Appliances By Design principals Katherine and Jeremy Press
For Jeremy and Katherine Press, customer service is a pressing issue
By Andy Kriege, YSN
BrandSource members Jeremy and Katherine Press recognized there was a void in their community on South Carolina’s Hilton Head Island for a truly full-service appliance provider — a place that would not just ring up a sale and load up a box, but take a long view of the entire process and always work toward improving the sales and service experience.
The couple considered the industry and the retail landscape and came up with a better approach for their locale. Their business, Appliances By Design (ABD), focuses on three basic principles: being unique, being extraordinary and providing a great value. They accomplish this by showcasing brands that would otherwise take a back seat at other stores, and by doing all the little things, like pre-install walk-throughs and inspections. Topping that off, the buying power of AVB BrandSource assures that ABD will not be undersold by the big box competition.
The business started out rather humbly over four years ago in a 500-square-foot space, focusing solely on service and installs. Two years later ABD obtained a new location that quintupled its footprint and added a small selection of appliances.
Fast forward to last summer, and the business secured an even larger retail space, a 10,000-square-foot former Pier One store. “We were very fortunate to be able to take over this storefront in a great location, with a Walgreens on one side and a Barnes & Noble bookstore on the other,” Jeremy Press said. “There is great traffic here and we are in a very visible part of our island community.”
ABD divided its new showroom into four main sections: Service Work, Appliances, Bedding and Outdoor Living. The latter features grills, islands, firepits, chairs and accessories, which “helps us in that we serve an area where you can grill 11 months out of the year,” he said. “This is a category that is growing fast.”
The larger facility has also allowed the Presses to co-locate their showroom, offices and warehouse, creating a much more efficient experience, he added.
The Presses believe that ABD’s greater attention to customer service sets them apart from other dealers. “Everyone selling the same products are technically competitors, but oddly enough we feel we have no competition,” Press said. “We do so much to take care of our clients, no one can really compete with us. We focus on our business and not our competitors. We are constantly looking to improve the process of how we do business to make the experience better for our clients and our team members.”
The couple takes pride in their ability to provide a high level of support for all the products they sell. “We have specific support packages for homeowners, builders, designers, property managers and realtors,” Press said. “Every customer is different, and we provide a customized level of support for all of them.”
As the store’s name implies, everything the business does is intentional, or by design — including the company’s customer-first culture. “We work very hard on our customer focus because in the end, anyone can sell and load up a box,” Press said. “We are intentional here about building long-term relationships and keeping our clients under our roof for life with the service and support we provide them.”
YSN publisher AVB BrandSource is the nation’s largest merchandising and marketing co-op for independent appliance, mattress, furniture and CE dealers.