Leming Supply, based in Lafayette, Ind., told SUPPLY HOUSE TIMES it hopes to open its first showroom this month. The 1400-sq.-ft. "Creative Bath and Kitchen" showroom is located at the wholesaler's headquarters.

The company relocated its headquarters to 851 Farabee Court South in Lafayette in March. It also operates branches in Crawfordsville and Frankfort, Ind.

The purpose of the new showroom, according to CEO Don Leming, is "to increase profit, to offer a choice to our community, and to boost sales of higher margin products, which in turn creates the environment for the builder, the plumber and us to increase our profits."

Leming said the most unique feature of the showroom will be 34 working units, including kitchen faucets, showers, separate showerheads, steam showers with steam, whirlpools, lavatories, toilets, a bidet and garbage disposals, all operating with running water.

"We wanted to be unique," he noted. "This should create a buzz within our community."

The showroom will include two bathroom vignettes so customers can compare flushing action and see the variety of lavatories available.

Leming Supply is trying to project an upscale, yet affordable image with its showroom. "We intend to show people what they are probably being sold -white toilets, steel lavs, chrome faucets, no matching accessories - and then show them what is available," Leming said.

Target customers for the new showroom include plumbing professionals, home builders and design consultants, but the wholesaler will also sell direct to consumers, offering a percentage rebate to the installing plumber, he said.

The company is active in its local home builders association and participates in the Parade of Homes in the spring and fall, Leming said. The wholesaler plans to promote the showroom through the home builders association, the local chamber of commerce and trade magazines. "We are in the process of having a professional video done that we can use at our local mall," Leming said. "A businessman here has developed a four-sided TV information/advertising center that will air video commercials for local businesses."

Showroom hours will be 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays.

Leming Supply, founded in 1983, is co-owned by Don Leming and his wife, Evelyn, who serves as secretary-treasurer. Their son, Rich, is president and a recent past president of the Central Wholesalers Association. He currently serves on the board of the American Supply Association. Another son, Ken, is vice president and has been overseeing the showroom project.