Guthrie Bowron Flooring Xtra Balclutha’s owner Alan ‘‘Kitch’’ Kitchingman knew nothing about retail or interior design, but after 32 years working at Finegand Freezing Works, he threw caution to the wind and bought ColourPlus Balclutha.

Kitch had no idea what to expect when he first made the decision to get into the industry — what did he know about carpet and paint?

With the help of two staff who already worked in the business, Colleen McFarlane and Yvette Vanderhilst, Kitch managed to sling the ropes together and get a handle on the retail business.

‘‘I wasn’t even sure on how long I would stay,’’ he said.

‘‘But after a few ups and downs in the first couple of years, I decided to make a go of it. And now it’s been 20 years, and I never would have originally envisaged it.’’

‘‘It has been 20 years, and I still don’t get tired of it. I get friends coming in all the time asking how I’m still doing it, but I genuinely enjoy every minute of getting out there and servicing the community.’’

Guthrie Bowron Flooring Xtra supplies the South Otago area from South of Clinton to Waihola and from Owaka to Beaumont and everywhere in between.

Staff have found great support over the years and their clients have been incredible.

When Kitch bought the business in 2003, it was a Colourplus Store that also supplied flooring. To improve the flooring offering to his customers, he then joined the Flooring Xtra Group, just after it was formed in 2008.

Then in late 2016 the ColourPlus franchise group was sold to the owners of the Guthrie Bowron group and after some negotiations, in 2017 Kitch and Paula purchased the existing Guthrie Bowron store in Balclutha and rebranded their store to Guthrie Bowron Flooring Xtra.

They know that consumers have a lot of choice now with regards to their interior decor needs, but they believe by being part of two national franchises, they can be competitive with all other offerings available in the market place. ]

The also provide a no-obligation free measure and quote service.

‘‘It’s all about giving the best service and customer satisfaction to the client.’’

They enjoy giving back to the community and support local schools, sports groups and charity groups whenever they can.

The Guthrie Bowron Flooring Xtra team is always happy to assist in your flooring and interior design inquiries and needs. Call into the shop at 41 Clyde St, Balclutha, have a look at their Facebook page or call them on 03 418-1925.

Colour co-ordinate . . . The Guthrie Bowron team offers a great selection of paint at their Balclutha store.