Coyle Hardware, founded by Edward and Irene Coyle, specialized in hardware, cabinetry, carpeting materials, and appliances. Its focus gradually evolved, prompting a name change to Coyle Building and Supplies. By the time the business moved to its current location on the West Beltline Highway in 1963, it was renamed Coyle Carpet. Since then, the building has undergone multiple remodels, adding a second story and doubling the size of its showroom.
In 1987, the business joined what is now known as Carpet One Floor & Home, a giant cooperative with enormous buying power that led to Coyle’s current name and helped it thrive in a new era. Today, the Coyle brand goes well beyond carpet and includes hardwood, laminate, and tile surfaces, as well as countertops and cabinets.
“The cooperative has helped us maintain the ‘shop-local’ mindset, which has been a driving force for us,” says Tom Coyle, the company’s third-generation co-owner and general manager, whose father, Pat, and uncles Mike and Tim, Edward and Irene’s sons, purchased Coyle Carpet from their parents in the late 1970s. “The Madison market has always been unique in not just focusing on national brands.”
Tom and his cousin, Dan Coyle, the company controller, are in the process of purchasing Coyle Carpet One Floor & Home from their fathers. They will acquire a family business that boasts a 12,000-square-foot showroom and more than 60 employees.
“This industry has become much more fashion-forward,” Tom says. “People are able to customize their homes and businesses today more than ever before because there are so many options out there. As a result, they have a much better idea of what they want and can better articulate that vision. That allows our staff to help them even more because we want to facilitate that vision and recommend products that will work best for them.”
In addition to building strong relationships with customers, Coyle Carpet One Floor & Home continues its seven-decade connection with the Greater Madison community by supporting the local arms of such organizations as the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and St. Vincent De Paul with financial and in-kind donations.
Tom Coyle also points to the collective group of people the company has employed over the past three-quarters of a century — staff members whose loyalty was tested during the recession — as a primary reason for its longevity.
“We sat down with everyone during that time and said we needed to cut expenses,” Tom says, adding that he gave employees the option of potentially being laid off or trimming hours and taking on more responsibilities. “They chose to stick with us. Our staff works with us, not for us. We wouldn’t have lasted 75 years without them.”
Indeed, many employees have been with Coyle for more than 20 years and some for more than 30 years. “That shows the character of the people who are here,” Tom notes, “and it’s a tribute to our success.”