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Displays Show off the Many Connections in Plumbing, Electrical

Who wouldn’t want X-ray vision? Beyond the Superman comparisons, home repairs and installations would be a snap. Imagine being able to see the inner workings commonly hidden behind drywall or brick throughout a home, showing the links between your electrical system and plumbing lines.

Dunn Lumber decided to make that kind of view possible, except without the superpowers. The Seattle-headquartered lumberyard business has nine locations across the state, and two have displays that show off as many electrical and plumbing connections as can be fastened to an endcap. Jake Matheson, product merchandising manager for
Dunn Lumber, says the displays were first installed in the Bellevue lumberyard, with the Kirkland location following and more to come.

The endcap displays are designed to show each connection needed to wire a house or install plumbing. The electrical board shows how a breaker box can connect to switches, lights and plugs throughout a home, including specific plugs designed for appliances like refrigerators or specialized items like bathroom vents.

On the plumbing board, a main stack pipe is shown that connects to commonly seen faucets, shower heads, drains and even the washing machine connection. Along the way are the multiple types of pipe needed for each connection, including traps. A water filter tap and how it can be connected into the system is also shown.

On top of assisting customers with projects, the displays are also an aid for employees, says Matheson.

“It’s all about getting the right information to the customer. It helps our employees interact with the customer, and employees appreciate anything you can do to help that interaction,” Matheson says.

The concept comes from one of Dunn Lumber’s distributors, Burlington Merchandising and Fixtures, Matheson says. The displays are part of a full line of shelving that has the strength to support larger products found in lumberyards like Dunn Lumber locations but have the appearance and usability of retail-ready shelving. These shelves also allow for more vertical storage while hiding overflow products with signage for advertising or directing shoppers.

“The companies selling fixtures and gondolas to grocery and clothing stores don’t have products that can work in the LBM business. With our fixtures, I can use the first seven feet for products customers can reach, then use the top two feet for back stock,” Matheson says. “We’ve gotten up to 3,000 extra square feet of storage now, which in Seattle is really hard to find.”

About Chad Husted

Chad is an assistant editor for Hardware Retailing magazine. A Purdue University graduate, Chad has covered sports and news at the high school, college and Olympic levels as a sports writer, editor and designer for multiple newspapers. Prior to joining the NRHA, he was the sports editor for the Herald Journal in Monticello, Indiana, and a designer and copy editor for the AIM Media Indiana group in Columbus, Indiana. When not cultivating his beard, he enjoys backpacking, cooking, traveling and watching too much sports and Netflix.

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