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New Design Center Fabricates Opportunities at Builders

Builders Warehouse had already built a reputation in Nebraska and Colorado for being the go-to place for homebuilding products, but recently took that reputation to the next level with a state-of-the-art design center at its Kearney, Nebraska, location, one of seven locations for the operation. 

The design center was part of a larger remodel of the Kearney store and represents a pinnacle in the company, says Adam Goodwin, who oversees marketing and advertising for Builders. The operation had a design center at the Grand Island location but the scale of the Kearney version surpasses the Grand Island design center and sets the bar for future expansion. 

“Our future aspiration involves replicating the Kearney Design and Selection Center model in other locations with a smaller footprint, similar to the size of our Grand Island location, while maintaining a commitment to delivering the same level of service, quality and design excellence,” Goodwin says. 

The Kearney remodel left no surfaces untouched. The size of the store remained the same at 67,000 square feet but Goodwin says they decided to make a strong delineation between two areas of the facility. 

“Roughly two-thirds of the store is dedicated to retail hardware and pro convenience shopping, and the other one-third is dedicated to our Design and Selection Center, focusing on homeowners of new construction builds or remodeling,” Goodwin says. “We added walls, focused customer entrances, employee offices, customer work and selection spaces, customer online pick-up dedicated space and a queuing cashier system at the retail and hardware entrance.”

The Builders team strategically mapped each of the categories to be located in the most convenient areas of the store. 

“The adjacencies to supporting departments were disconnected before the remodel, but now that is all a seamless transition into the shopping and selection process for customers,” Goodwin says. “Cabinetry leads into countertops, which leads into flooring space and so forth.”

Both design centers offer a wide variety of product categories and services, including exterior building materials, doors and windows, shingles, siding, soffit and fascia, decking and railing, exterior lights, house numbers and pavers. For customers wanting to transform their interiors, they can shop for fireplaces, interior doors and trims, decorative stair railing systems, door hardware, lighting, window coverings, countertops, cabinetry, decorative plumbing, sinks, appliances, paint, flooring and wall tile. 

Plenty of planning and consideration went into the remodel and design center, and the overall layout of the store and department locations was not a quick decision, Goodwin says.  

“We had many meetings with customer focus groups, designers, pro customers and our team to determine what was the most convenient and efficient way to shop us,” Goodwin says. “The concept was entirely centered around improving the customer experience.”

Dividing the store into two separated spaces allowed the operation to align the Design Center categories in a way that provided end-to-end solutions for customers. From initial design concepts through the remodeling process, customers receive a seamless and integrated experience, making their projects more convenient and efficient. 

Goodwin says their customers prefer the convenience of having all the exterior and interior needs within one space at one location and being able to work with the same team. Contractors appreciate keeping the materials and products selected by homeowners on one accounts receivable account so it’s easier to track invoices when only paying one dealer. 

“We streamlined the entire process so clients can work with a single entity for design, product selection and the actual implementation of the project,” Goodwin says. “The ability to offer a full suite of services and deliver projects from conception to completion enhanced our overall customer satisfaction. Clients appreciate the convenience, expertise and attention to detail that comes with our full-service approach.”

See how another retailer’s design center offers big ideas for customers here.

About Lindsey Thompson

Lindsey joined the NHPA staff in 2021 as an associate editor for Hardware Retailing magazine. A native of Ohio, Lindsey earned a B.S. in journalism and minors in business and sociology from Ohio University. She loves spending time with her husband, two kids, two cats and one dog, as well as doing DIY projects around the house, going to concerts, boating and cheering on the Cleveland Indians.

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