A lighting showroom in Toledo, OH, has partnered with a local hardware company to add a new category to their product offering. Thanks to the addition of Buehler Decorative Hardware, Gross Electric now offers decorative cabinet hardware, towel bars and door locks in addition to lighting.
Laurie Gross, President of Gross Electric, says the decision to add the decorative hardware line was inspired by stories of her grandfather keeping his store going during the depression by adding paint and wallpaper to his offerings.
“We’ve been talking about it for a while, about what kind of products we could sell,” Gross says. In the end, she chose Buehler Decorative Hardware because the company was well known locally and the product mix made sense.
Buehler Decorative Hardware gave up their separate retail location, and now occupies prime real estate in the Gross Electric showroom, right next to the main counter.
“It’s interesting because [Buehler’s] business has been almost exclusively builders and the trade, but now with him being in the front of our store, our goal is to capture more of the retail market,” Gross says.
Since making the move in late March, Gross says she has seen a great response from customers.
“Our builder customers are very happy,” she says. “We discovered that 80 percent of [Gross Electric’s and Buehler Decorative Hardware’s] customer lists overlapped, so the builders really like it because it’s one less place they have to send people. And it’s easier to coordinate the lighting with the bath hardware because it’s all right here.”
In addition to the new decorative hardware line, Gross Electric has also expanded into other categories such as sinks and tile backsplashes.
“We’re trying to branch out into a little bit of everything,” Gross says.