When you start a business, you don’t see the future, you live day to day, struggling to make a profit to be able to pay the bills along with possibly supporting a family.
That was the outlook of Mike Burch, when he chose to start his own business in 1965, after working as a carpet fitter for Waltons. He had a van, £40 and a huge ambition to make a successful business to support his wife and five children. He built the company from a small store in South Street, Exeter which later located to Market Street in 1977. His sons Gary and Simon joined the Company soon after leaving school.
Together, they expanded the business to a showroom in Exmouth and two larger stores in Tiverton and Marsh Barton, Exeter. Whilst growing their team of loyal staff, even though they weren’t blood related, they became part of the family.
Gary and Simon took over the day to day running of the shops, whilst Mike managed the administration, marketing, and finances of the company. As the business continued to grow, it needed more support, which is when Claire, Mikes youngest daughter, started her career with the family business learning to manage the finances.
Market Carpets is now one of the largest flooring stockists in the Southwest with a warehouse holding many stock rolls of carpet and vinyl, as well as having four stores and a team of 29 fantastic staff. The company also use the services of approximately 40 teams of self-employed fitters.
In 2021, after researching the business structure of John Lewis and Richer Sounds etc, the family collectively decided that they also wanted to reward their long-standing, loyal and supportive staff by giving them the opportunity to become owners themselves, by setting up their own Employee-Owned Trust (EOT). All employees, from 1st January 2022, have become shareholders of the company as part of this EOT.
The employees now have a say in the way the company operates, working together as one team to ensure Market Carpets is pushed forward as well as remaining the family friendly firm that it has always been. Gary, Simon and Claire, along with younger family members, remain working in the business.
It will continue with the same values that have been the core to the business for the past 56 years.
– No frills, no gimmicks, no sales. Just unbeatable value all year round.
– To continue to offer excellent customer service.
Market Carpets would like to thank all customers for their support and loyalty to the family business over the past 56 years and hope new and old customers will continue to support the new Employee-Owned business.