The Winner IS…

For those of you that have missed it, there has been an interesting debate going on in the ACSP Facebook group.

Wendy Scott – ACSP President, bet Eric Marshall – President Elect, that valet rods were most popular closet accessory.  Eric argued the tilt out hamper.

Coming from a profitability standpoint, if you have the room it makes the most sense to include at least one hamper in every closet you design.  Besides selling a more expensive accessory, you are also adding a door.

If you are looking at ease of installation, and an accessory that fits in every closet – valet rod is the clear winner.

I created a TiK ToK video and posted it on Instagram and Facebook.

In case you missed it – let me know what you think.


It came right down to the wire.

Valet rods took an early lead and I think that Eric might have stuffed the ballot but ultimately hampers ended up the winner!

I think that you should be offering both accessories as often as possible.

Increasing your average sale is the easiest way to be more profitable.

Also a quick FYI –

The ACSP has start doing Zoom Topic Tuesdays.  It’s basically a virtual round table giving everyone an opportunity to network in place and share ideas.

  • The first one was “Home Offices from Design to Install”
  • This week we discussed “What Are YOU Doing Today That Will Help YOU Succeed Tomorrow”

Next week is all about marketing.  “What’s working, what’s not.”  Attendees will share some of their best tips.  Here’s a link to the Facebook invite.

Also, I just want to remind everyone that I am still scheduling virtual sales meetings with design teams, if I can help you keep your designers engaged please let me know.

Stay safe and I look forward to “Zooming” with you soon.

How Are The Leaders of The ACSP Dealing with COVID-19

The last two weeks feel like a bad science fiction movie.  I keep waiting for The Rock to save the day…

If I have learned anything, it’s that our community is one of the most important things in our lives.

That goes for our business connections as well as our friends and family.

Today I spoke with the leaders of the Association of Closet & Storage Professionals.

Wendy Scott – ACSP President and co-owner of Boutique Closets & Cabinets.

Eric Marshall – President Elect and owner of D.E.A. Remodeling.

Joe Lonardo – Past President and owner of Bella Systems.

We discussed

  • How they are spending their days.
  • What they are telling their clients.
  • and of course the bail out.

If you aren’t a member of the ACSP you are missing out on relationships that will not only help you get through these times but also help you with your business every step of the way.

If you are member, make sure you are following our Facebook group, there is something new going on everyday.

Thank you for reading.

Stay safe my friends!

**Thank you to all the heroes – First responders, Warehouse workers, Delivery drivers, Grocery employees, and anyone else on the front lines.**


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!