Getting Appliances for a Kitchen Showroom

If you're creating a classy showroom, appliance makers and other vendors may be happy to provide you with products to include. June 5, 2006

I am in the process of designing my new shop with a showroom attached to help increase sales. In trying to design the showroom I want to incorporate different ideas and showcase products that we sell. I have a couple of questions that I'm hoping someone can help me with.

1. I want to make realistic looking kitchens in the showroom, maybe up to 5 or 6 kitchens. I would like to include appliances in the design but can't afford to go out and buy 5 or 6 ranges, dishwashers and etc. Are there any other ways to do this? Would plastic replicas work?

2. Have any of you had any luck getting distributors to donate items such as hardware, doors, specialty items? I want to give customers lots of options but again, I can't afford to buy everything.

Forum Responses
(Business and Management Forum)
From contributor B:
There is a shop here in town that teamed up with a high end appliance dealer. He provided several small kitchens for the appliance showroom in exchange for being able to showcase his work there. The showroom at his shop is just basically door samples with different styles and finishes. There is much more traffic at the appliance showroom than there would be through his cabinet shop.

From contributor T:
Full size laser photos on foam core are a lot less expensive than appliances and very realistic looking and most appliance cut-outs are interchangeable for different brands. This works well for electronics too.

From contributor R:

We don't pay for anything in our showroom. We're a pretty big company and we give our suppliers a huge amount of business, we ask, they give. Look at it this way - you're building a showroom which not only will increase your business, but theirs as well. You're footing all of the fixed costs of setting the place up, and you'll be paying all of the bills and costs of keeping the place running. They're effectively getting free advertising while you spend the money. At the very least you should expect your major suppliers to support you. As for appliances, talk to some retailers and get a hold of some sales reps from the appliance companies themselves - if you're making a nice, quality showroom they'll more than likely be happy to consign some stock.