This History story is of a San Diego flooring business that set out in one direction, and stayed the course through multiple ownership changes, while constantly growing and improving. The beginnings of GB Sales started in 1959 when Art & Peggy Kaplan opened this flooring business, and named it after their two children Gary and Barbara. Originally called Ga-Bar, the business specialized in “catering to” apartments and apartment owners. From day one, Ga-Bar sold both floor and window coverings. The business was first located on University Avenue at Hebert Street. The original warehouse stored large quantities of both Carpet and Vinyl. This is also the start of the Drapery Workroom. Initially, the only other apartment flooring retailers in San Diego were Sid’s Carpet Barn, and Phillips Interiors. In 1979, Bob Fay buys the 6 employee business of Ga-Bar from Art & Peggy Kaplan, and continues on at the University Avenue location until growth forces a move to 4441 Park Blvd, in the mid 1980’s. More office space and better parking are a welcome change. In 1984, Rick Permetti is hired on, and is still working there today! At this same time, one of Bob’s son’s, Brian, comes on board and starts running a floor/carpet cleaning division. The main focus of the business remains apartment work. It’s at this same time that the business changes its name to GB Sales.
A surprise to most, is that the first two locations of Ga-Bar/GB Sales did not have air conditioning?
In 1994, Bob is happy to have to expand again, and jumps out of San Diego proper, and moves into Kearny Mesa, a northern, mostly retail part on San Diego City. Bob’s other son Kevin, also joins the business, and mainly runs the window coverings division. All co-workers are excited to finally have air conditioning in the offices for the first time!
Through his years running GB Sales, Bob maintains steady growth with a strong work ethic, with his main focus directed at customer service! Bob was often heard saying “Never say no to a customer!” A major milestone was in 2001 when the company developed an in-house totally custom software system called “Gotcha Covered” to be able to offer an even higher level of service to existing and future customers.
In 2006, and after 27 years as the owner, Bob comes to an agreement to sell GB Sales to its current owners, Ken and Valerie Hilton. Just prior to the sale to the Hilton’s the Carpet Cleaning division spins off from GB Sales to become “Warren’s Carpet Cleaning.” GB Sales remains on the historical path of apartment work, and grows the business even more as it moves once again to the Miramar area. Today, GB Sales has grown to 45 employees, (not including installers) and has opened a satellite location in Corona/Riverside, with another in the works, to help service all of Southern California.
Through all 54 years, GB Sales remains mostly focused on apartment work, but they also do new and tenant improvement commercial work and from its new showroom are quickly growing their residential/design business. There’s a constant buzz as you walk through their new facility and you can tell that more exciting things are on the horizon. Under Ken and Valerie they continue to invest in technology to improve productivity for them and their customers alike and are committed to delivering the highest levels of customer service, just as Bob Fay started some 30+ years ago.
See more about todays GB Sales at www.gbsales.net