Here are details on a few wholesalers’ activities.

Johnstone Supply held a ribbon-cutting and grand opening celebration of its 30,000-sq.-ft. Knoxville location on April 29, drawing more than 250 customers. The new facility features a Technician Information Center for contractors and stocks more than 5,000 products.  

Murray Supply, Winston-Salem, NC, announced it is entering the MRO market via a new branch; Johnstone Supply, Portland, OR, and Northeastern Supply, Baltimore, MD, each opened larger locations to replace smaller facilities; and Lute Supply, Portsmouth, OH,  announced plans to open an expanded headquarters. Meanwhile, Davis & Warshow, Maspeth, NY, unveiled its larger renovated New York City showroom. Here are details on these wholesalers’ activities.

Murray Supply

Murray Supply

Murray Supply has opened a 25,000-sq.-ft. branch in Charlotte, NC, to serve the multi-family housing maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) market. This location will distribute a variety of maintenance products that extends beyond those typically sold by a traditional plumbing supply house, the company said.

The new branch services the multi-family market, which includes apartment and condo complexes, property management companies, institutions (school systems and colleges), and hospitality facilities (motels, restaurants, hotels, resorts). Murray Supply has created a 350-page full-color catalog to support this new division.

comments, “We believe the MRO market gives us the opportunity to grow our market share and broaden our customer base in this down economy,” CEO Charlie Murray said in a statement. “At a time when many companies are cutting jobs, Murray Supply is expanding our operations and adding new employees. This new direction is part of our long-range strategy to more fully diversify the company.”

Family-owned Murray Supply Co. distributes residential and commercial plumbing, PVF, HVAC, industrial and MRO products from one showroom and six locations in North Carolina.

Johnstone Supply

Johnstone Supply celebrated the grand opening of its 30,000-sq.-ft. Knoxville location at 5012 S. Middlebrook Pike on April 29, drawing more than 250 customers. The new facility features a Technician Information Center for contractors and stocks more than 5,000 products.  

Suppliers including Goodman Manufacturing, Emerson Climate Technologies, Honeywell Thermostats, and Johnson Controls demonstrated products at the event. M. Todd Cramer is president and co-owner of Johnstone’s Knoxville location. Johnstone Supply is a cooperative wholesale distributor with more than 340 stores nationwide, supported by five regional distribution centers.

Northeastern Supply

Northeastern Supply relocated its Leonardtown, MD, store to a larger facility just five minutes away from the former building. The new branch office at 26731 Radio Station Way houses 15,000 sq. ft. of interior space with a 26-ft. high ceiling and includes a large fenced-in yard with ample outdoor storage. The larger facility fits all of the inventory under one roof while also providing space for new product. In addition it offers improved customer parking and provides docks and drive-in loading.

The company held a grand opening that drew more than 150 customers and featured products by 20 different vendors. A raffle resulted in $100 cash prizes for five contractors. Two other customers won tickets to the Richmond Nationwide Race and the Richmond Nextel Sprint Cup.

Northeastern Supply sells and distributes products in the plumbing, heating, air conditioning, water systems, and hardware industries from 30 branches in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware, West Virginia and Virginia.  

Lute Supply, Pictured (L to R): Tim Hines, Clay Township trustee; Ellis Greathouse, zone enforcement officer; Howard Richard, president of Clay Township Board of Trustees; Pete Gemperline, chief of Rosemount Fire Dept.; Bill Runyon, trustee; Chris Lute, chairman/CEO; Jason Lute, president/COO; Brian Hancock, senior vice president.

Lute Supply

Lute Supply, Portsmouth, OH, said it will combine two wholesale locations it currently operates in Portsmouth into one at a new, larger headquarters and corporate office. The new location will be more than 96,000 sq. ft. of buy-it-yourself homeowner products, professional sales/service counters, showrooms, offices and warehouse space.

The current headquarters, which serves branches in Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky and Indiana, has outgrown its space, according to Brian Hancock, senior vice president. The wholesaler plans to incorporate a “green” approach to design, construction and operations at the new location. A state-of-the-art geothermal heating and cooling system and other energy-conserving technologies are planned.

New customer convenience traffic and parking patterns to facilitate additional traffic are being developed. In addition, four new shipping/receiving docks and two customer loading areas are planned for the facility. The demolition phase of the project is nearing completion. Initial transition from the company’s current locations to this facility may begin as early as August.

Phase II, which includes the renovation and relocation of Lute Supply’s headquarters and corporate offices is expected to begin later this year and continue into 2010.

Davis & Warshow's bath and kitchen showroom

Davis & Warshow

Davis & Warshow, Maspeth, NY, has completed an expansion and makeover of its bath and kitchen showroom at 150 East 58th St., New York, NY, in the Architects & Designers Building. The showroom has been doubled in size to 3,600 sq. ft. with the addition of two neighboring spots that were vacated.

LEED-accredited architect Emanuela Frattini Magnusson has created a resource center representing nearly 150 brands of sinks, tubs, vanities, faucets, toilets, showers and accessories, with a presentation and environment that is tranquil, functional and inspiring. In addition, she has incorporated construction and design features to help make this location one of Davis & Warshow’s greenest and most eco-responsible facilities.

For example, she specified low-VOC paints and coatings, FSC certified woods, locally sourced materials and fabrication, and high-efficiency/low-consumption lighting.  The space is decorated with a fresh tint of green, reminiscent of sea glass, to complement the predominant shades of white and cool grays. The concrete tile floor contributes to the neutral palette.

To further enhance the showroom’s décor in the bath area, Magnusson chose a selection of photographs of mirrors - some baroque and ornate, some classic and simple - and juxtaposed them against colorful materials such as red brick, polka-dotted fabric and other colorfully patterned materials. Six of these abstract photo compositions were enlarged to 30-x-45 poster size and silk-screened onto panel facades that have been fabricated into light boxes and are suspended from the ceiling. The kitchen area also features this original art concept, including a single 45-x-72 horizontal still life of a teapot and other cookware icons.

Bath products are allocated the most space in the showroom. Products are organized by type, with tubs in front, followed by vessel sinks, then undermount sinks. Each sink genre is displayed within custom cabinetry built to accommodate triple tiers of product. The vessel styles are shown in open shelving; the undermounts are featured in drawers. The top levels of these display units are reserved for best sellers. This display is followed by a presentation of combination sinks and vanities. However, the showroom does not contain any type of vignette or staged environment.

A display of faucets mounted on acrylic pods runs on a parallel track with the sinks. The faucet display hooks onto a floor-to-ceiling rail and translucent panel system that can easily be lifted off to show a client how a faucet pairs with a sink, tub or other accessories. The faucet display system obscures the workstations but still allows the sales staff to keep an eye on the showroom. A bank of windows behind the workstations helps illuminate the entire space. The bath display is interspersed with toilet models. Near the middle is a build-out of a square-shaped private cube where face-to-face shower displays are positioned.

Davis & Warshow’s 58th Street showroom has been serving the architect and designer community for 25 years, according to Sheldon Malc, director of showrooms.