By Merrill Witty | Photography by Donovan Eaton Photography
When Floor & Décor’s distribution center is full of tile, stone, hardwood and flooring materials of all colors and shapes, the company will be one of the Port of Baltimore’s largest customers.
The 1.5-million-square-foot center is due to be completed in the fourth quarter of this year, and its arrival is anticipated both by the fast-growing flooring retailer itself and by representatives of Tradepoint Atlantic — the former Bethlehem Steel site — and the Port.
“Working together with the Commerce Department helped MDOT MPA bring Floor & Décor into the Port of Baltimore,” said James J. White, Executive Director of the Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Port Administration (MDOT MPA). “They recognized the Port’s collaborative environment and planned enhancements that align very well with their vision.”
For Floor & Décor, an Atlanta-based hard-surface flooring firm with stores in 28 states, the site ushers in its Northeast expansion.
“The new Baltimore distribution center will service all the existing and new stores in the Northeast, Midwest and mid-Atlantic states,” said Brian Robbins, Floor & Décor’s Executive Vice President of Business Development Strategy.
“We anticipate greater capacity needed for the continued growth of our stores, faster cycle-time from the distribution center to the stores and lower domestic transportation costs,” he added.
For Tradepoint Atlantic, the center means 150 new full-time jobs by 2023 and one of the largest structures in the state.
“We are excited to welcome Floor & Décor, another marquee national brand, to Tradepoint Atlantic,” said Eric Gilbert, its Chief Development Officer. “This massive facility will be the largest import distribution center in Maryland.”
Founded in 2000, Floor & Décor has 101 stores, with more planned. (Regional locations include Gaithersburg and Potomac Mills, Md., and Alexandria, Va.) The firm offers the industry’s largest in-stock selection of tile, wood, laminate and natural stone flooring, along with decorative and installation accessories.
The company sources directly from manufacturers or quarries worldwide. “Our flooring can originate from all over the world, including Asia, Europe, Central and South America and the U.S.,” said Robbins.
“Our merchants travel the globe in search of the best product and trend-setting flooring options. Customers have realized the importance of livable floors, yet they still want beauty.”
Floor & Décor said its typical warehouse-format store averages 75,000 square feet, usually much larger than its competitors. The stores stress visual presentation, everyday low prices, an extensive selection and a local focus, with store managers striving to create a mix of products that meet the needs and tastes of the market they serve.
Current popular options in tile include hexagon shapes, wood looks, mosaics, Moroccan-influenced shapes and glass of all colors. Another huge trend is running flooring — usually tile — across kitchen backsplashes, countertops and up onto walls in any room. Customers who prefer real wood will find dozens of varieties in Floor & Décor stores.
“Floor & Décor has an incredible growth story, and we are happy to aid this growth into the Northeast,” said Nick Porter, Beneficial Cargo Owner Account Representative, Intermodal/Trade Development for the MDOT MPA.
“Brian Robbins and his team have been great to work with. They truly work to build lasting relationships and partnerships to build their business,” added Porter. “It is easy to see why they have had such tremendous success.”
Porter noted that the decision of where to locate the flooring distribution center was truly a collaborative effort. The company worked not only with Tradepoint Atlantic and the Port, but also with MDOT, the Maryland Department of Commerce, Baltimore Development Corporation and numerous other Port partners.
Gov. Larry Hogan is only one of several state officials looking forward to Floor & Décor’s arrival.
“It’s a big win for Maryland and the Baltimore region that a growing national company like Floor & Décor is choosing to open a new facility and bring 150 new jobs,” Gov. Hogan said. “Attracting this exciting project to Maryland underscores our commitment to keeping our state open for business and working hard to create new job opportunities for Marylanders.”
Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski said that bringing rapidly growing companies like Floor & Décor to Tradepoint Atlantic is a great way to increase jobs in the area. There’s also the goal to transform Sparrows Point into a prominent trading center, which would in turn attract more businesses.
“By continuing to support the businesses of tomorrow, we can continue Sparrows Point’s transformative redevelopment into a vibrant hub for global commerce,” Olszewski said. Maryland Commerce Secretary Kelly M. Schulz added: “From their new facility at Tradepoint Atlantic, Floor & Décor will be in close proximity to the Port of Baltimore, and able to access a number of key interstates to reach one-third of the U.S. population within an overnight drive.”
Floor & Décor At-A-Glance
2233 Lake Park Drive, No. 400
Smyrna, Ga. 30080
Employees: 6,566 in U.S.
Locations: 101 stores in 28 states.
Did You Know? Industry’s largest in-stock selection of tile, wood, laminate and natural stone floors.
Good Works: The company has a giving-back program called F&D Cares, driven primarily by each store supporting its community. Many of these efforts support military members and their families.