Space Increase Boosts Showroom’s Product
By Anita Shaw
NASHVILLE, TNIn a city that is viewed as the center of country
western music, the perception of bigger is better sets the
standard. Apex Supply Company clearly took that concept to heart
when it opened its new, larger showroom here in July 2003.
A Home Depot Company, Apex Supply which is based in Atlanta and
operates nine showrooms throughout the Southeast U.S. has had a
showroom in operation in Nashville since 1995. However, the firm
believed it could better service its customers architects,
designers, builders, homeowners and plumbing contractors with more
space featuring a wider variety of products.
“We were in a 40,000-sq.-ft. facility that featured a
2,500-sq.-ft. showroom,” reports Andy Schor, director of showrooms
for Apex. He notes that while the new location on Polk Avenue is
similar to the old in that it has the wholesale supply portion of
the business attached, “the new location is 110,000 sq. ft., and
features a 9,000-sq.-ft. showroom.” This expanded space allows the
company to display not only its previous kitchen, bath and
appliance lines, but also add extensive lighting and decorative
hardware to the mix.
Approximately 150 architects, designers, builders and plumbing
contractors attended the showroom’s July 17 grand opening, which
featured well-known Chef Freddy Brooker of Trace restaurant in
Nashville. Schor was on hand for the event, as was Virginia Cannon,
showroom supervisor, and several manufacturers’
The new showroom, which Schor
designed, makes use of a very wide, open space. “It’s got a
studio-type of blacked out ceiling, with exposed ducts and grid
work. Everything is exposed, but it’s all blacked out,” he reports.
The showroom also features a suspended track lighting grid that
drops throughout the entire space, Schor adds.
“Most of the colors in the showroom are very neutral black and
white with a lot of natural colors, such as limestone tile on the
floor,” he continues. Even carpeted areas provide a neutral
backdrop in a dark beige tone. “We use a lot of maples natural
maple-type coloring,” he remarks.
Included in the 9,200 sq. ft. space is a Kohler Premier
Showroom, which encompasses about 2,000 sq. ft. and features
vignettes. Only two other vignettes are featured in the showroom,
with the rest of the products primarily broken down by type, with
each grouped separately.
“We really segregate the products by their own categories, so
all of the lavatories, for example, are in one distinct area,”
reports Schor. He notes that, in a typical showroom that features a
lot of separate vignettes, customers have to walk from area to area
to look at products. “You’re making people run all over the place
instead of keeping their choices simple and in front of them,” he
observes. “I think [our system] helps people through the selection
process, because they can go through the showroom a lot
The appliance showroom currently features units from KitchenAid,
Fisher & Paykel, Viking, Miele and Dacor. A working kitchen in
the appliance area includes Viking, Miele and Dacor working
Working products are important to the Apex Supply showroom, and
are featured throughout. In addition to the appliances, Schor notes
that the site includes five working whirlpools, six working toilets
and one working bidet. “We also have a working shower that features
16 different showerheads, including ceiling heads, and a working
steam unit,” he reports.
Apex Supply offers a wide range of brands in this area,
including offerings from Herbeau, Hansgrohe, Duravit, Bates and
Bates, Bains Ultra, The Windsor Collection, Cifial, Sigma Designer
Faucetry, KWC Faucets.
“We are different from a typical wholesale showroom in that we
target very affluent people,” stresses Schor. “The plumbing
products that we carry are much more like an independent versus a
plumbing wholesaler.” The showroom’s specialty lines include a
selection from Ultra Bath, Dornbracht, Phylrich, Robern, Callista,
Hastings and Rohl.
Lighting is brand new to the showroom, and is showcased in its
own area. “Since Home Depot owns Georgia Lighting, it was very
simple for us to make a transition into that market,” comments
Schor. In addition to World Imports, a Georgia Lighting line, the
showroom also showcases lighting products from Hunter Fans and
Classic Lighting, among others.
Decorative hardware is also a new addition, and includes
offerings from Heritage Hardware, LB Brass, Cifial and Voga. Though
the showroom doesn’t showcase cabinetry, it does carry higher-end
furniture-type pieces such as those from Vanity Flair.
“This brings all of the finished goods to the table, so that a
builder or a designer can come in and get a great area to select
all of the different products with the exception of cabinetry and
flooring to trim out a house,” remarks Schor.
The showroom’s staff does not include any full-time designers,
because Apex Supply wants to encourage designers to shop there.
“We’re not looking to compete with designers or architects or
remodelers,” stresses Schor.
The Nashville site is
currently working on an outdoor kitchen, which will have a working
outdoor barbecue and outdoor kitchen functions. “We have a picnic
area outside of the showroom, and we will be able to do events
outside,” reports Schor.
Schor notes that the showroom has several events scheduled in the
upcoming year to help promote the showroom. In addition, the
showroom is currently working on an arrangement with a local
television morning show to come into the showroom to film a
celebrity chef preparing a dish or two. “They’ll be filming it live
from the showroom,” explains Schor. “We’re looking for that to
become a weekly type of thing.”
Other things in the planning stages include chamber of commerce
events, as well as association meetings.