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stocking a line of cabinets to sell to contractors

12/11/15       
jellis Member

Greetings all,
I am not in the cabinet business, but was wondering your thoughts on a lumber yard stocking a line of cabinets for their home builder customers. I would assume most home builders purchase their cabinets from the company that installs them. Is there any room or opportunities for this type of endeavour?

12/12/15       #2: stocking a line of cabinets to sell ...
james mcgrew Member

I have always dreamed of a yard which would stock prefab prefinished birch and white melamine boxes in 3" increment sizes but it ain't gonna happen not in the quality that the Cabinetmakers here do to earn our living. the only ones I know who come close to successful are selling c/d grade Cabinets (think Mills pride) to track homes and builders who cannot provide or cheat the homeowner of the quality product we here who stay as far above that line as possible. I stopped doing residential in 08 (treat it like the plague) as here in the south the odds were against us on builder quality.

12/13/15       #3: stocking a line of cabinets to sell ...
rich c.

I sure don't see it. With free design service, the big box stores would be very difficult to compete against. That's not even considering IKEA.

12/14/15       #4: stocking a line of cabinets to sell ...
Larry

How much inventory would be required? How much of it will become obsolete? How likely are you to have all the required components in stock. What will your shipping costs be when you need 3 more cabinets quickly?
If you can answer all of these and still make $ go for it.

12/14/15       #5: stocking a line of cabinets to sell ...
Mitch Suber  Member

Website: subercustomshutters.com

I tried that very thing when I worked as a store manager for building supply company that catered to contractors. I believed since we were in a town with no box stores within 50 miles, and only two or three local cabinet shops, we would be able to move cabinets with ease. I admit, we did have a somewhat limited inventory in store, but we could also bring in a order within a week from our supply warehouse. We never sold many regular kitchen cabinets, just a few. But we did pretty good with basic vanities fro 24" up to 60". The big headache was also keeping tops in a variety of choices, to match to the vanities. Overall, I would said it was worthwhile, as it also helped us move more faucets and plumbing items. We actually did no design work, which hindered our approach, but we ended up with little time in selling just straight and/or simple corner cabinets. Keeping it simple also meant those local cabinets shops, which bought many materials from our store, never saw us as competition.

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