Mike Miazga And John Mcnally 0000-00-00 00:00:00
First Supply debuts Kohler Signature Store Wisconsin-based First Supply made some history recently. The fifth-generation, family-owned wholesaler opened the first Kohler Signature Store in the Minneapolis-St. Paul suburb of Edina in May. The store is the first to be solely owned and operated by an independent wholesaler. First Supply has been a Kohler distributor for 61 years. A grand-opening gala May 17 drew a packed house to the 3,200-sq.-ft. space. “The First Supply family is proud, excited and humbled that the Kohler family has entrusted us to set out on this voyage,” First Supply President Joe Poehling said to the assembled crowd at the grand opening. “We believe the market will find the best part of its Kohler experience, and our most important asset, is the team that has been assembled and expertly trained in the Kohler way.” Kohler launched the industry-first retail platform Kohler Stores in Chicago in 2005. “What is most unique and important about this space is that we modeled the design, consultation and service model off the model we used in Chicago,” Kohler President and Chief Operating Officer David Kohler told Supply House Times at the grand opening event. “Joe Poehling has put together an incredible team here that will provide very excellent service to the local consumers in Edina.” The space is loaded with 700 products from the Kohler, Kallista, Robern, Kohler Surfaces tile and stone, and Kohler custom vanities lines. The paneling used throughout the store was handcrafted by Rhinelander, Wis.-based Enterprise Wood Products from antique, old-growth lumber reclaimed from the historic Globe Elevators at the edge of the Duluth-Superior Harbor. “We’ve done a lot in a small space. We pack a punch,” Kohler Director of Showroom Marketing Michelle Kilmer said at the event. The Edina location is situated in a high-traffic area featuring many well-known higher-end retail stores. “There is a great demographic in this area and we have great co-tenants here,” Kilmer said. “You can get a lot of home-improvement tasks done in one space. We feel this is where the consumer lives and where they shop. This is the future of showrooms.” Following the opening of First Supply’s Kohler Signature Store, Kohler plans to expand the retail store platform with distributors to the top 20 U.S. consumer markets, including locations such as Boston and Washington, D.C., by as early as this fall. “We have other distributors that are very interested,” David Kohler said. “We will be opening more locations with our distributors across the U.S.” Video interviews from the event with Poehling, Kilmer and David Kohler can be viewed at www.supplyht.com. — Mike Miazga Your ‘other’ Warehouse reshapes its business In a move designed to centralize operations, plumbing master distributor Your ‘other’ Warehouse will relocate its Baton Rouge, La., business operations to Atlanta. The process is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2012. Many employees from the Baton Rouge office will have the opportunity to transition to the new Atlanta offices, and those employees who do not transfer or find other positions will be offered enhanced severance packages and outplacement assistance from Home Depot, YoW’s parent company, spokesman Steve Holmes said. YoW recently hired Craig Cowart as its general manager and Cowart will oversee the transition while working out of the Atlanta offices. “This is a reinvestment in our business,” Cowart told Supply House Times during KBIS 2012 in Chicago. “It’s a total alignment for the team, which had been split up. It will allow us to continue to be the leader in the plumbing industry that we are now.” Also, The Home Depot will be opening two new customer service centers to support YoW and its online business; one in Kennesaw, Ga., and the other in Ogden, Utah just outside Salt Lake City. Finally, while a location hasn’t been finalized, Holmes said the company hopes to open a new fulfillment distribution center in Georgia, hopefully by the fourth quarter of 2013.
Published by SupplyHouseTimes. View All Articles.
This page can be found at http://digital.bnpmedia.com/article/Down+The+Pipe/1084205/114611/article.html.