Showroom Design Cost Management, Vol. 2, Issue 8

How Quickly Can it Be Done?

 Vol.2, Issue 8


stop watch

Once you have made the commitment to undertake a building/remodeling project, the task of selecting who will do it, is the next order of business. I can say with a certainty that every wholesaler/showroom owner knows a contractor/customer that they believe can do the job for them. In most cases they are mistaken in their belief for many reasons.

Here’s why:

● When you select a customer or friend they have a tendency to take advantage of the relationship in ways they would not for any other client. Deadlines and completion schedules are not taken as seriously.

● They may try to work your project in with other work as “fill in” to try to save you some money.

● Clipping corners with building protocols, permits, architectural drawings and city or state requirements may save the contractor time but cost you in fines and shut downs.

● The perception of favoritism for one customer over another to do the work may potentially alienate your other customers.

● Many wholesalers/showrooms have reliable contractor relationships, however it has been my experience across the country that it’s not worth the cost and loss of a good relationship. “Don’t step over a dollar to pick up a dime”. The money you’re trying to save could very well end up costing you more in delays along with peace of mind.

● Don’t build or remodel without a complete set of drawings. Building “fast track” which means that you are building as you are designing; this may or may not save time but for sure it will always cost you 20% or more from my experience.

● Have all the finish materials that usually have long lead times ordered, delivered and in hand or close to being in hand before tearing apart your showroom.

● Work with your vendors to have all the product you plan to display, ready to install when your finished displays are completed. *Just a note here. If you have to pay for any product from your vendors be sure to include that in your cost budget.

This is the eigth in a series of 12 topics outlining successful Showroom Design Cost Management. Look for next month’s topic: Keeping the Doors Open… Pardon Our Dust.

Contact David Hawkins for a FREE Showroom Design Consultation!

Showroom Cost Management, Vol.2 Issue 6

Preparing For Showroom Displays

 Vol.2, Issue 6


DHDM Blog-Preparing Displays 2-6bDHDM Blog-Preparing Displays 2-6aYou have created a floor plan and you are satisfied with how your customer will circulate through your merchandise. You have your “Star of The Show” positioned in the best possible place. It is now time to figure out the best way to display the rest of your product lines.

 This is a checklist of points to consider before having your displays built:

  •  Have an accurate count of all product you want to display.
  •  Select more than you plan to display, then prioritize and eliminate accordingly.
  •  Leave room for expansion.
  •  Group product into “families” if possible. Faucets and towel bars of the same trim design should be shown together to help “build the check”.
  •  Plan for your vendors to help you with display costs.
  •  Don’t be afraid to let your preferred vendor know where you plan to have their product displayed within your showroom. Their location should depend on how much they are willing to defray the display costs.
  •  Try to standardize types of displays so when something new comes in, you aren’t forced to reengineer your displays. This can be achieved with a little prior planning and you will see the benefits for years to come.
  •  All displays should be as modular and interchangeable as possible to maximize usage.
  •  Modular displays achieve more density for display in a smaller area. This allows maximum product per square foot, giving you more sales floor area.
  •  The finish of your displays should use color that will complement all finishes; first thought is that it should be white. Not so.
  •  Get templates for items that require cut-outs such as tubs, sinks and especially “farmhouse” sinks which are more difficult mountings.
  •  Handmade clay sinks, stone sinks, and hammered metal sinks can expand and contract due to temperature and humidity. These should be cut in the field.

This is the sixth in a series of 12 topics outlining successful Showroom Design Cost Management. Look for next month’s topic: How Much Is This Going To Cost.

Contact David Hawkins for a FREE Showroom Design Consultation!

Showroom Cost Management

Brand New Store v. Remodel Existing Showroom

 Vol.2, Issue 1


One of the strongest trends in the Kitchen and bath industry is to expand the offerings of your showroom. The kitchen and bath industry alone introduces approximately 1100 new or redesigned products every year. That’s mind boggling, considering that’s just in our little corner of the merchandising world. If you’re trying to expand your showroom’s offerings by developing a “retail mentality” then you’ll be faced with some tough decisions and commitments if you are to succeed. I was raised with the philosophy, “Put your best effort into it or don’t bother”. One of our best and longest-term clients add, “You’re either in the showroom business or your not”. We plan to share our thoughts and insights in this newsletter based on the trends we see across industries but, can be shared as indicators, revealed by thebuying public. This series can provide food for thought if you are looking to make a move to take your showroom to new horizons, be it a modest remodel, a grand addition or expanding out a new location. The following is a quick checklist to help you determine where your showroom is and where there may be room for improvement.

  • Is my showroom inviting from the first moment my customer get out of their car with clear way-finding to the entrance?
  • Does my showroom feel welcoming tomy customer upon entering the doors?
  • Is the view into my showroom dramatic and visually exciting?
  • Is there a staff member stationed close to the entry to greet my customers?
  • Is my showroom neat, clean and uncluttered? Visually appealing and not visually confusing as my customer enters the showroom space?
  • Are my product offerings up-to-date and current with manufacturers advertising?
  • Are the displays that hold the merchandise, neat and in good repair i.e. no chips, cracks, no voids or missing product?

This is the first in a series of 12 topics outlining successful showroom design principles. Look for next months topic: Should It Stay or Should It Go?

Contact David Hawkins for a FREE Showroom Design Consultation!