By Stan Bullard
Sheldon Edelman, president of Edelman Plumbing & Supply Inc. of Bedford Heights, likes to recall how the family-owned company evolved into a supplier of decorative hardware, luxury kitchen and bathroom plumbing fixtures to contractors from its 1953 start as a materials supplier to hardware stores.
From once supplying 100 stores, it now supplies five as big-box retailers overwhelmed independent hardware stores, and plumbing contractors and about 80 designers became Edelman's clientele.
Confronted by the decimation of the home-building business that made up 40% of its business just three years ago, Edelman has embarked on a new direction: adding top-end household appliances to its offerings. The company has just started offering the big-ticket luxury items to its contractors and their clients to ease their remodeling or new-home shopping chore -- and hopefully yield Edelman more sales.
He hopes appliance sales someday make up half the company's sales, although the appliance push, just launched in May, is too new to produce results.
Moreover, Mr. Edelman did not go into the effort halfway. That is no surprise, given the colorful showroom for sinks, faucets and cabinets that resembles a high-end furniture store rather than a trade showroom at Edelman's corporate office and warehouse at 26201 Richmond Road.
Edelman displays the appliances in a new 4,000-square-foot interactive addition to its showroom, which includes kitchen displays of various manufacturers. There is even an operating kitchen designed for chef demonstrations. It's to "show customers how things work and make some coffee," Mr. Edelman said.