Seland’s Abbey Flooring Center continues on path of growth: Family Flooring Seland StyleApril 23, 2018
Seland’s Abbey Flooring Center continues on path of growth: Family Flooring Seland Style
The owner of Seland’s Abbey Flooring Center, Rich Seland has a passion for the details.
“I just really enjoy helping people. The flooring industry allows me this opportunity” Seland said. “I could see that Fergus Falls needed a specialty store that focuses on flooring and that was kind of my dream when I got into it. Do one thing and do it with excellence. Our secret to success has been pretty simple. Provide quality product at a fair price and treat every customer like a friend”.
The dream of becoming a small business owner started early in life. Seland grew up in LaFarge, WI where his parents, Paul & Margaret owned and operated the local funeral home. Seland first started installing for his brother Dave, who worked through their uncle DeVerne Seland’s flooring and furniture store in nearby Coon Valley. Seland then went to work in the Twin Cities for a number of years, installing for stores here and there as an independent installer. In 1989, Seland moved to Fergus Falls and brought his expertise here. He then married his wife, Tobi in ‘91, started his family and in ‘92 jumped into the retail side of things.
“I thought it would be a good fit for me and being an installer by trade, I want to make sure my client has their floor put down with a high attention to detail,” Seland said. “Knowing I couldn’t install my whole life, because it’s physically demanding, I knew at some point I needed a location and showroom where I could operate. So It has naturally evolved.”
Seland’s retail flooring business started out of his garage, to his van, out of a couple of warehouses and finally to its current location south of Fergus Falls at I-94 & exit 61, which he built in ‘99. Then in 2011, Seland’s joined with Abbey Carpet and Floor, the largest retail flooring chain in America with 800 members, each individually owned and operated.
Seland says the flooring business has been rewarding and at times challenging. “During the recession years of ‘08 – ‘11, 30% of [guys like me] independent flooring retailers across the nation either went out of business or ceased operating. It forced us to be extra attentive when making operational decisions. The decision to join Abbey Carpet & Floor was pivotal for our business, the end result was surviving the recession and setting a blueprint for thriving in the future.” Seland’s has experienced sales growth each year since the end of the recession. “2018 is off to a record start, and we are pleased to have Ann Erhard, Anna Smith and Dave Cossette join our team”. Seland is President and Tobi is Vice President, together they operate the business along with installation coordinator Don Quam. “Don is exceptional” according to Seland, “he also pitches in when extra help is needed on the sales end.” Seland’s mother Margaret was the company’s bookkeeper, a long time employee who retired in 2015.
Seland attributes the reasons the business has experienced sustained growth is sticking to their philosophy of treating each customer as a friend and focusing on our core business flooring and professional installation.
Seland refers to their operation as full service. “In a community this size, we try to cover everything,” Seland said. “If someone needs a small remnant for their bathroom, we are happy to put that in with any of our highly skilled craftsmen or if someone has an entire commercial building and need it designed and specified, we can do that too.”
With the growth of online shopping, Customers can now go to the Seland’s website and shop for flooring from their smartphone. They can upload a photo and view any of the products from the comfort of their own home using the “room visualizer” feature. “We talk a lot about us being a specialty store and part of that is we work closely with our certified craftsmen and installers who are highly skilled and trained, because in floor covering, if it is not installed right, it can leave a bad taste in someone’s mouth,” Seland said. “I am an installer myself. So, we take extra measures to ensure our customer is highly satisfied with the whole installation. I really enjoy seeing the complete product, with everything from design and performance of the product to working with my customers, just seeing it from start to finish, and making people happy with their floors.”
Seland’s Abbey Flooring Center is located at 17296 County Hwy 82, Fergus Falls, 56537.Contact:Rich Seland, Owner(218) 739-1177 ex202