ROCKINGHAM — Christian Marks is covering the gap left when R.W. Goodman Co. closed its doors last November.
Renting space in part of the old North Lee Street building, Marks has opened up his own store, Marks Floor Covering.
Marks got into the installation business by working with his father as a teenager and has been on his own for 35 years. Thirty of those years were spent as a contractor for Goodman’s.
He said that it’s been quite a switch going from instillation to sales.
“It’s been a slow process trying to start from scratch,” he said. “But it’s going.”
Marks said he’s been working on setting up displays since April, featuring most major brands of carpeting, tile, hardwood flooring and laminates.
“He knows as much about flooring and carpeting as anyone in North Carolina,” said building owner Ken Goodman, who is renting the space out to Marks.
Goodman, a second-term state representative, said he shut down the family-owned store after 72 years of operation because of spending time in the General Assembly and his kids not being interested in running a retail business.
“It was a hard decision,” he said. “But there’s a time for everything.”
Marks said a lot of people were sad when Goodman’s closed and there wasn’t a place for customers to purchase flooring.
“It’s good to have a storefront downtown,” Goodman said of Marks’ new venture. “People were knocking on the windows asking if we had anything else to sell. I think it’s great to have something to brighten the street up.”
He added that if Marks’ business grows, he’ll move the showroom over to the corner building and use the one he currently operates from as a warehouse.
Marks said he has always provided free, in-home estimates and will continue to do so with the new business.
Last year, Marks laid down both commercial and residential flooring all over North and South Carolina, from Murphy to Elizabeth City, according to Goodman.
Although the store is currently open, full-time hours will begin next Monday. Store hours will be 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. or by appointment by calling 910-434-8695.
Reach reporter William R. Toler at 910-817-2675.