Becky’s Carpet & Tile Superstore closes all six stores
By: Mary Ann OToole Holley
Becky, the self-proclaimed “Queen of Carpet,” who made a name for herself atop a magic carpet in TV ads that helped her achieve iconic status, has been grounded. Becky’s Carpet and Tile Superstore chain has closed.
Becky’s General Manager Rick Rossfeld said Becky’s entire network of four St. Louis area locations and two Metro East locations have shuttered. Rossfeld said he could not provide additional information, except to say, “The economy hit us hard.”
One customer who wished to remain anonymous said she learned of the closing when calling to confirm an order.
“My carpet was supposed to be installed on Tuesday and on Monday when I called to confirm, I was told Becky’s is ‘shutdown.’”
She was told her order would not be completed, and that employees learned of the closing Friday, June 8. She learned that she’d have to find another proverbial genie to buy and install her carpet.
Becky Rothman, as she is formally known, had a mantra that said, “For price, selection and service, nobody beats Becky.”
Unfortunately, it was the poor economy and lack of spending ability of carpet and tile buyers that found a way to TKO the long-time St. Louis enterprise.
“Becky’s Carpet and Tile,” was made famous by commercials that rank among the most wacky of St. Louis area selling tools, commercials that bring memories of other iconic advertising hooks like those Steve Mizerany rants roller skating through his South St. Louis store.
Becky was the public face of the business, riding her magic flying carpet through life as she went from a 200-plus pound youngster to a svelte adult beauty with the help of gastrointestinal by-pass surgery. Today, Becky’s business is spread throughout the St. Louis Metropolitan area, on both sides of the Mississippi River.
The original of Becky’s Carpet & Tile dates back to 1954, when her father opened a carpet store in East St. Louis, Ill. Becky started working there at age 8. When she was 16, her father handed her keys to store and told her, “Go manage the store.” Becky did just that, working every job in the store from unloading and stocking carpet rolls to setting budgets to running the store’s operations.
Her father opened a second store in Hazelwood and her two brothers started working with her in the business. In 1977, when Becky was just 22, her father died, leaving Becky and her brothers to run the two stores. Becky grew the company by extending its product line and opening new stores. In 1994, she began appearing in television and print ads for her flooring business, which became Becky’s Carpet & Tile Superstores.
Becky has been a benefactor of numerous charities in the area. She answers the wishes of foster children through the Little Wishes Program and is one the original sponsors of the Blessing Basket Project, a St. Louis Charity that pays living wages to African women who create native baskets. Becky helped restore the building that became the Project’s home. She donated flooring to Habitat for Humanity. A major contributor to animal organizations, Becky has picked up many stray dogs and cats, provided veterinary care and a placed them in loving homes.