I am buying a building to use as a showroom and would like suggestions on how to set it up. I have been in the business for 12 years and have been thinking about doing it for the last 5 years. 80% of my work is cabinetry and the other 20% is custom molding and whatever has to do with wood! I would love to hear from someone that has a showroom and could give me some ideas on what to do and what not to do. The building is about 36x40 and is all open.
(Business and Management Forum)
From contributor T:
We opened our showroom 7 years ago and it has been a big success. One mistake we made was displaying full kitchens. Not only does the wood age, but we are constantly changing and improving, so the displays are outdated in a year. You have to "fire sale" them to get rid of them. We actually found it better to burn them. If you give them away, you will be adding to them in a style or construction you no longer do.
Only display what you like to do - if you display it, it will sell. Contact your suppliers, they will be happy to help you with free stuff or at least big discounts. We started with 2000 sq. ft., which was way too big; we now have 600 sq. ft. and it is plenty.
Be careful with employees. We had one who sold things to his friends below cost, one who started his own business out of our showroom and one who customers simply did not like. That said, the positives overrule.
None of the sample vignettes are installed on the outside walls. We don't actually hang anything. This helps when upgrading styles or construction methods, but it also gives the room a unique look.
In addition, we do both euro and FF cabinetry, so our displays are two-sided... One side shows the FF version, the other the euro version of the same style/color/species, etc. The cabinets are basically installed back to back with toe kicks and crown moulding wrapping around the whole thing.
One last note... We do put the prices on the displays, including upcharges for materials, finishes, components, etc., but we only show then the per cubic foot price. This prevents them from "guessing" how expensive it is and prompts them to speak to a salesperson... which is when they get the best chance to sell.