East Coast Shopping Mecca Gets Royal Showroom

King of Prussia, PAWhen the city of King of Prussia, Pennsylvania gets mentioned, ears of savvy shoppers perk right up. For those in the know, this area is home to some of the best shopping on the East coast. In fact it's one of the main reasons that Reico Kitchen & Bath chose the location for its latest showroom.

The facility itself is what the company refers to as a "hub" location. "Rather than a retail environment, it's more of a flex type of environment because we combine a showroom, office space and a small warehouse into one facility," comments Andy Armstrong, director of marketing for Reico Kitchen & Bath. The hub, in turn, supports multiple showrooms within a certain geographic radius, he explains, via training, shipping and infrastructure. Customers at other showrooms can come to the main hub location to see larger versions of some kitchens, or functional appliances, or things that cannot be contained in a smaller showroom.

Because of this set up, "a hub generally has the largest showroom," Armstrong notes, and the King of Prussia facility is no exception, boasting a 5,000-sq.-ft. space. The hub currently services two other showrooms in the area, but in the future is expected to support an additional four or five others.

The showroom celebrated with what it refers to as "a soft opening" in early November. Rather than a "grand" event, the showroom hosted about 75 people for an informal evening. "We invited members of the architectural community, fabrication community, and people that have worked with us either subcontractors in the field or subcontractors for the actual store," reports Armstrong. The company also invited new prospects to participate in the evening.

"We had vendors from our appliance companies come in and do cooking demonstrations at the same time," he explains. "So, it was fun, and it gave us a real mix of folks." It also gave the different groups an opportunity to network, "and see the beautiful new showroom," he reports. "It made for a more productive night for everybody."

What's Inside

While Armstrong notes that Reico tries to design its showrooms to reflect each particular location area, with a hub like this one, "basically, all bets are off." The hub showroom is a mixture of kitchens, baths, other rooms such as bar displays, entertainment centers, laundry rooms, craft centers, libraries and home offices. "We even have an outdoor kitchen display right outside the door of one of the entrances," he relays.

There are approximately 100 displays in the showroom, with anywhere between 50 and 60 kitchen and bath vignettes featured. The rest are smaller displays. The site also includes four or five working displays, with all appliances fully functional.

"We encourage people to try the appliances; it's one of the reasons that they come to this location," adds Armstrong. Appliances are often in use when customers visit whether it's cookies baking in the oven or the Miele coffee bars whipping up lattes. In addition to Miele, appliance brands include Dacor and Northland.

Cabinetry featured in the showroom includes Merillat, Masterpiece, Woodharbor, Custom Wood Products and Ultracraft. Cabinets are topped with "pretty much anything and everything" as far as selection, notes Armstrong including countertops from Wilsonart, Gibraltar, Corian, Earthstone, Silestone and Caesarstone.

Faucet and sink brands highlighted include Moen, Rohl, KWC and Kindred.

Center of Service

Because of the hub's size, the showroom is staffed by a team of approximately 25 kitchen and bath experts, including four designers, the company notes. The firm offers concept-to-completion service "design-through-installation," stresses Armstrong.

Large training rooms are also available on-site, "with very forward-thinking technology," says Armstrong. "We can project anything that folks need to have." The rooms are flexible as far as the way they can be set up, he reports, and Reico actively goes out into the trade community to make it known that the facilities are available.

The company also offers do-it-yourself seminars three times a year at its hub locations.

So, now when shoppers head to King of Prussia for a day of shopping, they can take care of that newly remodeled room that's on their wish list.