Dealers Share Showroom Expansion Plans

Kitchen & Bath Design News recently posed the question to dealers and designers in the kitchen and bath industry: “Will your firm be expanding its showroom or adding a new location in the near future? Why or why not?” Following are some of the responses KBDN received:

“We have no plans to expand our showroom or add a new location at the moment. Right now, our market is relatively quiet and we are tightening our belts a little bit. The expansion is on the medium- to long-term plan, but for the immediate future, there are no plans. The market conditions have to improve for a few years before we take that step. We have been talking about it for the last year and we were looking at five to 10 years to be the true timeframe to do a major expansion or add a second location. Three years ago, we doubled our showroom and went from 1,000 square feet to 2,000 square feet. Part of our decision was for more accessible administrative space, and we needed to expand the display offerings, as well.

herefore, we added a second cabinetry line and fuller displays. I think that clients typically respond better to the larger displays because they can walk in and envision themselves in a room, as opposed to standing back and looking at a line of 30" door styles. I have also found that talking to the remodeling partners that we have – such as the electricians and plumbers that we refer on a regular basis – is also a helpful approach to take when beginning a showroom remodel. They were able to help financially as well as with suggestions as to which materials to show. That input was invaluable to us during the process.

Specifically, this helped us tremendously with plumbing fixtures, lighting fixtures and tile selections. If a firm is considering a showroom expansion, it is important to put yourself in your client’s shoes. You need displays that will really pop and attract customers into the showroom. It makes them think highly of your firm. It all comes down to gut instincts and taking a hard look at your financials and your plans for the future.

Scott Duncan, owner
Duncan’s Cabinetry
Bradenton, FL

“We will not be doing either of those things any time soon. We have looked into it and still regularly consider it when a location of interest comes up, however, the current location that we have is excellent for our market area. The size is definitely adequate and it is consistently accomplishing what we need for it to do. It seems that the market might be getting a little soft, so that is a factor to consider, as well. I would say that the location we have is doing a good job for us so there is really no pressing need for a move or expansion at this time. I would say that the main reason for expanding would be based primarily on a marked increase in business. If we were to become inundated with new client possibilities, we would certainly have to look into expanding the number of designers that we have on staff, and that would necessitate a larger facility.

Tom Shirley, staff designer
Cabinets & Designs, Inc.
Lexington, KY

“Right now, we are not expanding into another building but we are in the process of remodeling our current location.

Basically, the reason we decided to do this was that our showroom was becoming outdated and needed to be refreshed. As a result, we have taken on a line that we hadn’t currently shown in the showroom. With that, we are adding more full displays. However, we don’t show a lot of appliances in our vignettes, but we do show six or eight feet of cabinetry in each display and several are even bigger than that. However, the overall size of the showroom is not being dramatically reduced.

ather we are just allocating areas within the showroom differently. This is the first remodel of the showroom that this ownership has done, but we have plans to do other displays in the near future. The main thing for an effective kitchen and bath showroom is to remain current and show things that are innovative – but you need to be practical about it, too. From a business sense, you can’t be remodeling all the time, otherwise your money only goes into remodeling. Therefore, you have to be very good about what you decide to display in your showroom and precise about showing what people will buy and what your market is looking for in product offerings.

Mary Banas, CKD
Artistic Kitchen Design
Mountainview, CA

“We undertook a rather large transformation last April by opening our flagship showroom and warehouse in the northwest part of Tucson, AZ. A major factor in the decision to do so was due to the expansion of building [that has been happening] in Tucson’s northwest, as well as the location of the property itself. However, we still operate out of our satellite showroom on the east side of Tucson. Our new facility features a large 4,000-square-foot showroom showcasing many of the cabinetry lines that our [satellite] showroom carries. We felt that the showroom expansion was important not only for sales, but also to enable us to house our full operation at one location. We believe that this will give us even better quality control while also enhancing our customer service. Although the housing market has slowed, our client base has remained the residential homeowner seeking to better his or her current home environment, or the custom builder with specific client needs, and our [flagship location] helps us greatly with that.

Tom Grimes, owner
Bob Harvey, owner
Canyon Cabinetry & Design
Tucson, AZ