When Jim Otten purchased an abandoned paper factory at 7259 Sleepy Hollow Road in West Bend, Wisconsin, he had a vision to build the largest appliance showroom in the state. As the owner of Kettle Moraine Appliance and Sleep Center, Jim accelerated his business and was beginning to outgrow his two locations in West Bend and Cedarburg. The opportunity to grow more and move into a building that better fit the trajectory of his business couldn’t be passed up.
Jim took it upon himself to renovate the abandoned factory, which was in condemnable shape. The old, massive propane tanks, ovens and other machinery that sat in the same positions from use 30 years ago needed to be broken down and removed. Trees had grown through the dilapidated roof, and empty pits in the floor had filled with rainwater. Jim had a massive undertaking on his hands.
All the while, his existing stores still had to run and be profitable while he focused on the new building. The need to constantly monitor appliance turns and margins didn’t cease. The P&L still needed to be in the black. Payroll still needed to be met so that employees could continue to be paid. All said, the challenges of running an appliance business didn’t vanish just because Jim decided to expand into a new building.
So, what was a major factor in being profitable enough to take on such a daunting task? According to Otten, product protection margins played a major role in affording him the confidence to chase this dream.
“Product protection margins are vital for me to keep the doors open, to continue supplying appliances to my customers, and to providing income for the good people that work for me,” Otten says.
Shortly after the grand opening of the largest appliance showroom in the state of Wisconsin, Kettle Moraine Appliance and Sleep Center hosted fellow Nationwide dealers and held a regional sales training for — you guessed it — product protection.
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