Just Cabinets evolved over the years into a full-line home furnishings and kitchen cabinetry retailer. The company’s cabinets are available built-to-order or stock, and Just Cabinets distinguishes itself among competitors by being competitively priced and selling domestically made products. “We source from the major cabinet players in America and have been buying from them for years,” Bernstein notes.
Today, Just Cabinets operates 15 locations in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware and New Jersey. Bernstein attributes the company’s success to its dedicated employees, the ability to look outside the box and add new products to help the business grow. “Success today – in the challenging retail environment we have faced over the past several years – is a matter of perspective,” Bernstein says. “We are still around, and we are continuing to grow and evolve, which is success in and of itself.”
The Just Cabinets customer is a female and middle-income homeowner who knows she can count on the company to offer quality products in a variety of home goods categories, Bernstein says. As a specialist in home furnishings and cabinets, Just Cabinets offers products for the kitchen, dining room, bedroom, entertainment room and home office. “In every category we have merchandised our products as good, better and best,” he adds. “We source a lot of our products to compete with mass merchants and other box retailers.”
Just Cabinets’ major competitor in the cabinet sector is home centers, which it looks to outperform through exceptional customer service. The company’s 120 employees are hardworking and dedicated to taking care of the customer. “The retail business itself hasn’t changed a lot; it’s still about helping one customer at a time,” Bernstein notes. “The difference comes from hard work and dedication.”
A home center may have a 25 percent capture rate on customers who come in to buy, but Bernstein says Just Cabinets operates at double that ratio with customers who actually buy because of its employees. “We capitalize on every opportunity by focusing on kitchen cabinets and providing the customer with the best option,” he adds. “Our customers’ shopping experience and confidence in our design team makes all the difference.”
In the home furnishings department, Just Cabinets competes with a number of competitors from the online discount stores to big-box-retailers. “Costco does an incredible job at bringing out home furnishings and operating at low margins; that provides an incredible challenge to us,” Bernstein admits. “To compete, we source our own product and make sure whatever we carry is competitively priced. Our customer counts on that value.”
Without its vendors, Just Cabinets would not be as successful at competing in the market as it is today. “You take for granted, when times are good, the incredible vendor partnerships we have built over a period of time,” Bernstein says. “Those long-standing relationships have really proven to be very important in challenging times. It’s incredibly important to develop those relationships.”
An Updated Look
To offer more convenience for its customers, Just Cabinets is looking for new 18,000-square-foot locations that fit its co-tenancy objective. “Co-tenancy with places like T.J. Maxx, Marshalls and DSW is vital to improve our locations and to situate ourselves with other tenants that represent our customer base,” Bernstein says.
Just Cabinets will be renovating some of its existing locations and opening new locations in a Philadelphia, Baltimore and Cherry Hill, N.J., with the “bigger, brighter, better merchandising” store model. “Along with upgrading in the existing markets that we are underserving, we are trying to find opportunities for the new model with the right space and lease rate,” Bernstein adds.
In addition to its new store model, Just Cabinets will be further improving its website to help it compete for the next generation of shoppers who want to shop from home. The company’s website will be updated to present its products better, which is also a focus in its brick-and-mortar stores. Just Cabinets will look to shorten its lead times so, for example, a contractor or home remodeler will be able to shop online, buy cabinets and have them home delivered within 48 hours, Bernstein says. “We will improve our presentation online,” he adds. “It will continue to become more sophisticated as we invest a considerable amount in SEO and marketing.”
Moving forward, Bernstein’s plans for Just Cabinets will be to continue focusing on rolling out a new store model, stay focused on the retail environment and continuing to improve in every way.