By Dave Leder, Yakima Valley Business Times
Standard Paint & Flooring has been busy this spring — busier, perhaps, than at any other time in its 64-year history.
During the past month, the Yakima-based home décor chain not only opened two new showrooms in Richland and Sunnyside, but also improved its online ordering system to provide more convenience for customers.
Standard Paint may not even be done growing. But after such a harried schedule during the past couple of months, the owners are looking forward to a little down time.
“We’re always looking to grow the business, but after these two projects, I need a break,” said Regan Myers, who owns 90 percent of the company along with his brother, Craig. “It took a little longer than we expected, but it feels good now that we’re done.”
The new Richland store, at 1480 Tapteal Drive, offers 24,000 square feet of showroom space, second only to Standard’s mammoth store in downtown Yakima, which is about 27,000 square feet.
The former location on Kellogg Street in Kennewick provided less than half the space as the new store.
But in a market growing as fast as the Tri-Cities, the owners knew they would be needing to move into a larger space eventually. The former Staples store provides even more room to grow.
“We like larger spaces because it’s more pleasant to shop without having displays all around you,” said Myers, who also owns stores in West Valley, Wenatchee and Bend, Ore. “Our staff also appreciates having more room to work with. The move was just as much about them as it was about our customers.”
Standard Paint & Flooring acquired the new Sunnyside facility at 717 E. Yakima Valley Highway in early 2017 and originally planned to open the new store last fall.
But the owners wanted everything to be just right before they introduced the new 12,000-square-foot showroom, across from Ace Hardware, on April 23.
“There was a lot of work to be done. We totally gutted it,” Myers said. “We added offices, restrooms and lots of windows, and we also put in a wall so we could lease out the other half of the building.”
The entire building is 20,000 square feet and the owners are looking to lease out the remaining 8,000 square feet. The building was previously occupied by Noble’s Flooring and Furniture.
Myers said the new location on Yakima Valley Highway is far superior to the former Sunnyside showroom space at 222 S. Sixth St.
“The Sunnyside building fit our vision of where we wanted to go, and as we continue to grow, we are able to take advantage of new opportunities like this,” he said. “The Tri-Cities move was more about finding a good investment opportunity at the right time. We decided to jump on it now because we weren’t sure it would be available later.”
While the Richland project was extensive, the renovation didn’t require quite as much time as the new Sunnyside store.
“Both of our new facilities are gorgeous,” Myers said. “We’re glad that we can now give our customers in the Lower Valley and the Tri-Cities the kind of shopping experience they deserve.”
As part of the transition to the new locations, Standard Paint & Flooring now carries a full line of PPG Pittsburgh Paint products to complement its signature Benjamin Moore line.
Myers said the Pittsburgh products are priced more aggressively and will help Standard be more competitive in paint sales around the region.
“Pittsburgh completes the picture for us and it provides a nice alternative to Benjamin Moore,” he said.
Standard also expanded its cabinetry selection in both of its new stores, and will be offering a broader array of flooring selections from Shaw Floors.
New to the Tri-Cities store this spring is a selection of Norcraft Cabinetry products.
Each of these brands will become visible at standardpaintandflooring.com over the next few months.
As a way of improving convenience, Standard’s online team recently introduced a new service that allows customers to buy paint online and have it prepared in the store for pickup.
“Customers can now order their paint from us at any time on any device and we’ll have it shaken, tinted and ready to go when they stop by the store,” Myers said. “The process used to take longer, but now it’s very easy. We think this service is really going to help us grow.”
Over time, the company hopes to add an even larger selection of paint, lighting, flooring and more to its website. Myers said increasing installation services is part of the long-term plan.
But for now, the focus is on the online business and the two new stores. Myers is ecstatic about the direction his company is heading.
“I’m very proud of our team for the exceptional work that they’ve done,” he said. “Our growth has a lot to do with the great team we have in place. Without them, we couldn’t have gotten this far.”
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