Sensory Showroom Features Large-Scale
By John Filippelli
Columbus, OH When a showroom is located within the 120,000-sq.-ft.
main facility of a kitchen and bath company, odds are it’s going to
be pretty big, and have a lot to offer. The Hamilton Parker
showroom, a 14,500-sq.-ft. facility located here, pretty much fits
Combining a wealth of imported and domestic tile with a unique
sales atmosphere, the showroom offers something for everyone from
architects and builders to high-end consumers wanting to look and
Designed by Chute Gerdeman Architects, the showroom boasted a
grand opening that drew some 2,500 people. And, since the opening,
the showroom has hosted 10 on-site product seminars and more than
30 box-lunch events, and has participated in over 10 trade shows.
In addition, the NKBA and NARI have held their quarterly meetings
here, with one meeting even including a scavenger hunt.
But, the showroom is much more than a large space, according to
president Adam Lewin. In fact, the showroom thrives on a concept
called “sensory sales,” which allows customers to see, feel and
experience the more than 300 different tile pads installed as they
would appear in the shoppers’ homes or other settings.
Furthermore, tiles and bricks are illuminated by natural,
fluorescent and incandescent light, and customers are encouraged to
feel textures, touch surfaces and test products as they compare and
make selections. Customers are even encouraged to feel the warmth
of tile heated with a masonry-encased warming system.
Boasting some 12 vignettes, the company (which employs 95 staff
members) also features seven individually themed bathroom displays,
all fully accented with ceramic and art deco tile. Vignettes and
tile pads are featured on a “flexible-based” system, which can be
updated as tile styles change, giving the staff flexibility and
customers a revolving selection.
The location was chosen for its convenience, as many
architectural and design firms are located within minutes of the
display, Lewin notes. Convenience is also an important part of the
showroom’s success, with computers used to check inventory as well
as view CD-ROM applications and gain Internet access to
The company also has a computer library and a library of
catalogues and brochures to encourage customer education.
While it’s the firm’s belief that customers will benefit from
faster, more efficient service; adding shopper-friendly displays to
an enormous facility may enhance customers’ senses as well.