Cincinnati was uncharted territory for Lansing Building Products in more ways than one. The location and concept behind the showroom are both brand new to the company. For the new showroom, Chris Lansing, president, and Hunter Lansing, vice president of marketing, wanted something different from their other 76 branches.
“We didn't want to create more walls and "close in" our customers. We wanted it to be as open and airy as we could possibly make it. We also challenged ourselves to create new ways to display our products so we didn't sacrifice that wall space,” explains Hunter Lansing.
Since everything in the building had to be gutted, the father-son team felt this new space lent itself to trying something unique. Lansing Building Products signed a lease in October 2014 and officially completed the space in August 2015. A grand opening was held on Aug. 6.
Lansing’s Cincinnati showroom was designed to meet its customers’ needs and operate without a staff. The company’s customers include professional contractors, builders, remodelers, and designers. Instead of having regular business hours, customers are given a key code to enter at any time. This means they can take their own clients, who are the end-users, to see products when it’s convenient for the homeowner. Essentially, the showroom is open 24/7, 365 days a year.
“We think your average homeowner doesn’t have time to go to a showroom on Tuesday afternoon at 2 pm. It’s the after hours that really count. Our customers can use this with their customers,” Hunter Lansing says.
There is a branch staff on location working Monday to Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., but Lansing says their responsibilities aren’t to the showroom. “The showroom is part of the branch, but separate from the warehouse and purchasing area.”
Each area is designed to help Lansing’s customers sell to their clients. The wall above serves as a whiteboard for customers who may need to sketch out a concept. There is also a projector available for customers to hook up their own laptop and project on a showroom wall.
A juice bar makes the space feel more inviting, encouraging customers to stay longer with their clients. Sitting areas were also included to make people comfortable during their showroom visit. Lansing Building Products worked with Amy Youngblood Interiors to design and custom build all of the tables and fixtures.
Over 15 different manufacturers are represented in the space; products showcased include siding, windows, doors, gutter, decking, railing, columns, and trim. A 27-inch touch screen at the front of the showroom allows users to access manufacture information and design specs on each product.
In order to get several samples into the space and maintain the clean, minimalist look, the Lansings had displays, such as the one pictured above, custom built.
“Similar to how you keep utensils in your kitchen in a drawer, we applied that same concept for 20 inch x 30 inch window samples. The user opens up drawers and there are window samples neatly displayed. You pick one up out of the drawer and set it on the counter and examine it more closely,” explained Hunter Lansing.
Hunter Lansing says this new design and concept has been very good for business. “Since opening, our Cincinnati branch has been over 100% of its sales quota each month.”