American tire recycler grows despite global pandemic
U.S. Rubber Recycling Inc., an American-based tire recycling business that converts end-of-life truck tires into rubber flooring and sound-reducing panels, reports that it boosted its sales by 40% in 2020 – during the global pandemic of Covid-19. The company plans to hire another 20 workers this year and is looking for a bigger manufacturing space of 100,000 to 150,000 square feet.
Orange County Register reports that U.S. Rubber Recycling CEO, Jeff Baldassari, attributes the company’s 2020 sales increase to a few factors:
“People changed their buying behavior in 2020 because of the virus,” he says. “They weren’t going to stores as much, but online sales went up. We’ve had a longtime partnership with Rubber Flooring, which sells rubber mats and flooring, and their sales exploded because of online buying.”
That alone would have put the company well ahead of its 2019 performance. But U.S. Rubber also inked a deal with Home Depot, a retailer Baldassari calls the “300-pound gorilla.”
“It usually takes a business nine months to onboard with Home Depot, but we did it in a week,” he said. “Their online purchasing has accelerated quickly and they needed flooring, there was a gap in their rubber flooring space.”
Despite the fact that fitness centers and gyms were closed during the pandemic, Home Depot customers were clamoring for rubber flooring to outfit home gyms in their basements, garages and bedrooms, Baldassari said. As COVID-19 restrictions continue to ease, fitness centers and gyms are reopening with some upgrading their facilities, so demand for rubber flooring is higher than ever.
“We doubled our workforce since April of 2019,” Baldassari said. “Now we have 62 people in the company, including about 50 who work in the factory. The way we’re growing, I expect to add 20 more jobs this year.”