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Lumber Liquidators' merchandise will floor you

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Lumber Liquidators has opened in the former Northwest Outdoor Store location in Bear Creek Plaza shopping center.

The Virginia-based retailer is neither a manufacturing liquidator nor a lumber outlet. The name was affixed in the mid-1990s by founder Tom Sullivan when he launched the discount enterprise that has grown into a nationwide chain of 412 locations with 400 flooring styles and butcher block countertops.

Lumber Liquidators historically has set up shop off the beaten path, where rent was cheaper. Over the years, however, foot traffic has grown in importance, and the company has migrated into shopping centers.

“We’ve gotten away from the very hard-to-find, stand-alone destinations to much more retail-centric locations,” said Chris Crowe, the firm’s real estate and development vice president. “In years past, it was a treasure hunt and destination. We might be in your town, but you might not know it unless you were in the market for hardwood floors.”

As a result, Lumber Liquidators found the Biddle and East McAndrews roads location — one of the region’s most heavily traveled intersections — more to its liking than space to the north or south. Its next-door neighbor, general merchandise retailer Bi-Mart, is an added plus. While Bear Creek Plaza shoppers might not be looking for flooring en route to buying household or beauty products, they will know where to find Lumber Liquidators.

“Our strategy has been to be in front of customers,” Crowe said. “We will be top of mind when they’re ready to buy flooring.”

Lumber Liquidators topped the billion-dollar sales mark in 2017. The Medford store is the eighth in Oregon, bracketed by shops in Eugene and Redding, California.

“On average, our stores are 45 to 50 miles apart, but this is good spacing for us,” Crowe said. “We don’t want cannibalization.”

The company is adding more than 20 stores annually. Its last Oregon opening was in Bend in 2017.

Unlike Lumber Liquidators’ typical rectangle showrooms, the 1,200-square-foot Medford storefront is set up in triangle fashion. The majority of the 5,800-square-foot operation is a warehouse. Products run from solid hardwood, engineered hardwood, bamboo and laminate to waterproof vinyl plank, porcelain tile and cork.

“There’ll be hundreds of pallets ready to go that day,” Crowe said. “If the style someone wants isn’t there, we can have it shipped pretty quickly.”

The company’s three-prong approach targets do-it-yourself, do-it-for-me and contractors.

“We’ve got tools and accessories, so even someone marginally proficient can install a beautiful floor on their own,” Crowe said. The company also contracts with installers for someone who wants to pick the style and design and step aside.

“We’ve had our eye on the Rogue Valley for two or three years,” said Crowe, who checked out the location during some of the summer’s worst wildfire smoke. “We vetted a few other sites, weren’t in any rush and waited for the right location.”

The store is managed by Abe Magsayo, who relocated from Las Vegas.

The local number is 541-227-2109 and hours are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Reach reporter Greg Stiles at 541-776-4463 or business@rosebudmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GregMTBusiness or www.facebook.com/greg.stiles.31

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