Closet Factory South Carolina celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. While owner Bill Reid says the company doesn’t have any major celebrations planned, he will emphasize the milestone in promotions and marketing.
Closet Factory South Carolina was started in 2000 by two gentlemen who bought the initial franchise, Reid said. He purchased it in 2011 from one of the original owners.
“Eight years ago, in 2011, I purchased the franchise from one of the two owners,” he said. “They had apparently disbanded their partnership, so it was just one guy left running it. So, I bought it from [him].”
The 20th anniversary is just one of the company’s many accomplishments including increases in sales, territory and production capacity.
“We’ve been able to accomplish a lot of milestones since I bought the company. Our production has greatly increased. Sales are greatly increased,” Reid noted. “And initially, the territory that we had was basically our headquarters, which is in Columbia, South Carolina, where the factory is, Augusta, Georgia, and Florence, South Carolina. About four and a half years ago, I asked to purchase a second territory which is from Savannah, Georgia, to the state line and which is North Carolina. And that territory includes Myrtle Beach, Charleston, and all the way down to Savannah. So, I own the eastern territory of South Carolina.”
In 2017 the company converted from paper drawings to CAD drawing enabling materials to be cut on a CNC router. That was a major step forward for Closet Factory South Carolina in terms of efficiency and quality, Reid said.
In 2019, the company had a chance to purchase the building the factory is located in.
Closet Factory South Carolina's new facility is 9,500 square feet and double the size of its previous location.
“Two and half years ago, we moved across the street to a building that was twice the size of the [original building],” he added. “Same landlord just a bigger building across the street on the same road. And, as of January 2019, we were able to purchase it from the landlord.”
The new location is 9,500 square feet and gives Closet Factory South Carolina the space it needed after the growth in production and the purchase of the CNC router.
“We just needed more space. To have room for the finished jobs - just to have enough tables to put the finished jobs on, we required more space,” he said. “And, we have five install trucks. So, when we bought the router a few years ago, we had to store those out back. And now we’re able to store them once again inside of the factory at night, so everything’s locked down.”
The larger facility also allows the company to have a larger showroom and there is now room for additional offices. “It just allows us to do more business. And the fact that we are now able to control our destiny and own the building, that’s also a big plus,” Reid added.
Perhaps one of the biggest changes for the company, recently, was its decision to make undermount soft-close a standard feature on all of its product lines. The decision became effective August 1, 2019.
“That’s a huge change after 19-and-a-half years where we always used side-mount, soft close and regular, non-soft-close and soft-close slides that were side mounted,” Reid said. “Most kitchen designs use undermount soft close, and they work much better in our opinion than side mount, soft-close slides. So, we’re now making that our standard offering and we’re very excited about it. All of our doors and drawers are going to be manufactured at no additional charge with soft-close hinges and undermount soft-close drawers.”
Reid said that one of the reasons for the switch is that he wasn’t happy with how the side-mount slides were working. They’d tried a number of manufacturers but couldn’t find a product that worked well for them. Plus, more and more of his customers were asking for undermount soft-close drawers and doors so it provided the perfect opportunity to offer the products as a standard option.
“We also had to upgrade our software and spend some money on retooling and finding the right glides that work best for our application,” Reid said. “Also, instead of using quarter-inch drawer bottoms as is the industry standard, we are now building the entire drawer box out of three-quarter-inch material so that it all matches and is all the same color, woodgrain or white, or whatever it is, it’s all the same color.”
These are just a few of the things Closet Factory South Carolina has been working on over the years.
For more, visit closetfactory.com/locations/columbia.
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