As any commuter in the metro New York area knows, the trek to Manhattan or Westchester can make for long, arduous days, not to mention the return commute, followed by the chores of daily life before it's time to call it a night and do it again the next day. Thus, when it came time for Ridgefield Supply Co. to upgrade its showroom, it decided to give pro customers and their customers some added value. The Ridgefield, Conn., dealer, which serves five counties of high-wage earners in Connecticut and New York, offers customers 24-hour access to its 15,000-square-foot showroom.
"Because we are a bedroom community to Manhattan, the time this homeowner has to devote to shopping is not along the lines of your typical schedule," says Joe Yursik, sales manager at Ridgefield. "We wanted to give builders and architects access so they can come in here at a time that is convenient to their customers' schedules." Contractors and architects get a 24-hour key card to the standalone Jeld-Wen Window and Door Showroom. During business hours, a millwork specialist mans the showroom. All sales personnel know the features of displayed products and can quote Jen-Weld software.
While many millwork showrooms in Fairfield and Westchester counties are incorporated into the main retail space of the lumberyard, Ridgefield gives customers a quiet, clean, separate space with a little New England charm. And for fun, Ridgefield uses scent marketing; a special device pumps smells of the season throughout the showroom. One month customers might smell flowers, another time they might be met with a fragrance of citrus or apple pie.
"It gives people a good feeling about the place, it gives them a good memory of their experience at the showroom," says Ben Fletcher, building products manager at Ridgefield Supply, which rang up sales of nearly $29 million last year.
The showroom began life as a train station. Ridgefield Supply acquired it in 1883 and used it for years as a storeroom until the 1990s, when it converted it into a home planning center. In 2000, the space was converted to Renaissance Kitchens, but there were another six kitchen showrooms within a mile of Ridgefield Supply. It was time for another change, management decided.
A Jeld-Wen design team joined in the renovations, enabling Ridgefield to host a complete line of Jeld-Wen windows and patio doors along with interior and exterior doors. A state-of-the-art kiosk that Jeld-Wen provides lets customers interact with the displays.
"My goal was to show everything that Jeld-Wen has available," Yursik says. "From the custom line to the premium line to builders line and vinyl line, I have a good representation of each in the showroom."
- Robert Bowden Inc. / Better By Design
- The Lumber Yard / Inside Job
- Keim Lumber / Charm's Star Attraction
- Franklin Building Supply
- Interstate & Lakeland Lumber / Best Fit
- The Remodeler's Choice / A Large Slice of Service
- JAY-K Lumber / All Jacked Up
- Truitt and White Lumber / A Clear Winner
- Ridgefield Supply / Access Round the Clock
- Company: Ridgefield Supply Co.
- Year Founded: 1883
- Headquarters: Ridgefield, Conn.
- Number of Locations: 1
- Number of Employees: 43
- 2006 Gross Sales: $28.8 million
- Percentage to of Sales to Pros: 98%