work as well. And so when we built this building [the current showroom], we were doing new construction, commercial and kind of multifamily. And there was really nothing over here [on South Priest Drive] at that time. And so when the planners put it together, the city had actually bought the building,” he said.

Puckett’s saw this as an opportunity. “Our plan was to be further back, and they moved us all the way up street front. Our showroom was never really designed to be a showroom. We have our front room and the front right is actually our former conference center. We found that in those first few years, people would drive by and all of a sudden, they were coming to the store. Now, I think we have about 1,800 cars [driving by] an hour. That drive is just brilliant marketing. [Today], we’ve got Costco, we’ve got Floor & Decor, we’ve got Ikea [as neighbors]. The world kind of grew up around us,” Doughty remarked.

Puckett’s Flooring showroom faces South Priest Drive in Tempe, Ariz., in a popular shopping area.

He explained to that taking advantage of these walk-ins and drive- bys helped them prosper. “If were to break up the business in four parts, it’s about 25 percent retail. We do about 25 percent property management and multifamily. 25 percent is on the commercial and new construction, 25 percent,” he reported.

And just like Puckett’s capitalized on its location, it also capitalized on the region’s growth. “We’re blessed to be in the Phoenix market. Phoenix as a whole just continues to grow and grow and the multifamily presence here is phenomenal. I mean, spend a couple hours driving around and just the amount of construction with the microchip facilities that we’re building, the tilt ups that’s going, it’s expanding rapidly,” Doughty said.


At Puckett’s Flooring, Doughty noted that the Puckett’s Flooring is driven by both personal and professional ties. He shared that his personal foundation was in finance, working for Wells Fargo, until he decided to change tracks and got a job at Mohawk thanks to a good friend’s insistence. “He just kept bugging me and bugging me [to change industries]. One year Wells Fargo went through a rough patch, and about three months after that happened, I decided, you know what, I’m going to throw my resume out. I put it out to some contacts and friends in the [flooring] industry, and I sent it out to this gentleman at Mohawk, and he called me the next day.”

His early years in the flooring industry were foundational for him, Doughty said. He shared his philosophy about serving customers. “At the end of the day, people buy from people. They want to feel comfortable. They want to feel accepted and valued.”

And Doughty’s path eventually led him to Puckett’s Flooring. He credits this change as a transformative opportunity for him. “Our old owner [Ted Fluegel] who just retired, his mom [Bobbi Fluegel] started this business in 1987. My partner, Shawn [Cummins] started in 1996. He worked for Shaw before coming on board. And so once it was time for Ted to retire, [Shawn and I have] been great friends over the years and they brought me in. It’s just such a blessing, given the warmth of our industry.”

Furthermore, Doughty hopes for his children to follow him into the industry. “My boys are nine and 12. There’s a decent chance that one day they may never want to work with their old man, but if that opportunity is there, I want them to know that I’d love for them to come to work here and build this together and have them be a part of it.”

“I love helping people, and in our industry, we get to be a part of helping people improve their living space and their home. And that’s so important. I mean, I’m a father of two and my home is very important to me.”
— Ben Doughty, Puckett’s Flooring

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