Lions Floor demonstrates logistical prowess
By Megan Salzano lBased in Santa Fe Springs, California, ions Floor began simple and unassuming in 2017 with the goal of serving the immediate area with what it called “the most competitively priced” SPC flooring on the market. After just two years, the company had generated $10 million in sales and developed valuable relationships within the industry.
Lions Floor is now taking steps to expand its presence and offerings to the Midwest and East Coast through new storage locations and added distribution. “The biggest advantage we have is inventory capacity,” said Jerry Guo, president. “We will have about 12 million square feet of inventory this month.”
The company’s storage capacity initially started with a 20,000 square meter warehouse in the City of Industry. Due to increased demand and growth in the industry, it moved to a 33,000 square foot warehouse in Santa Fe Springs. However, again in anticipation of imminent growth, the company recently acquired a 52,000-square-foot warehouse in Paramount, California.
Lions Floor plans to open its next warehouse in Texas in the spring. Its goal is to provide customers with unparalleled service and expand its presence in the Midwest. “Texas is close to California and the market behavior is similar,” Guo said. “It’s best to start there with the expansion and transition between warehouses.”
Within the year, Guo said the company will continue its storage expansion with a new location in Florida and eventually in the Northeast, areas where it is currently establishing new connections.
In addition to inventory, another key point of differentiation for the company remains pricing strategy. “We have one of the best inventory capabilities and we know there will be demand, so we price aggressively to the top dealers and we price fairly to the general stores, balancing the profit margin. The retailer can make a stronger margin with us.”
That strategy even explains the pressure on supply these days. While some suppliers want to make money from ocean freight or factor it into the cost of the product, Lions Floor does not. Instead, a unique approach is needed. “We don’t make money from ocean freight,” he explained. “Everyone keeps raising prices. We’ve only increased prices on certain products by 10% since March and we don’t plan to do that again.”
Trending product design
Lions Floor was founded with SPC flooring in mind, which is still a major focus for the company today. However, it has greatly expanded its product line with new colors, sizes and designs in the segment. “SPC is one of the most stable players on the market,” says Guo. “It will be stable for a few years. If you make that your workhorse, you don’t lose momentum.”
This year, the company has expanded its range with new custom colors ready to offer natural wood looks in exclusive designs. “Any new colors we promote will be our own exclusive, copyrighted colors,” Guo said. “Now we can protect ourselves and our customers from unnecessary competition. It is the first time that these colors are on the market. Regional preferences will be taken into account – Los Angeles will have its own colors; Texas its own.”
Guo added that Lions will upgrade its merchandising racks to better support its customers’ ability to adopt the new options. “We are developing our racks to host many more colors than the current approach. We want to find space savings so that retailers can feel more comfortable adopting our colors and showcasing them.”
But the evolution and expansion story doesn’t stop there. Lions Floor plans to tackle the engineered wood category as well. “Launching engineered wood will help build brand awareness,” Guo said. “It is to show our customers that Lions Floor is not just there to respond to a trend. We’re not just trying to jump on the SPC train. With engineered wood, we want to demonstrate that we have the procurement, manufacturing and procurement skills needed to be a legitimate supplier.”