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Remember when…

Volume 26/Number 17; January 7/14, 2013

In November of 1987 the inaugural meeting of the Floor Covering Consumer Credit Association (FC*CCA) was held, and as 1988 got under way, flooring retailers were introduced to a game-changing program known as Flooring Express Service (FLEX), an industry-sponsored private-label credit card. At the time, only 20% of retailers offered credit, yet it was known that consumers who purchased with credit bought better quality goods and did so more frequently. The premise of FLEX was to make credit an integral part of the dealer’s selling process. The program would last 20 years until 2006, when FC*CCA announced FLEX’ mission had succeeded and was ending the initiative. How much of a success was FLEX? During its existence, more than 21,000 retailers participated in the program generating $16.5 billion in sales. Plus, it opened the door for retailers to openly accept the more general credit cards in existence, thus helping them create more and larger sales. When combined with showing the overall benefits of using credit as a selling tool, FLEX has gone down as one of the greatest initiatives by the industry.