Coles Carpets and Fine Flooring
This is a story of a San Diego flooring business that didn’t start out in flooring. The infancy of Coles Fine Flooring actually started in Arizona at a family furniture store. In 1939, Hubert Coles graduated from Santa Clara University and joined his father’s Arizona furniture business. Hubert was quickly called away to serve the military and when discharged in 1945, decided to live in San Diego.
In 1947, Hubert Coles opened Coles of La Jolla, a complete home furnishing business selling furniture, flooring, area rugs, appliances and collectables. The original location was on the corner of Pearl and Girard in La Jolla. The two story building was 15,000 square feet. Early on, Hubert moved the business to Bird Rock, then back to La Jolla, before moving to San Diego, on Gaines Street in 1965. The business name changed to Coles Carpets and began stocking flooring inventory for the first time. Coles Carpets quickly moved to a larger warehouse, at what is today’s main address, at 1170 West Morena Blvd. In the late 60’s, the successes of selling floor covering, lead Coles to a shift away from selling furniture and appliances.
George Coles and Steve Coles joined their dad in 1972 and begin expanding the business through aggressive advertising, and a more hands on approach to customer service. A little known fact is that one of Coles original installers was John Craig, who went on to start Craig’s CarpetCraft, a high end, custom installation company, which is still in business today, run by John’s son, Kevin Craig.
In 1980, Coles expanded into the north county, with a location in San Marcos. In 1996, Coles expanded again with it’s third location, into El Cajon’s east county. In 2003 Coles brought their products and services to the Solana Beach area in the Cedros Design District. During the next 10 years, through an alignment with the local military, Coles opened three more locations, all in military exchanges, bringing their store total to seven.
In 1996, Coles was approached to provide the floor covering for the newly built set of the movie Titanic. With the excessive amount of flooring needed, Coles was the only company that had the required amounts, ready to install!
In 1999, Coles Carpets became Coles Carpet and Fine Flooring, to reflect the expansive array of different floor covering types offered.
In 2006, Coles Carpets and Fine Flooring lost their founder, Hubert Coles, when he passed away at the age of 89. By this time, Hubert’s daughters Chris (sales & design) and Janie (purchasing) have joined their brothers, and have become an integral part of the family business. In 2007, Coles celebrated it’s 60th year in business.
A surprise to most, is that today 50% of Coles sales are hard surface products like ceramic, laminate, hardwood and vinyl. The area rug department rivals most competitors with a large selection along with the capabilities of special custom designs. Another little known fact is that Coles does 15% of their sales in commercial applications like restaurants and offices. Also, a window and wall treatment department stays busy with today’s styles and colors.
Coles Carpets and Fine Flooring is also active in the San Diego community through their affiliations with the BBB, the Humane Society and numerous associations. With over 130 employees today, Coles is poised to continue on their founder’s path of providing quality products and industry leading service. You can see more of their history and company details at www.ColesFineFlooring.com.