By Megan Hulsman and Tekisha Boone
Rows of refrigerators? Not here!
Bringing a kitchen vision to life can be challenging while standing in an appliance store looking at rows upon rows of refrigerators, ranges and dishwashers. What will they all look like together in a kitchen?
Which custom panel will work best with the bespoke cabinetry you designed? And is the hearth oven really worth it? (Oh yes, it is!)
That’s the challenge Monogram kept in mind when designing its new experience centers, which began opening across the country this year. Instead of merely displaying products, the showrooms mimic the flow and feel of an actual living space so that designers and shoppers can interact with the appliances in a real way.
“We really put a lot of thought into space planning,” says Christina Reed, Custom Display Senior Manager for Monogram. “The goal is always to get as many appliances in as possible to show the breadth of product we offer, but we also want people to understand the story behind it.”
The opening of the experience showrooms follows the launch of Monogram’s newest luxury appliance lines – the Statement and Minimalist collections – in late 2019. Several BrandSource dealers are adding these experience showrooms to their floors including Friedman’s Appliance, Famous Tate, Albert Lee, Snyder Diamond & Spencer’s. Christina and her team are working to design a fully functional kitchen with appliances that not only work but show shoppers what they might look like in their own homes. Regular events and cooking demos allow shoppers and designers to see the appliances in action, as well as how they work aesthetically with other kitchen design elements.
Christina and her team highlight the sleek black glass and machined metals of the Minimalist and Statement collections by designing with textured wood elements, complementary textiles, unlacquered brass hardware and custom hoods. Appliances are installed both flush and proud to show variations.
“We want to inspire consumers, as well as designers, and maybe intrigue them to try something new,” Christina says. “We really inform people, whether it’s training how to use the hearth oven to bake a perfect pizza or showing the difference between flush and proud installations. It gives them a hands-on experience.”
To date, the Monogram displays have been met with high praise. Matthew Leachman, President & CEO, Friedman’s Appliance said, “The two new Monogram collections, Minimalist and Statement, complement each other so well because of the completely different looks. We are doubling the Monogram footprint in our store with anticipation of how important Monogram will be to us now & in the future. Floor space is so valuable, and we are making an investment in each other with this commitment to this new display space. We see a tremendous future with the direction that Monogram is going and their investment in the product line. We are so excited to reveal our new experience display space this year.” Christina and her team have about 30 Monogram Experience displays in the works with another 100 planned this year. Designers, specifically, appreciate the experience showrooms because they want somewhere to take their clients, to discuss options and envision the end result. Christina’s team also offers a variety of training opportunities to ensure your sales team is fully versed in everything these luxury appliances have to offer.
Megan Hulsman is the Social media content senior manager at GE Appliances, a Haier Company. Tekisha Boone is the Sr. Shopper Marketing Manager, BrandSource at GE Appliances, a Haier Company.