Unique Beginnings is a new venture for Locke Supply, the employee-owned wholesale plumbing supply chain with 180 locations across 7 states. This new showroom in Oklahoma City strives to show a new side to the company, creating a new atmosphere with a 10,000 square-foot design center managed by Sarah Overton. The space, which opened in the summer of 2020, has truly changed the client perspective on what Locke Supply has to offer.
“So far we have a lot of positive feedback. Everyone loves the look, it’s very modern, very different from Locke Supply” Sarah says.
With such a large showroom space, Unique Beginnings has a huge variety of products on offer, including decorative plumbing fixtures, hardware, accessories, flooring, cabinetry, lighting and fireplaces. Locke Supply has its own private label luxury line, and the showroom also includes products from over 100 manufacturers. One of the benefits of this new space is that all the products can be out on display, and they have the space to display the many series of products from their vendor partners.
Another important element, central to the Locke Supply mission, is to provide options for everyone, no matter what their budget. To do so, the showroom offers merchandise at a variety of price points, with everything from lower-end products to high-end brands.
“A lot of contractors want their clients to know what the base is, and if they want to upgrade, they want them to see the options,” Sarah explains. “We also cater to walk-ins with DIY projects, or customers with 6,000 square foot houses looking for very high-end products.”
The company focuses on in-store sales, encouraging people to come in and interact with the products. The showroom largely serves a clientele sent in by local contractors or builders. Once there, clients are paired with a salesperson to guide them through the options.
“It’s a big change for everyone, but an all-around positive experience,” Sarah notes.
In terms of the overall design, Unique Beginnings worked with SH Design-Build to develop an airy, neutral space where the focus is on the products. The showroom also has a series of vignettes and a working kitchen to host future cocktail events hosted by their vendors.
Due to the way the building is laid out, working displays were kept to a minimum, but Sarah explains that fewer working displays means less chance of things not working or going wrong. Ultimately, with the number of products on display, clients have plenty of opportunity to interact with the fixtures.
"Unique Beginnings will definitely grow,” Sarah says.
Unique Beginnings aims to expand beyond this first location. The pandemic has slowed down their marketing plans, though not the business, and they haven’t yet had the chance to properly introduce the concept to others in the Locke Supply family, or to the community at large.
Once Unique Beginnings moves into the next phase of promoting the showroom, Sarah believes it will be a game changer in the local market, and the company looks forward to bringing the concept to other areas.