This week I sat down for a zoom interview with Stephanie Jennett... an amazing salesperson at the Fergusons showroom of Myrtle Beach. I've had the pleasure of working with Stephanie for many years now and always enjoy her attention to detail and professionalism. Post covid challenges in the supply chain are no secret when it comes to backordered materials and I wanted to get an update from a leading industry expert. Fergusons carries plumbing, lighting and appliances... so let's dive in!
One of my first questions for Stephanie was what the impact been of covid has had on business. She explained how the company put in place safety measures like temperature checks and by-appointment-only meetings to keep staff and customers safe while following CDC guidelines. In large part due to covid, they saw a huge demand for remodel projects in 2020 and are currently seeing a surge in new construction projects in the Myrtle Beach area.
Next we discussed Ferguson's acquisition of Build.com, a popular online resource for all things building materials. In the past Fergusons had to compete with online retailers for price matching while still offering in person professional sales expertise and housing a showroom of products. Coordinating finishes can be a real challenge for homeowners, especially when mixing and matching different metal finishes in a home which is where a showroom proves to be invaluable. Here is the beauty of this new business merger:
Fergusons is matching Build.com's everyday online low pricing... even in their showrooms so no matter where you shop, it's all the same
Homeowners can easily shop Build.com's website and then head to a local Ferguson's showroom to see samples and finishes in person and order either place
Builders and designers can set up a pro account on Build.com just like they do at their local showroom to obtain discount pricing
Build.com has an even larger assortment of product lines that you can now access through Fergusons
I for one am really excited about this merger and think it is only going to go make the customer experience even better! Lord forbid another pandemic shutdown, Fergusons is now wisely positioned for accessible online shopping. The new logo on build.com reads build with Ferguson.
Another hot topic we discussed is the current pricing and lead times for homeowners purchasing plumbing, lighting and appliances. Stephanie could not emphasize enough the need to start shopping EARLY and PLAN AHEAD. She said it's the raw materials going into these products that are the hold up and many lines like Delta for example, are temporarily putting pause on 40-50% of their usual product lines! This is in effort to produce and deliver the best selling items like plumbing fixtures in chrome, matte black and gold in a more timely fashion. What used to take 3 weeks to get in now taking 3 months. We also discussed lighting which she said is hard to come by. Manufacturers eagerly accept orders quoting a 3 month lead time until it's time to deliver when they announce the fixture is still on backorder.
Probably the biggest story we covered was pricing and lead-times for appliances. Oh... appliances she says... on average they are running 4-5 months so any orders placed now in June are expected sometime in November... crazy right?! GE's popular new cafe line seems to be one of the hardest to get in. And something Stephanie mentioned that I didn't even think about is people who are building new homes can't get a CO (certificate of occupancy) to even move in their house until their appliances are installed. So frustrating. The moral of this story my friends as I mentioned last week is to... PLAN AHEAD. If you are wanting to remodel your kitchen or build a new home, you need to start as soon as possible.
If you haven't heard, I have an amazing new KITCHEN DESIGN PROGRAM where you can design your kitchen with me in a small group format saving thousands of dollars on design fees and mistake money! My summer session starts in only 4 days... JUNE 20th! In this 12-week program you will design your kitchen from start to finish so that by the end, you will have an amazing kitchen designed and ready to bid out to contractors and/or place orders for an upcoming project. DESIGN AHEAD MY FRIENDS... I WILL SHOW YOU HOW. For more information join the waitist or book a free phone call with me anytime! Have a great weekend :)