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Apollo Distributing: A family affair

November 6/13, 2017: Volume 32, Issue 11


The following is the 11th installment in a series highlighting the 14 distributors that constitute Bravo Services, a group comprising many of the top flooring wholesalers in the country. Here we focus on Apollo Distributing.

Screen Shot 2017-11-13 at 9.51.59 AMIt began in 1920 in Newark, N.J., when entrepreneur David Slobodien founded the Apollo Radio Co. to market a device to improve radio reception. It was well received and after many years of hard work and astute business management he grew the company into an appliance and electronic powerhouse distributing the finest brand names such as Crosley, Norge and Zenith throughout the New York metropolitan marketplace.

Forty-two years later, in 1962, David relinquished the reins of Apollo leadership to his son, Richard Slobodien, and retired. Under Richard’s skillful direction the business continued to grow and prosper. In response to changing business conditions, he redirected the company’s focus to the distribution of floor covering products with the purchase and assimilation of the O.F. Ruprecht flooring distribution company and, at a later date, the acquisition of Empire Carpet Co., a distribution division of Armstrong World Industries. In 1973, he moved the company to its current nine-acre location in Fairfield, N.J. The company, Apollo Distributing, was soon recognized as a leading flooring distributor.

Screen Shot 2017-11-13 at 9.51.53 AMIn 1995, Richard Slobodien stepped aside to permit his son, and David’s grandson, Keith Slobodien, to become Apollo’s third president. Under his leadership Apollo has continued to excel by following the successful examples set by his father and grandfather. Of note, two of Keith’s college-age children, Harrison and Rachel, have completed the second of three Apollo summer internships to familiarize them with flooring distribution.

Tradition and continuity are important at Apollo. Among Apollo’s family of employees, 25- and 30-year tenures of service are common. Externally, in the metropolitan New York dealer base, many key accounts have built their solid relationships with Keith upon associations their parents established. An example is Apollo’s 35-year-old partnership with Armstrong Flooring.

“Floor covering distribution is in our blood,” Keith Slobodien said. “It is our passion. The business lessons learned from my family are elementary. They are: first, represent the finest products; second, provide the best service possible; and third, be fair to everyone. If we remain true to these principles the future of our company will continue to be bright and, who knows, maybe it will include contributions from additional family members.”


For more information on Apollo Distributing, call 973.228.5000 or visit For more information on Bravo Services, contact John Carney at 214.215.2880 or visit

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Apollo Distributing partners with IVC US

Screen Shot 2015-04-07 at 5.00.20 PMDalton—Apollo Distributing has joined the IVC US network of distributors. Based in Fairfield, N.J., Apollo will carry a full line of IVC exclusive offerings including Flexitec, Blueprint and Next Level sheet vinyl collections, IVC’s Moduleo LVT collection, as well as Balterio laminate by IVC.

“We are excited to partner with Apollo Distributing Company,” said Jim Chepalis, director of distribution and strategic accounts for IVC US. “With our continued aggressive growth plans across all three categories of LVT, sheet vinyl and laminate, Apollo provides excellent logistics, a valued sales team and a solid reputation in the marketplace.”

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FCNews’ annual top 20 flooring distributors

 Distributors emerging from economic stronger, more relevant than ever

By Ken Ryan

Oct. 21/28 2013; Volume 27/number 13

Screen Shot 2013-10-25 at 4.47.45 PMDistributors. They are the backbone of the industry, the group on which manufacturers rely for moving their products to the point of sale. It is a segment that faces as many challenges as any and works on razor-thin margins.

Still, the good ones have not only succeeded but thrived. In fact, most project growth of 5% to 15% in 2013, driven in part by a housing comeback, both remodeling and new construction.

FCNews’ annual top 20 distributor listing not only looks at the industry’s leaders but also reveals the 10 highest-volume wholesalers in the resilient, wood and laminate categories. In most cases, the information was obtained from the respective high-level executives. Continue reading FCNews’ annual top 20 flooring distributors

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Training: A wholesaler’s secret weapon

By Louis Iannaco

How critical is quality training to those in the distribution arena? Most executives would equate its importance with that of exceptional product and superior customer service. It’s not surprising that some of the biggest names in the wholesale business take advantage of the quality training available, making their companies stronger in the present and better suited for future growth. Continue reading Training: A wholesaler’s secret weapon

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InterfaceStroll takes off for Apollo, display placement exceeding expectations

FAIRFIELD, N.J.—In a year that saw one of its major suppliers exit the flooring industry and another opt to go direct to retailers, Apollo Distributing, one of the country’s top 10 flooring wholesalers, has found the proverbial silver lining that promises to contribute to a stronger 2011: the launch of InterfaceStroll carpet tiles. Continue reading InterfaceStroll takes off for Apollo, display placement exceeding expectations

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Interface forms strategic alliance with Bravo Group, main street commercial targeted

HICKSVILLE, N.Y.—Interface, the world’s largest manufacturer of modular carpet, has reached an agreement with the Bravo Group to distribute an exclusive collection of InterfaceFLOR carpet tile. The line is targeted toward the main street commercial segment.

The agreement is mutually beneficial. Interface furthers its reach to a new customer base with the benefit of having value- added service in local markets, and Bravo distributors, including many of the flooring industry’s best, gain entrée into one of flooring’s few growth categories, one which most currently do not offer.

Almost overnight, Interface not only solidifies national distribution for its modular carpet, but it does so with 13 of the largest flooring distributors in the country that offer warehouses, delivery fleets and professional sales forces. “Interface’s model in the past was limited distribution,” said Al Hurt, president of Mid-west distributor Ohio Valley Flooring. “The primary targets are end users and the A&D community. The focus we can offer to individual dealers with the Interface brand is an essential element. It’s something that adds value throughout the whole supply chain.” Continue reading Interface forms strategic alliance with Bravo Group, main street commercial targeted