Decorative lighting and ceiling fan manufacturer Hinkley will be breaking ground next month on its planned 130,000-sq.-ft. expansion to its headquarters in Avon Lake, Ohio.
When the company completed its move to Avon Lake in 2012, that property was selected with future expansion in mind. Noting the company’s growth over the ensuing years – including entering the ceiling fan category in April 2019 after acquiring Regency Ceiling Fans – Hinkley President Jess Wiedemer observes, “it became obvious” the timing was right to expand. “Last year, the pandemic [which resulted in an uptick in remodeling] accelerated demand,” he explains. Having stock ready to ship means end-consumers will receive their orders quickly — a criteria that is particularly important due to the global shipping delays facing every industry since the pandemic. To that end, Hinkley will be relocating inventory currently housed in several satellite warehouses into one central distribution center on the headquarters’ campus for even more efficient shipping.
“Product demand has been solid, and we are in a strong inventory position,” Wiedemer remarks. “This investment [also] allows us to expand our warehouse and production capacity, in addition to adding light automation capabilities,” he states.
The expansion is also the first part of a two-phase infrastructure investment plan that coincides with Hinkley’s upcoming centennial in 2022. Not only will having stock on-hand speed up fulfillment and special-order processing, it underscores the Hinkley team’s long-term commitment to prioritize service and quality.
“Beyond the operational side, we are also building out our design and customer experience center by 20,000 square feet,” Wiedemer says. That additional square footage will provide more room for Hinkley’s product development, engineering, and brand experience activities, including its “customer experience center.”
Not being able to see customers regularly for the past year is something the Hinkley team has missed. “We’re anxious to host people here [again]. We’re breaking ground in May and construction should be finished by the first quarter of 2022,” Wiedemer comments.
Hinkley Vice President Eric Wiedemer shares his brother’s enthusiasm for the expansion plan, adding it emphasizes an ongoing dedication to product innovation and quality. “Through this new R&D space, our partners will be able to see and impact the products coming to market while enjoying a more connected and cohesive brand experience,” he remarks.
Hinkley’s permanent showroom in the Dallas Market Center was open during last year’s August lighting event as well as the January and March editions of Lightovation, where customers could see the winter and spring releases in person. The summer release will be unveiled at the upcoming June Lightovation.
“We’ve really invested in our ceiling fan category,” Jess Wiedemer says of the June launch. “It is the third wave of our ceiling fan line and we focused on design.” The Dallas showroom will also feature the latest in low-voltage LED outdoor lighting, which includes more traditional-style lanterns. “We hold ourselves to a high standard in having a high fill rate at market,” he adds.
This coming October, Hinkley will have a presence at the High Point Market for the first time, opening an 8,150-sq.-ft. permanent showroom on the second floor of the Market Square building (#290). In a press announcement released on April 29, Wiedemer states, “High Point is the perfect complement to our destination showroom at Dallas Market Center. This new showroom will help increase exposure of our brand as we continue to find new ways to support our lighting showrooms, designers, and industry professionals.”