There is a long love affair in America with the idea of “Main Street.” If you’re old enough, you may remember an honest-to-goodness actual Main Street where you grew up, perhaps even pre-dating the retail franchise and interstate junction boom of the late 60’s and early 70’s. On the old-fashioned Main Street, you found the local pharmacist, hair salon, grocer, hardware store, and something called a “five and dime.” All were privately owned and independent. Nowadays, that type of Main Street exists primarily in smaller towns or at Disney World. (To find out where the Top 50 Small Town Main Streets are, click here.)

But as a flooring category, “Main Street” is alive and well. That’s because it encompasses more than just the “mom and pop” retail establishment. It also includes anything from small offices, such as doctor, dentist or chiropractor; all manner of retailers, from wedding dress shops to consignment stores to tattoo parlors, cafes, juice bars and literally hundreds of other establishments on Main Street … or miles from it. And did we mention the office space at home used by today’s telecommuter? It’s easy to see, Main Street is literally everywhere.

Main Street Commercial Flooring is different than Specified Commercial Flooring because it is sold through the distribution and retail channel. While the Specified Commercial Flooring market is huge, Main Street is even larger. That’s because Main Street business is, in effect, the “small business” sector in America – made up of businesses that have less than 500 employees. According to the SBA (Small Business Administration) small businesses make up the bulk of employment opportunity — about 57 million. And there are about 28 million of these businesses in the U.S. and they account for 54% of all sales.

But to the floor covering industry, here’s the quote from the SBA that really matters: “The small business sector in America occupies 30 to 50% of all commercial space, an estimated 20 to 30 billion square feet.” So while big national chain stores consume 60,000 to 100,000 sq. ft. of floor space at a time, Main Street retail typical bites off much smaller chunks at 500 to 2,500 sq. ft. and that’s ideal for the Main Street Flooring Retailer.

Stay tuned for more about Main Street from Novalis Innovative Flooring!