For almost 25 years, the staff of Allied Kitchen & Bath has been spread across three houses on a main street in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. In the beginning, the offices included product selection areas with windows and shutters, but as the company formed its kitchen and bath specialty, owners Bill and Joe Feinberg dreamed of having a large showroom with full displays. They finally got their wish, and in September hosted a grand opening of their new space.
“Our aim was to have a place where we can have a beautiful showroom with all of our team under one roof,” Bill Feinberg says. “We wanted a place not just for consumers, but for decorators, custom builders, interior designers, and architects as well.” The new two-story building also gives the company a more visible presence. In fact, walk-in traffic to the showroom has tripled. “We’re perceived as a bigger company,” Feinberg says.
The team spent five years planning and designing the new 10,000-square-foot building that replaces two of the existing houses — the third one is now a parking lot. Feinberg decided to hire an architect and an outside contractor for the project because, he says, “If we built it ourselves, our remodeling work would have had to stop.” Hiring a business manager two years ago also helped him make time for this large undertaking.
Though his staff began designing the showroom floor plan, Feinberg eventually turned over those responsibilities to a commercial interior design company. “They took our concept to the next level,” he says.
The first floor of the showroom contains 20 kitchen displays, 15 bath vignettes, and closet systems. The remodeler also teamed up with a local appliance showroom to include an area with 70 appliances. The second floor has decorative hardware, plumbing, vessel sinks, and vanities. Feinberg calls the showroom a “mini design center.”
The building also has office space for the company’s 38 employees. The Feinbergs researched ideas by visiting other showrooms in the country. The new building, extended retail hours, and a larger sign that includes the word “home” is attracting a lot of visitors. Almost 300 people attended the showroom’s grand opening, which was a charity event for a local boys and girls club.
Feinberg says that when he started this project, business was strong. Though current economic conditions have been challenging and the company’s sales volume is down, he hopes that the showroom will help differentiate the company from competitors and bring in new clients.
To date, the company’s marketing has been quite casual. “I’ve always run my business off the cuff,” Feinberg says. But Allied Kitchen & Bath recently hired a public relations expert to help it target upscale clients with homes worth $1 million to $4 million.
In addition, Feinberg promotes the company with a weekly column in a local paper, sends out newsletters, hosts and donates to charity events, and is involved in the community.