Social distancing, home schooling & running your business!

This has been some ride.

Many of you were on pace for your best March ever, plenty of work in the pipeline and plans for expanding.

Now you are struggling with keeping your guys employed, juggling installs, and what does “essential business” really mean?!?

Are you in a state that is still allowed to work?

If you are, I know you are hustling to get as much done as you can because nobody knows what tomorrow brings…

Here is a list of things you can do to ease the concerns of your current customers.

  • Communicate the steps you are taking to keep your employees and clients safe. Examples are –
    • Following CDC guidelines.
    • Employees are staying home if they are sick. If you have paid sick leave let your clients know.
    • Cleaning work areas, tools, vans and home after the install is done. Make a quick video with you phone.  No, it doesn’t need to be perfect, just put it out there.

Send an email blast to everyone in your database, don’t have an email list?

Put this front and center on your website.

Hit the phones and let future installs know.

Do you work with builders, new construction?

Can you move up any of these installs?

Many of my customers in NY are requesting that there isn’t an overlap of trades on jobsites.  This is great way to keep your guys working.

Have you put a system in place to do virtual sales calls?

Zoom meetings work great.  I have used it to meet with my clients, my sales reps and even been a special guest at my customer’s sales meetings.  If you would like me to be part of your designer sales meeting please reach out.

Adding an inventory check list to your virtual sales call is a great way to get you client engaged in the project.

Do your clients know that you do garages?  Potential clients might be much more open to having you in their garage then in their bedroom.

Are you in a state that is sheltering in place?

Use this time to update your showroom, website and marketing plan.

COVID-19 isn’t going to last forever, make sure you are ready when your clients come back.  All of your clients are home right now organizing their houses… I know that’s what my family is doing.

Start to think about ways to differentiate yourself from your competitors.

Richelieu has unique products like anti-bacterial melamine panels, solid surface material, and decorative hardware.  As you can imagine, the interest on these products exploded in the last 30 days.

We also use the good, better, best strategy for many of our products.  Review your current offering, do you have good, better, best option for handles, hooks, accessories, panels, etc?  If you don’t we should talk.

How can you save your client money without reducing margin?

Or what about going the other way – how can you increase your average sale if given the opportunity?

Many of the above ideas have come from the ACSP (Association of Closet & Storage Pros) Facebook group and The Closet Summit’s message board.  Leaning on your peers will help you get thru this difficult time.

Last week I was a guest on the Cabinet Maker Profit Podcast, interviewed by Dominic Rubino.

The topic was “How to Sell Home Installs in a Time of Crisis”Click to here to listen to the podcast.

Not into podcasts, you can watch the interview on YouTube.

I would like to take a second to recognize all those on the front lines.  Thank you to first responders, grocery stores, delivery drivers and everyone else that is risking their own health to keep us safe and fed.

If there is anything that I do to help you during this time please don’t hesitate to reach out to me.

We will get thru this!

Helping Your Customers Combat Coronavirus

Many of you know my colleague Gary LeBlanc.  For those of you that don’t he has been a fixture in this industry for a long, long, long time… Haha!  Love you Gary!

From VP of Grass America to the Director of Major Accounts for Richelieu – he is celebrating 40 years in our industry.

Gary has been getting traction with some of his major accounts and I wanted to pass this info along to you – my loyal readers.

As Gary put it –

“I’m not sure how the Coronavirus is going to end up impacting our daily lives in the US.  I do suspect that if it continues our businesses could be impacted.  One thing that is certain to change, is our awareness of the transfer of germs. Richelieu does have anti-bacterial solutions.  Our Finsa line of TFL panels has imbedded silver ion paper which is a natural germ killer.  Our Harmony line of acrylic panels comes in Super Matte finishes that feature 3 colors with anti-bacterial properties.  Finally, we offer a line of anti-bacterial pulls and knobs.  These products and features have been part of our program for a while, but these increased times of concern could make this more relevant to your clients.” 

With multiple board warehouses across the US and Canada we can supply Finsa and our Harmony panels into most major markets.

We currently stock two lines of Finsa panels – both with silver ion paper.

Our Duo line is 10 colors all 4’ x 8’ double sided light texture panels.

Our Studio line is a 7′ x 9′ panel with a deeper texture and 8 of the 10 colors are double sided.

Click here to see our Finsa brochure. 

The three most popular Super Matte finishes from Harmony are anti-bacterial.

  • Bianco M001

  • Tortora M021

  • Grigio M060

Only need doors? No problem – we have a complete door program for all of our premium panels – all with the same anti-bacterial properties!

The Finsa doors come in slabs, 3-piece and a 5-piece shaker.

The Harmony doors are all slabs and are banded with PUR glue – so that there isn’t a visible glue line.  These doors almost look like they were painted.

They can easily be ordered on our door configurator right here – Finsa or Harmony

Or if you prefer – you can reach out to our door department –

Lastly we offer brushed nickel handles with antimicrobial copper which is proven to continuously kill the bacteria that causes infections.

Check out the complete offering here. 

As always if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at, comment below or contact your local Richelieu rep.

If you would like to connect with Gary on LinkedIn here is a link to his profile.

Thank you for reading.


What’s Trending 2020 – Concealed Connectors

Can you believe we are two months into 2020?

How’s your year going?

Are your leads trending up?

Average sale?

Close rate?

If you have completed projects pics using Richelieu hardware please email me.  I love to share your job photos on social media.

If you are posting on Instagram or LinkedIn – be sure to tag @RichieDeMarco – I’ll comment and re-post.

In case you missed this – We have already discussed –

One of the most common questions that I am asked is about concealed connectors.

You design a beautiful walk in closet, pick your favorite textured panel and accessories only to look up at that mis-matched plastic connector.  Sure, if you want to get fancy I can supply a metal connector but, on some projects, you need more of a furniture look.

What do you do?

Richelieu introduced a new product called Striplox which is getting a lot of traction.

It’s a male-female connector that works with ¾” material and is the perfect solution for the top shelf of your closet.

Striplox comes in various sizes and shapes depending on your application and material.

You can connect two ¾” panels, join countertops, support floating shelves, the possibilities are endless.

Check out this short YouTube video to see how it could work in your closet applications.

What do you think – a closet winner??

If you are interested in trying here is a link to our website – you can buy a couple of pairs for testing.

We also have a starter set, if you would like to play with the different sizes.

If you need any additional info please don’t hesitate to reach out to your local Richelieu rep or – email me anytime at

Thx for reading!

What’s Trending 2020 – Part III

I hope you have enjoyed my first two “What’s Trending” posts.

This week I wanted to discuss a product that has been popular in kitchens for years, and is now showing up in closets.

Aluminum frame doors and drawer faces.

No these aren’t the type of aluminum framed doors that you are getting from Home Depot or Lowes.

These are high end scratch resistant doors that come in a variety of profiles, insert options and pre-drilled for ease of installation.

Don’t like the aluminum finish? We have color options!

If you have been following along with my posts, you know the hottest finish right now is  Matte Black.

There are a lot of customers using the invisible aluminum profiles (#RIC-658FL or RIC-15) with back painted glass for a totally different look.  Check out all of these color options –

These doors are available up to 94” high so no problem using as a sliding or bi-folding door and all hardware is pre-drilled!

This is a great option for mirror doors in a walk-in or upgrading any reach in closet with by-passing doors.

The best part of all of this is that these doors are very easy to order on our website.

Here is a link to our configurator –

Click the category of the door or drawer face you plan to order, pick you frame, insert etc.  Add your dimensions and you will have a price and order placed in minutes.

We also sell a great display kit that shows all of the profiles and color options.

As the awareness and our industry grows, homeowners are spending more money in their closets.  You might not use these doors on every job, but if you have a customer looking for bells and whistles, aluminum framed doors are a great option.

If you need any additional info please don’t hesitate to reach out to your local Richelieu rep or – email me anytime at

Thx for reading!

What’s New 2020 – Part II

Our trends start in Europe, and typically take 5 – 7 years to become popular in US.

Coming up on my 4-year anniversary with Richelieu, I have seen this first hand.

Since I became part of the Richelieu team, our product managers have been telling me how popular matte black is in Europe.

At the time I never thought it would catch on in the US.

Well this isn’t the first, and I’m sure won’t be the last time that I am wrong.

Last year I had a couple of large commercial projects that used our round black closet rods.  I thought it was a rogue designer – but the calls keep coming.

I received over a dozen calls for black closet rods this past month.  A handful of clients already added matte black to their standard offering.

The demand isn’t only for black closet rods, accessories, and decorative hardware.  Some of our most popular panel products are black wood grains.

At Richelieu we always push the trends, here are our latest matte black products –

Decorative hardware –

Click here to see our complete collection of matte black handles and knobs.

Panel Products –

We already stock a handful of black premium panels.

Here is a pic of Roble Azablache.

From our Nature Plus collection we stock a black woodgrain – Nero U129

Black leather – Ardesia UB09 and a black stone – Dark Concrete UA49.

The leather and stone must be seen in person to really appreciate how authentic they look.

Closet Rods

If you need rods (be careful because they will scratch) we stock both round and oval.

Wall mount belt, ties, and handbag holders are on the way in.

Have you been asked for matte black hardware?

What trends are you seeing?

I love hearing from you – comment below –

If you need any additional info please don’t hesitate to reach out to your local Richelieu rep or – email me anytime – at

Thx for reading!