CUP O’ JOE – Summer

Cup o’ Joe: Why A Fabulous KLAFFS Showroom Experience Is My Mission

By Joe Passero, Chairman of KLAFFS

How Joe Passero Makes Coming to KLAFFS Time Well Spent

We’ve recently launched a campaign that we call ‘Look Online, Buy at KLAFFS’. A couple of things motivated us to deliver this message. First, we recognize that shopping online is a hallmark of our times. We all do it. It can save time and, for many kinds of products, money, too. But is online the best way to buy items central to home décor projects, products that will grace your kitchen or bath or light your entire home, maybe for decades to come?

We don’t think so — and for very good reasons. A picture (on a website) may be worth a thousand words, but it can also cost you thousands of dollars if you don’t see the actual item and maybe some better options. That’s one of the reasons we continually update our showrooms. Coming soon are new distinct galleries for lighting brands Schonbek/Swarovski, Hinkley and Sonneman and kitchen brand, Julien. There’s more info about these openings if you read on.

The main reason for ‘Look Online, Buy at KLAFFS’ is that we constantly hear sad stories from customers about online purchases gone wrong. The chandelier is too big – or small – for the space and the finish isn’t what they expected. The vanity doesn’t fit. The plumbing connections for the kitchen sink are wrong. The faucet looked solid but it feels flimsy. The LED strips are casting a weird color on the white cabinets. You get the idea and we hear about similar mistakes all the time.

We’ve taken a light-hearted look at this situation in some of our ads. But it’s not funny when a wrong choice holds your contractor up for a month while you go back to the drawing board. They could give you the item for free and it can still cost you more than working with a knowledgeable sales consultant at a trusted retail showroom where you can see, touch and try important home design products before you buy them. In addition, there are cases where we can match or beat Internet pricing. If prices are competitive, the added value of buying with confidence is a particularly smart move.

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That said, we’re asking you to work with Google to gather ideas from all of your favorite websites and drive to one of our showrooms to personally talk with one of our experts. Even though we know that ultimately it will be well worth the trip, I take seriously my responsibility to make sure that coming to KLAFFS is an exciting and breathtaking experience — in addition to providing you the best and most beautiful products to enhance your home and life, regardless of your style or budget.

Putting the ‘show’ in showroom is a big part of the KLAFFS tradition. Early in his career, before coming into his in-law’s business, my father Maury Passero learned stage craft during his years managing Stamford’s Palace Theater. When they built our flagship Norwalk showroom, it was Maury’s creative vision to bring in a family friend, the famous Broadway set and theater designer Ralph Alswang to make the store a “show palace.”

It’s my mission to keep evolving that idea, to make sure that our showrooms always have something new to see, touch and try — presented in ways that inspire our customers’ imaginations, satisfy their desire for enough selection and help them to realize their visions for their homes.

A good sign for anyone contemplating a visit to KLAFFS is that scores of professionals – designers, architects and builders buy from us. They come here to see the latest trends and work with us to spec out the details of their clients’ projects. Many of them have chosen us as their primary source for a decade or two.

They bring their clients here because they can efficiently select everything from kitchen cabinets and appliances to decorative plumbing fixtures to bath tubs to bath accessories to tile and stone and cabinet and door hardware – all under one roof! Many designers stop in multiple times a month because they know that we put new items on display every week.

In recent years, we’ve been featuring our most popular brands in distinct galleries. We’re always adding new galleries and displays in every department. We work with our brands to help them develop unique ways to display their products that help our customers make good decisions. There’s a quick case study in the sidebar.

Here’s more about the exciting, new galleries that we’ll completing in the coming months. In Scarsdale, we have two new lighting galleries opening in August, Visual Comfort and Sonneman. In the kitchen department, Julien is putting the finishing touches on the largest merchandising area it’s ever done anywhere for its Home Refinements and ProChef brands. We’re thrilled to make the space available.

In the Norwalk lighting department, we’ll be unveiling brand new Schonbek/Swarovski and Hinkley galleries in September. You can come in to Norwalk right now to see the new Ronbow bath gallery where its stunning Signature Series is featured.

A New Display for Rohl

When Rohl wanted to update its display area in our Norwalk bath department, I had a couple of ideas for them. They had been using dark woods and it just didn’t show off their beautiful faucet materials and finishes very well. I recommended that they shift to lighter colored display materials. Then, it occurred to me that it would be very cool to mount their faucet and handle sets in clear Lucite and make them removable from the display so that customers can take them around the department and see how they look on various sinks and vanities. The folks at Rohl gave it a try and now the displays created and tested at KLAFFS have been rolled out in their displays across the nation.

And in the September/October timeframe, we’ll complete a re-do of our Hubbardton Forge gallery. In Danbury, we recently added a spectacular new tile display – a real must-see.

So, spend some time browsing the web for ideas that tickle your fancy, start a nice folder and bring it in to share with us. We’ll help you go from looking to choosing the right items for your home.

To end this Cup o’ Joe… My mother, Mollie Klaff Passero, was a big band singer in the 1940s and also sang on radio shows before she came into the business. In the 1960s, she wrote and sang all of our radio commercials. Here’s one that’s particularly relevant to our current campaign, called “Come to KLAFFS.”

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