Kitchen Tune-Up and Quality Cabinets Team Up

Kitchen Tune-Up and Quality Cabinets Team Up

The venture, which was termed "groundbreaking" by both companies, will see the firms team up in a 700-sq.-ft. Denver showroom featuring displays that "show what Quality products look like using KTU services."

The Aberdeen, SD-based Kitchen Tune-Up, a division of KTU Worldwide, Inc., is a system of more than 300 independently owned and operated franchises involved in cabinet reconditioning, recoating, refacing and replacement, as well as floor restoration. Quality Cabinets is one of KTU's primary cabinet vendors on a corporate level.

According to the companies, the joint effort had its genesis in the opening earlier this year of a showroom in the Quality Cabinets' Denver distribution center by Ken Klontz, the area's KTU franchisee. Klontz, who has been with KTU since 1995, was Quality Cabinets' branch manager Bill Speights' first account in the Denver area in 1996, and the pair had been mulling over the idea of a joint showroom for more than a year.

"We do wholesale well, but not retail," explains Speights. "We've always focused on the builder business and selling product for housing developments, but we haven't penetrated the after-market consumer demand for cabinets, so I've been looking for a partner in the retail business."

Speights adds that Quality Cabinets has "always been geared for builders, and for selling cabinets for a hundred kitchens at a time. But if customers came in looking for cabinets to remodel their kitchen, we weren't really set up to help them," he notes. "Ken, on the other hand, understands retail and is more prepared for the variety of retail customers we'll get."

According to Klontz, the partnership "is an immediate way for my business to grow.

"The showroom increases my ability to provide full service," he observes. "You gain a lot of credibility with customers when they can see these displays. We still go out to customers' homes to consult on our kitchen tune-up and refacing services, but the showroom is much more effective for selling cabinets."

Klontz and Speights expect traffic in the showroom to continue growing. Many customers are referrals through Quality Cabinets' staff. Klontz is also advertising in local newspapers and on television.

Both men are optimistic about the future of the joint venture. "This is the first time Quality Cabinets has tried this kind of retail approach," Speights says. "I think this joint venture will set a precedent for the way we'll reach out to retail in our other markets."

"We're excited to see how this pans out," adds KTU senior v.p. Jeff Dorn. "The retail outlet is a natural evolution for our franchises. We think this venture might open up opportunities for us in many franchise markets."