Door and window dealers say showrooms are vital for their business. According to Brad Johnson, vice president of marketing at Therma-Tru, dealer support is top priority for entry door manufacturers—and this includes helping them develop a showroom that wows.
“We customize support to the needs of our dealers with the focus on helping them educate and sell to their audiences,” says Johnson. “For space and cost savings, Therma-Tru created a television display to showcase our full line of glass options which has been very well received in the marketplace.”
“Once at our showroom, the customer can pick out everything from high-end cabinetry to custom-made windows to entry door systems. Variety makes our showroom different in our marketplace,” says Bob Lane, vice president of sales for Moehl Millwork based in Des Moines, Iowa. “While many showrooms are geared toward industry professionals, some also focus on homeowners to increase their business. We’ve thought ahead for the professional who is bringing in consumers.”
“We offer complimentary refreshments, have toys for children to play with so the parents can focus on purchase decisions, and provide great one-on-one attention so the consumer feels comfortable with their product choices,” says Lane.
“Showcasing some of the higher-end products and different product options often lead us to increased sales. Offering more options and information to our customers,” says Dan Sullivan, general manager at Kelly-Fadet Lumber in Connecticut.
Your Building Centers in Altoona, Pa., also maximized its 10,000-square-foot showroom to provide 24-hour access for their partnered builders and remodelers who meet certain purchasing criteria.
“They asked for a location that showcases major product lines 24 hours a day, 7 days a week … and we delivered,” says Dean Conrad, vice president of purchasing and marketing for Your Building Centers.
A well-appointed conference room within a showroom is critical for building traffic, according to Robert J. Loranger, president of Loranger Door and Window Co. Inc. in Maine.
“Builders can reserve the conference room to review plans with clients. During this process we encourage them to visit the showroom to show homeowners the products they’re discussing and recommending,” says Loranger.
Hartville Hardware in Hartville, Ohio, reports that the support of quality manufacturer partners and return-on-investment was beneficial to their success of its 8,000-square-foot showroom that opened in 2012.
“Our sales were up more than 35 percent for the main product lines we feature in our showroom over the first 12 months since the opening,” says Scott Sommers, lumber division manager at Hartville Hardware.
Pete Vitola, vice president of Beeson Hardware and Lumber Company in High Point, N.C., had his company’s displays built into walls to give customers a better idea of how their product will look in their home. “My biggest tip to other dealers is to imitate this idea,” says Vitola. “Put your displays in walls and not on rollers–it makes a big difference.”
“Dealers should refresh their showrooms with an eye toward return-on-investment. Almost every showroom improvement we make affects our sales in a positive way,” says Sullivan.