Restaurant Equippers opened its third warehouse store last month in Pennsauken, NJ. With 20 percent of the US population within two hours of the store, the Columbus, Ohio-based company has brought its special approach to Equipment and Supply with its 40,000-sq.-ft. store in Pennsauken, N.J.
It has an existing customer base in the region, including clients from Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C. The new warehouse, like its existing counterpart in Southfield, Mich., will be serviced from Restaurant Equippers’ 200,000-sq.-ft. distribution center in Ohio.
“The Greater Philadelphia store will provide tremendous opportunities not only to expand our presence in the region, but also to deliver our brand of service and product offerings to a broader base of customers looking for a reliable supplier,” said Restaurant Equippers President Larry Dach.
“Demand from current customers on the East Coast, plus the potential sales growth from new customers, convinced us that a brick-and-mortar store made sense,” Dach noted. “When we look at Philadelphia, we already have 10,000 customers and we mail more than 100,000 catalogs to potential customers within 100 miles of this location.”
“We stock absolutely everything a restaurant needs at low warehouse prices,” added Howard Task , the firm's Vice President. “Customers literally drive away with any and every item necessary to open their doors. “Our customers know, if you need 40 chairs quickly, if you need freezers, refrigerators, you name it, 99 percent of it we'll have in stock. Just bring your truck in and you can drive it away.”
The store has opened in The Point, a former multiplex movie theater site at NJ 38 and NJ 70 in Pennsauken near the NJ Turnpike, I-295, and the Ben Franklin Bridge to Center City Philadelphia. “We're a warehouse store. We have low prices on restaurant equipment, and we have restaurant supplies,” Dave Kelly, the chain's marketing director, said.
Why Pennsauken? “We have a strong client base there now with our catalogue and our direct mail and our Web site,” said Kelly. “We have clients in Philadelphia, New York, Maryland. We have clients in Western Pennsylvania who drive to our Columbus store. So we looked at markets in the East,” and Philly was central, and affordable.
Restaurant Equippers has created a much talked about strategy that blends on-line retailing with “bricks and mortar.” “We successfully operate three channels that provide restaurant operators with flexibility and convenience. We operate a robust web store, mail 3.2 million catalogues annually, and with the addition of the New Jersey store the company now has three warehouse stores open to the public,” Task continued.
In each of its channels, Restaurant Equippers has focused on customer service. “We understand that many restaurateurs do not want to spend thousands of dollars online for refrigeration and cooking equipment without talking to a professional that can assist them with their needs,” Dach added. “All of our associates have restaurant experience – from owning an independent restaurant to managing a major chain restaurant to working in the back room or as wait staff. We also have continuing education classes at each store throughout the year. When we talk with our customers 99% of the time the #1 reason they tell us that they shop Restaurant Equippers is the knowledge and friendliness of our associates. I am very proud of our store associates.”
With stores in Ohio and Michigan, Restaurant Equippers, owned by the children of founder Morris Dach, operates some of “the largest restaurant equipment warehouses in the country,” says Brandon Anapol of Metro Commercial Real Estate, who negotiated the lease for the chain. The Point was represented by the Glimcher Group Inc.
“We are the fastest growing mass merchandiser of restaurant equipment and supply in the country,” added Task. “But we never forget that our success has always been the ability to work one on one with every customer.”