UNION, NJ — Three generations of the Hannon family have added to the success of Hannon Floor Covering, which has grown to become one of the biggest commercial and residential dealers in the state since it opened in 1928.
That’s because it’s been family owned and operated that entire time, said Jim Hannon, who runs the business with his cousins, Frank and Bob Hannon. At Hannon Floor Covering, people know they’re going to get quality care and professionalism, said Hannon, because that’s what they’ve gotten for the past 88 years.
“If I could put, in 8-foot letters, ‘family owned and operated’ on the front of the building, then I’d do that,” said Hannon. “People that bought from my grandfather, who bought from my father and uncles, buy from us. And now we’ve got a fourth generation coming up. So it’s staying in the family.
There are places that open and close on the highway, there’s big box stores. Our thing is ‘we’re not going anywhere.’”
The store’s co-owners have been with Hannon Floor Covering for nearly 50 years each, or as soon as they were able to start working part-time in high school. During all those years, their philosophy on customer service hasn’t budged an inch.
“They say ‘the customer is always right,’ and it’s the truth,” said Hannon. “You’ve got to do right by the customer.”
In that time, though, the floor-covering business has changed to some degree. When Hannon first started working at Hannon Floor Covering with his father and four uncles, a customer’s options were simple: There was carpet, linoleum and tile flooring.
There’s “just so much more of it now,” says Hannon, from ceramic and vinyl flooring to laminate floors and hardwood floors. So Hannon Floor Covering stocks as many samples as possible in their expansive showroom space, and if the Hannons don’t have a requested sample on-site, they order it.
“We handle every major manufacturer. If I don’t have samples here, I can get it,” said Hannon of his on-site inventory of samples. “Nothing’s too big or too small.”
Also, customers are more informed than they were 50 years ago, says Hannon. They can go on the Internet and find out about different products and what their options are, although he said that some websites are less reliable than others.
Purchasing a new floor can be simple. If the customer has a good idea what they want, they can make a single visit, the product is measured and then priced based on square yards. But it can also take a longer time when a customer has to decide what they want, says Hannon, adding that floor covering isn’t an impulse purchase.
No matter how long it takes, though, Hannon Floor Covering wants to help customers through the process and make sure they get the right floor.
The Hannons don’t want to do a rush job — they’d rather keep their reputation going strong, at least for another three or four generations.
“That’s why you’re in business for 88 years,” said Hannon. “Years ago, it wasn’t so much price-driven as it was about service. In a lot of businesses today, that service is not there. Here, that’s what it’s all about.”