When a large, 12,000-square-foot building went for sale across the street from a big box store in Wichita, Kan., Fisher Lumber knew it had found the right location for its new showroom, which opened in 2008. The store became an easily-accessible, one-stop shop at the heart of the company's customer base.

While the dealer specializes in contractor building materials sales in Wichita, the company is located 12 miles west of the city. And, as the dealer gets a good amount of walk-in business, president Joe Fisher knew he needed a location closer to Wichita to better serve and attract customers.

The showroom, called Gallery Expressions, also has enough space to make it easy for the company to showcase a vast number of products and finishes. The space houses over 40 kitchen and bath vignettes; dozens of paint grade and stainable molding displays; fireplace and pellet stove room settings; and areas that feature doors, windows, decking, and more. This ensures the sales staff does not need to open a brochure to show customers product options.

Additionally, the showroom allowed Fisher Lumber to open and display products from its new countertop arm, in which it manufactures solid surfacing and installs granite and engineered stone tops.

"For many years, we have been reading how people who want remodeling done and things of that nature would like to make one stop," Fisher says. "By having a showroom like this, we can have our subcontractors and contractors meet our clients at the showroom. It's been a big step for us, saving the public stops."

While the economy has taken its toll on Fisher Lumber, as with many other places, Fisher feels the showroom has added to his company's appeal and survival.

"The reason it's been such a good fit is the contractor salesmen we have that can take care of designing and helping the customer with kitchen and bath cabinets," Fisher says. "Now we can finish the project by also taking care of them with countertops. Right now, the salespeople work together very well, and it saves the customer from going elsewhere."