Bath Showroom Offers Customers New 'Choices'
By John Filippelli
The showroom, which recently hosted its grand opening for some 200 customers, friends and dignitaries, caters to customers of the professional contractor. The 6,000 sq. ft. area features a wide variety of displays, including 22 whirlpools (four of which are operational); two working shower units with a variety of body spray options; 200 working lights; some two dozen vanities; over 200 lavatory and kitchen faucets; 20 fully accessorized tub/shower units (with shower door installed), and over 50 kitchen sinks.
A dramatic waterfall display in the entryway consists of four vessel lavs that cascade water into a stainless steel trough topped with 10 working kitchen sink faucets, adds Kevin Geoffroy, marketing manager for the company.
Despite the state-of-the-art design, created by Curry and Penny Shuman of PS Design of Natick, MA, the main attribute of the showroom's success is its "Choice" program. Designed to counteract the impact of "big-box" businesses cutting into the percentage of fixtures purchased through the plumbing contractor as well as the margin a contractor can make reselling that fixture the "Choice" program enables contractors to offer homeowners a high level of retail services while still controlling the sale and margin.
"The 'Choice' program is designed for new construction projects, but the same basic components that make up the 'Choice' program occur during every sale we make," notes Geoffroy. "That way, customers not only get to pick what they want, they also get the benefit of knowing what will work in a particular application and what [might] not."
Geoffroy states that the 11 members of the showroom staff (the company has 40 employees total) are the key to the program, as they are intimately familiar with the process of choosing fixtures. Furthermore, the staff handles everything from the type of fixtures the customer sees, to additional labor charges, to the "synergy" between products and the job.
As Geoffroy explains, "[The staff] makes sure that the customer selects things that will not only work for the client from a taste perspective, but will also work within the design of the room and be available at any time for the job."
Furthermore, the showroom is designed to allow the shopper to compare similar products and view products simultaneously (the showroom features over a dozen vignettes to give the customer an idea of what a bathroom will look like when the products are installed). This makes Choices a user-friendly environment. Choices is also interactive, as customers are encouraged to try the working faucets, sit in the tubs and enjoy the radiant heat flooring by walking the showroom barefoot.
In addition to these services, the showroom also provides product demonstration, coordinated delivery schedules, stock and quote offerings.
As Geoffroy notes, "[Bill} believed that contractors needed a place to send customers that was luxurious a place that would 'wow' them. But, it also needed to be a place where their margins would be protected. That place is Choices."