ATLANTA, GA — The word “traffic” is usually a positive one for a kitchen and bath showroom, but in the case of Atlanta, GA-based Cowan Supply, the traffic issue was the one outside – rather than inside – the showroom. Originally located in an area of downtown prone to parking and traffic flow issues, the luxury plumbing supply company picked up and moved its showroom to a larger, more open area located just outside the perimeter of the city.
“Our new location keeps us away from the downtown traffic congestion, yet close enough for our original client base to still utilize us for their plumbing needs,” reports Mike MacFarlane, manager, Cowan Supply.
The much larger, 4,000-sq.-ft space includes the latest in plumbing products that can be experienced first-hand by trade professionals and homeowners alike. “The show-room gives clients a variety of ideas for their project needs,” offers Lenia Pilkonis, CKD, CBD, RID, luxury showroom sales, Cowan Supply.
The new location houses three distinctive showrooms, including a Kohler Premier showroom designed and specified by Kohler with a large display of its products. Pilkonis designed the other two spaces, including a 1,500-sq.-ft. area with vignettes and products from more industry-name vendors. The third, smaller space features additional working displays.
“A large working showerhead display and a working steam unit with digital showering systems are coming soon,” comments Pilkonis.
Sinks and faucets figure prominently in the showroom, with products from Kohler, Brizo, Delta Faucet, Elkay, Franke, Blanco, Graff, Grohe, Hansgrohe, Luxart, Moen, Newport Brass, Symmons and Watermark.
Tubs, toilets and vanity cabinetry are also shown in abundance from companies such as Kohler, Victoria & Albert, Ronbow, Niagara Conservation, Gerber Plumbing, INAX, Aqua Glass, Jetta and MTI Baths. Rounding out the selection are mirrors and accessories from Electric Mirror and Afina, and InSinkerator disposals and InstaHot dispensers.
And, Pilkonis notes, “As we continue to grow, our showroom will incorporate new products and allow our customers an opportunity to see them before purchasing.”
Strategies for reaching customers
Though Cowan Supply doesn’t offer design services, the sales staff can assist with any questions clients dish out. “I have expertise in kitchen and bath design and interior design and am always assisting customers with creating a complete look that satisfies their whole design goals,” notes Pilkonis. “Showroom manager Fred McCurdy has almost 20 years of experience in the plumbing industry, so together we make a great team.”
Pilkonis notes that Cowan has a lot of designers and remodelers who send their clients directly to the showroom because of their expertise. The facility is equipped with areas for designers and remodelers to meet with their clients for product selections or to make their presentations.
“We have created a facility that showcases knowledge. Areas have been designed to show different features allowing designers to feel comfortable utilizing this showroom as an extension of their services,” remarks Pilkonis.
To reach their market, Cowan’s staff is active in professional and community organizations, allowing them to maintain relationships with the professionals in the industry and community. In addition to professional connections, the firm maintains a Web site with its mascot, Travis T. Fish, hosting a vlog/blog for both professional and consumer tidbits. “The mascot was Mike’s idea to work in conjunction with the rather large aquarium we have in our front showroom. We really do have Travis in there. He’s always good for a conversation starter,” states Pilkonis.