The Rug Gallery of Blue Ash, America’s best rug retailer, lands profile in Sunday Enquirer

The Rug Gallery in Sunday Enquirer - 3.20.11.

Remembering Sam Presnell’s old hippie hangout in Clifton, a carpet store he opened to sell to University of Cincinnati students almost 40 years ago, has long been a favorite pastime of customers in the Queen City.

Sam Presnell

This past Sunday, they were afforded the opportunity to check out The Rug Gallery’s profile in The Sunday Enquirer, which posted its link here ….

….. with the full release on here ….

Now the top rug retailer in America, The Rug Gallery is poised to open its gallery of 10,000+ rugs and carpets to the entire North American market courtesy of ….

what else? ….

an online web design tool, and a focus on e-commerce, to spread the gospel of how a good rug can make an ordinary room great.

Using the recently unveiled Virtual Room Designer, The Rug Gallery ( now offers the creme de la creme in carpets and rugs via a new online avenue.

Sam and Arlene Presnell, owners of The Rug Gallery

Customers nationwide can customize their home from 10,000 selections, order their goods, and have them shipped and installed.

It’s the latest tool in The Rug Gallery’s growth strategy under Presnell, a Cincinnati native whose most recent endeavor was building a $1.3 million warehouse behind his showroom on Kenwood Road.

The Rug Gallery is located in the heart of the Blue Ash downtown business district, seconds from the Ronald Reagan Cross County Highway exit onto Kenwood Road.


Books, sure.

Music, naturally. And adult things.

Anti-virus software, of course.

But rugs and carpets?

Arlene, Sam Presnell receive Gold Standard Award, for No. 1 Rug Retailer in the U.S., from World Floor Covering Association

How do you go about selling something online, which historicallytraditionally – and rightfully, people have always wanted to touch, and feel, before they purchase?

“There aren’t many stores in the whole country that give you the variety of rugs that we offer, in a way that makes it easy to understand and shop, like we’ve done at the store,” Presnell said.

“Now, with the Virtual Room Designer, we’re helping people get the visual side of the business, to see their carpet or rug laid out in their actual room, before buying.

“It’s just another tool of customer service. I’ve spent the last 40 years correcting what’s wrong. I fix things. I’m never really satisfied with what we’re doing, even this national award,” Presnell said.

“We’ve been named the best rug retailer in America and Canada, but to me, we’re still a store in transition. I’m still working on how we can improve the experience for our customers.”

The Virtual Room Designer experience is launched when a customer logs onto The Rug Gallery website, at, and gets to work by either selecting a standard layout, or the custom route.

Customers can virtually design a kitchen, living room, foyer, dining room or bedroom, or any other type of room. The process is based on the fundamentals: flooring, colors and trim.

The custom tweak allows customers to upload a picture of their own room – whatever room in the house they are redesigning – into The Rug Gallery’s portal.

To start that process, users register on the site, upload their picture, and within 48 hours, their room is converted into a virtual design studio, from where they select options.

“If people want the $199 carpet that’s sold at the big-box stores, they can design their room using that product, or they can go all the way up-market to the best that can be bought. We have antique, new, hand-woven, flat, rag, shag, braided, polyester, wool and silk rugs, all of which you can ‘try on’ without stepping foot into the store,” said Presnell.

“Many of our local customers like coming into the store, but the Virtual Room Designer is what’s going to help open up the rest of the country to what The Rug Gallery offers.”

The Virtual Room Designer accomplishes what the warehouse did four years ago: it makes The Rug Gallery a better store.

“To some, building a warehouse in the face of a declining market could have been a million-dollar mistake. But what it did was provide us the opportunity to redo our entire store, to change the flow, how we showcased everything. It was a customer service improvement, just like e-commerce.”


The Rug Gallery achieved unprecedented national recognition just last month.

To Presnell, the award from the World Floor Covering Association (WFCA) – the largest industry group representing retailers, installers and contractors of rugs, carpets and floor coverings – is the culmination of “Trying to make things better for the last 40 years.

“To me, at this point in my career as a business owner, this was the highest honor I have ever been given,” he said.

“We’d like all of Cincinnati to know that the best rug retailer in the U.S. has been recognized right here in Cincinnati,” Presnell said.

“The people with the WFCA were impressed to find out how we can compete in this town, in a market that’s 10, 15 times smaller than the size of other retailers we were competing against.”

“It’s simple: even stores in those markets don’t have the selection, the variety and the quality that The Rug Gallery offers,” Presnell concluded.

To contact Sam or The Rug Gallery, please stop by the downtown Blue Ash HQ at 9350 Kenwood Road, in the heart of the Blue Ash Business District, call (513) 793-9505 or check them out online at

The Virtual Room Designer can be found on the home page. You can reach Sam by e-mailing

For media inquiries regarding The Rug Gallery, please contact Mr. Andy Hemmer, President of PR at (513) 604-5428 or

Here’s Sam himself, waxing poetic on what it feels like to be awarded The Gold Standard, and be named the Top Rug Retailer in America:

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