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.

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 – doordept@richelieu.com

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 RDeMarco@richelieu.com, 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.

 

New Vertiko Closet System In Stock…

Vertiko Wall System

Many of you have asked me about the “closet without verticals” or the “European Closet System.”  It’s in stock just in time for you to freshen up your showroom for the new year.

It’s something that you should definitely be showing because if you haven’t been asked for a system like this yet – you will be soon.

The Vertiko Closet System has a short learning curve and is pretty easy to install.

There’s plenty of adjustment built into the stanchions to follow the bows in the wall and the slope of the floor.  We have brackets for cabinets, shelves, closet rods and every combination.

This short video will show you how easy it is –

This is also a great system for entertainment centers because you can easily hide the wires behind the back panels.

If you have questions or need more technical info please email me at RDeMarco@richelieu.com.

Thanks!

Part II – Successful Closet Companies Are Doing This… Are You??

successful-closet-companies-part-iiNow is the time to start thinking about those slow winter months. Waiting until Christmas to deal with a soft January is too late.

Hopefully by incorporating some of the following strategies you can start the year on a high note.

If you missed Part I – click here.

I want to start with discussing the importance of keeping your installation schedule.   Getting your jobs done and sticking to the calendar improves your cash flow and increases profits.

The best or worst thing an installer can say to you when they come back from a job is –

“We Made It Work”

Especially if you don’t supply them with the proper tools to prevent a service call.

Here is a list of tools and jigs that most of my closet customers have on their trucks.

Festool Track Saw – this is a must and I bet it pays for itself the first month. I was at a trade show 3 years ago, we were setting up our sliding door display and the doors were too big. I used my track saw – cut thru the 2” aluminum frame and a ¾” melamine insert – I was blown away when I saw that it was a clean cut on both sides.  Imagine how easy cutting down a few shelves would be.

If you do have to cut down shelves, chances are you will need to re-drill them for cams.   Here is a great solution for drilling cams on-site.

Do you ever scribe a counter tops, toe kicks or verticals?  The ThingAMeJig Scribing Tool makes it quick and easy.  Not only will your installer thank you, your finished product will look much better – leading to more referrals.

How much time do you spend installing handles? Do you have a jig you made out of melamine? The Precision Handle Jig will ensure every handle is centered and straight.

Multifunctional Beds

Are you still installing an old clunky Murphy Bed? If your client prefers a bed that deters overnight guests – your spring system is the way to go.

If they are looking to give their mother in law a nice place to sleep or hoping that their grandchildren visit more often than you should be offering your client a piston bed with a built in box spring. Selling a higher end product will increase your profit.

If you’re not selling beds at all you are missing out on revenue stream that every major closet company offers.

Wall Systems

Vertiko Wall SystemMany of you have asked me about the “closet without verticals” or the “European Closet System.”  I finally have it in stock. If you have a showroom, it’s something that you should definitely be showing.

This system is great for entertainment centers because you can easily hide the wires behind the back panels.

Sliding doors

Sliding Doors - HawaDuring the recession my sliding door hardware sales spiked.  Replacing builder grade by-passing doors was an easy way for you to add an extra $500 to $1,000 to your job.

Now that you are busy and the economy is good you have gone back to telling your customers you don’t install doors. Even if you installed one set of doors per month you could add an extra $12,000 per year.

I sell a surface mounted ball bearing system that takes minutes to install, hangs from the header and works with ¾” melamine. There is no reason to pass on this business, all you need to do is create a system.

I gave you 8 different strategies that you can use to put a little extra money in your pocket next year.  I’m not telling to do them all at once.

Start slowly, train your designers and installers on one new program per month.

Watch how quickly your average sale increases!

If you have any questions please leave a comment or email me at richdemarco@optonline.net

Successful Closet Companies Are Doing This… Are You?

Qualities of a Successful Closet Companies

Recently I presented to 60 independent closet companies ways that I see them missing out on profits. I discussed product offerings that large independents or franchises offer to their customers making them more profitable.

I work with all sizes and types of closet companies – I do what I can to help them succeed and make more money. Hopefully you can take a few of these products, create a program and put them into action in your company.

Under Mount Slides –

About 10 years ago we saw our industry go from white epoxy slides to ball bearing. We are experiencing another transition with under mount slides. Some customers have already made a full conversion and the only reason there hasn’t been more is nobody had the right size under mount and the drawer construction.

I have solved both problems. I sell a fully assembled dovetail box prepped for under mounts and I also have an under mount that comes every 2 inches and will mount on a 14” vertical.   Even if you don’t want to offer this as a standard yet – you can offer as an upgrade and order on a per job basis.   If you have a customer willing to pay more for your drawer box, why not give them what they want?

Freshen Up Your Color Pallet –

If you are still pushing summerflame and candlelight you are losing jobs. Yes I know that 80% of what you sell is white – but why lose out on the other 20%. Many customers are offering high-end textured panels.

I sell melamine from Italy that looks so good you would think it was real wood. The grain in the paper matches the texture in the panel. You can purchase by the sheet, you can get it cut to size or you can buy doors and drawers fronts.

Decorative Hardware –

Some of you may have read my blog post last week. Many of you sell an inexpensive chrome knob or wire pull and if you want to be fancy you give them an upgrade – the bar pull.

Then you say “if you don’t like these make sure your handle is here at time of install we will put them on.” So your guys are still taking the time to install the handles and you’re not making any money for that time.

About a third of the room raised their hands when I asked if they credit back when a customer supplies their own handles. Not having a decent decorative hardware program is costing you thousands of dollars per year. Below is my new closet hardware board.

Closet Hardware Boards

Lighting –

Three years ago I remember meeting with the lighting suppliers and telling them they were crazy – no closet guys were going to sell lights. Boy was I wrong – I currently have customers averaging $3000 per month in lights!!

I know the wires are an issue and many of you reading think lighting isn’t worth it. If you put in a system and create a program – you will sell it. Even if it means you only offer battery operated or rechargeable lighting.

New technology and wireless remote control switches are a game changer. You don’t have to worry about turning lights on and off or wiring a switch. All you need is an outlet.

The above products only work if you have a program. When a client asks you for lighting you need to be prepared with your offering, just like you are with your melamine samples. Same goes for decorative hardware and under mounts.

If you have to get back to them or seem unsure customers will pay more to go with the company they feel confident with. Think about your own shopping habits.

I know you are busy, and building a program might take a little work, but it is well worth it once you look at the numbers over a year – it really starts to add up.

If I can help please leave a comment or send me an email.

Stay tuned for the Part II of my presentation.