Insights from LBM Dealers who’ve grown their sales with a showroom refresh.
BY: LBM STAFF
Q: Describe your showroom for us.
A: We’ve been at this location in Chelsea since 1987 and had a large-scale renovation of our showroom in 2005. On the first floor we have a Marvin Design Gallery and our Therma-Tru door displays. On the second floor of the showroom we feature our Andersen Windows area and Velux Skylights. We have millwork and trim options incorporated throughout the entire showroom space.
Q: What makes your showroom unique for your marketplace?
A: We have almost 5,000-square feet of dedicated showroom space that we’ve designed with a series of built-in products in wall settings. Everything is trimmed out so that homeowners can really see how the products will look in their homes.
Q: How do you keep your showroom “fresh” for visitors?
A: We rotate “hot” products in key display areas, like the newest doors, along with adding in new products on a regular basis.
Q: Who uses your showroom?
A: During the week it’s primarily architects, remodelers and builders. We host builder product seminars and sales training on new products and options. Our architect customer base is very strong, so we also partner with our key vendors to offer AIA accredited seminars on a regular basis.
Q: What about homeowners?
A: We see some homeowners during the week, but traffic definitely increases on Saturdays during our open hours. That’s when we see consumer walk-in business pick up.
Q: Universally, what’s the best aspect of your showroom?
A: Hands-down it’s having full-sized products that people can come in to see and touch. For example, with our Therma-Tru doors we have actual door samples in our showroom along with different glass and caming options. It makes such a difference to see the product in person as opposed to making a purchasing decision based on a picture in a catalog.
Q: If you could do any one thing over again related to your showroom, what would it be?
A: While we like our permanent displays because they really showcase a product in a good setting, it’s time-consuming and expensive to make changes to these displays. I’d like to find a way to make it easier to make changes and have some displays that are more mobile.
Q: What changes has your company seen over the years that have influenced your showroom design and strategies?
A: The window and door industry has gone from stock to custom in recent years. There are so many options available that almost nothing is “stock” anymore. That means we need more space to display options. Right now we’re looking at a refresh of our showroom that will involve a different layout, plus adding in more graphics and media options. Technology advances must be considered these days as a way to really support product sales efforts.