When opportunity knocked, Central Plumbing Specialties answered.
The New York City-based plumbing and heating wholesaler, which also operates numerous fine decorative plumbing-fixture and -hardware showrooms, was looking to expand its reach beyond the Westchester County area.
“That’s where our other main warehouse was,” Central Plumbing Specialties Vice President Warren Frankel tells Supply House Times. “We were leasing some space up there, but we wanted to buy.”
Frankel and his brother, Central President Howard Frankel, were told a defunct car dealership was available. The brothers pounced on the opportunity and last November opened the multipurpose facility in Rockland County, which sits on the New York-New Jersey border.
The 40,000-sq.-ft. building features a large warehouse space, a counter area and one of the company’s signature Grande Central showrooms. The 5,000-sq.-ft. Rockland Co. showroom joins the company’s other Grande Central locations in Yonkers and on 56th, Park and Bond in Manhattan.
“Our priority was to look for more warehouse space and expand our capabilities so we could better facilitate the needs of our other branches,” says Warren Frankel in the conference room of the Rockland Co. location. “This location gives us a lot of opportunity to expand. The showroom part of the car dealership became our showroom. Their parts area became our counter area and the service bays became our warehouse.”
Warren Frankel notes the location of the new facility is ideal for the company’s growth plan. The brothers add that their involvement in the Omni (wholesale) and Forte (showroom) buying groups has greatly helped company growth. Howard Frankel is Forte’s current first vice president.
“This location borders Orange and Bergen counties in New Jersey,” Warren Frankel says. “We’re drawing people from New Jersey and from down the block. It’s a very dynamic area. We feel we have a state-of-the-art presentation here. We’ve taken our experiences in New York City and the brands we’ve featured for many years and brought them out to this area.”
The Rockland Co. location caters to a wide range of customers. “We are targeting the professional trade as it exists in the suburbs whether its contractors, designers or architects,” Warren Frankel says. “There also are a lot of people who purchase their own material directly instead of through a plumbing contractor. We’re also marketing directly to the homeowner.”
Central CFO Barry Rosenblum adds commercial business in the Rockland Co. area is another segment that shows great promise. “There is potential here for decent-sized commercial business,” he says. “There is a fairly healthy amount of commercial projects ongoing right now.”
Rockland Co. Showroom Manager Valerie Ezra notes in addition to a large selection of kitchen-and-bath products on display, the Rockland Co. showroom features tile, lighting and decorative hardware.
“A customer can do one-stop shopping for their bathroom right here,” she says.
And because the showroom is attached to the counter and warehouse areas, customers almost always are able to walk out with the products they are looking for. “A big advantage is that immediate satisfaction,” Rosenblum says.
Warren Frankel adds: “People can leave here with the trim or the faucet they are looking for. We can compete with the big boxes by having that inventory and we have a far greater selection of SKUs. Instead of having just one toilet, we have 20. We’re providing our customers with the most options and the best service possible.”