Kitchen Dealer Focuses on Top Service for any Budget

Kitchen Dealer Focuses on Top Service for any Budget

By John Filippelli

These are the sentiments of Suzy Reese, v.p. and co-owner of the firm, who notes that the firm has recently revamped its retail philosophy to focus on affordable price points while still offering a high-degree of design and service for a variety of budgets.

Because of the firm's close ties with industry builders, Suzy Reese adds that philosophy is an even more necessary tool for the firm. "We work with builders who are doing [as many as] 10 kitchens a day, and some very intricate projects where the design alone may take up to a year, with a budget exceeding $100,000," she explains. "[Therefore] our [ultimate] goal is to combine one-stop shopping with service excellence."

But, she quickly notes, being a one-stop shopping destination doesn't mean that there should only be one location for clients to visit.
"We recently established three satellite showrooms to help build our retail sales," she states.

Targeting customers
Suzy Reese notes that about 60 percent of the firm's business is with builders, and about 25 percent is with remodelers. She adds that the company benefits from its geographic area, as well.

Company president and co-owner David Reese agrees, stating: "We sell over 50 percent of the new construction homes in the Indianapolis market, but we are growing in the retail and remodeling segment. It is now about 40 percent of our business."

"The affordable land in the area is conducive to housing growth which, with our strong builder base, contributes to our growth as well," Suzy Reese adds.

Also aiding in that growth is the company's large selection of custom and stock cabinetry, appliances and countertop materials, as well as a design staff that is experienced, knowledgeable and affable, she notes.

Suzy Reese concludes that it is these types of offerings that have allowed the firm to specialize in a variety of design themes, including highly contemporary and Old World-style projects, while also catering to some high-end and high profile clientele.

David Reese summarizes: "What makes us unique is our passion for design at all price points. Even if a client is buying a $3,000 kitchen, we want that customer to be as excited as if it were a $300,000 project."

However, David Reese reports that, when the company gets into the bigger kitchens, "that is when we can turn loose and do really unique design aspects." He cites a current project that features a custom-designed limestone hood and elaborate shell designs as one such example.
A key selling point for the firm, according to Suzy Reese, is the large product selection the firm offers to its customers.

"We carry a variety of cabinetry to suit a range of budgets. That way, we can offer a customer a fabulous kitchen at any price point," Suzy Reese offers.

Revealing the firm's selling philosophy, she says, "We like to say 'Keep costs down; give them a wow!'"

Specifically, Reese Kitchens carries cabinetry lines from Aristokraft, Kemper Kitchencraft, Decorá, Mouser and Nichols, among others,

"We also manufacture our own laminate and wood countertops, and carry Centura, Corian, Formica Nevamar and Pionite as well as concrete, granite, marble, stainless steel and copper," she adds.

She also notes that the firm carries high-end appliance lines from Sub-Zero, Wolf, Viking, Thermador, KitchenAid, Whirlpool Corp. and Gaggenau.

Ranging in size from 1,600 square feet to 4,000 square feet, the company's three satellite showrooms not only offer customers a convenient and accessible destination to visit, but also offer some 40 different displays and vignettes, which make it convenient for customers to make their purchasing decisions, she notes.

David Reese quickly adds that the showrooms are also designed to help the design staff work more fluently and cost-effectively.
"The four showrooms are all tied into one computer system. That way, we can transfer designs back and forth easily," David Reese explains. "Plus, we like to send our designs straight to the manufacturer. Therefore, we can design it on 20-20, take it into our operating system and never have to write up an order. It reduces the chance for errors and makes us more efficient, cost-wise."

The Reese Stuff
For Suzy Reese, the firm's success stems from a commitment to satisfying customers by providing an educated staff that offers great design expertise and product knowledge.

"We try very hard to meet our customers' expectations and create happy customers," she explains. This is made easier, she believes, because the firm's design staff boasts more than 300 years of combined design experience.

"We really try to listen to the clients and bring our experience into the project. Basically, we want to design for what they want and use our experience to find the right product and provide the right services for them," adds David Reese.

To that end, Suzy Reese also points out that several of the company's designers are working toward their CKD or CBD certification, while David Reese notes that he has been a member of the NKBA's Distributor Council for several years.

"At Reese Kitchens, our award-winning design staff makes it their job to create a kitchen that reflects the needs, interests and personality of the customer," she adds.

David Reese adds, "We'll do 20-20 drawings, Auto-CAD or even hand drawings if that's the best way to convey the design to
a client."

Suzy Reese also suggests that this dedication is not only reflected by the firm's long-standing design staff, but by an even more loyal client base.

"We have staff members who have been here since we opened the company 34 years ago, and they have cultivated the trust and confidence of their customers. That is why we enjoy long-term relationships with our builder customers," she notes.
Suzy Reese is also quick to note that, as a result of the firm's reputation, it has been retained to create kitchens for many clients of note, including several members of the Indiana Pacers' basketball team, football player Peyton Manning and basketball legend Larry Bird.

Word association
Reese notes that the company relies heavily on the surrounding community to create its successful marketing campaign.

"Our business is word-of-mouth referrals, although we are starting to advertise to boost the retail business," she explains.

"One of our most successful public relations events is an art fair that we sponsor each year at one of our four Indianapolis locations," she reports.

Suzy Reese notes that this year, the art exhibit featured the Aristokraft "Feed the Heart" celebrity art exhibition, which highlighted Aristokraft Landen cabinet doors painted by celebrities Buzz Aldrin, Phyllis Diller, Kathy Ireland and Yoko Ono, among other notables.

Reese Kitchens
Location: Four locations in and around Indianapolis
Principals: Suzy and David Reese
Showrooms: Four
Hours of operation: 8 a.m. 5 p.m. and 9. a.m. 6 p.m. in the retail showrooms
Number of employees: 48
Major product lines carried: Aristokraft, Kemper, Decorá and Mouser cabinetry; Sub-Zero, Wolf, Viking and KitchenAid appliances; and Centura, Corian, Formica and Wilsonart countertops.
Design Software: AutoCAD
Business Philosophy: "Reese Kitchens' strategy is to provide our customers with an enjoyable experience. Our experienced designers are committed to providing each customer with a unique creative design, a large product selection, several price choices and great service. We try very hard to meet our customers' expectations and create happy customers."

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