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Case Study: Furniture Retailer Southern Lifestyles Upgrades Racking System

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The Furniture Cantilever Rack Open Web System allows easy storage of a furniture storage rack of any size and shape—while saving storage space and even fire prevention expenses Furniture comes in all shapes and sizes, from dinette chairs and mediate retrieval and delivery can be a neat trick. Fortunately, furniture cantilever rack open web systems now make it easier than ever. The Village, a retirement community known as “Florida’s friendliest retirement home town”, services their residents through their own furniture outlet called Southern Lifestyles. With sales growing drastically, they grew from one store to two. For storage, they had already outgrown one warehouse and expanded into a second, then a third addition. Despite the space additions, however, the warehousing was just not efficient. Neither was their furniture storage rack system. “It was kind of a mix-and-match system over the years,” says Steven Drake, the Village’s owner. “We would acquire old racking systems from other companies, then reassemble them to suit our own needs. We probably had five different types welded and put together. We were really outgrowing it.” With the company experiencing such rapid growth, they realized that they needed to provide properly for it. They opted for a brand new warehouse that tripled their space, and was arranged for their exact line of business. Different areas of the warehouse have been utilized for different types of items, and shipping and receiving have been made entirely separate so they don’t interfere with each other. The key to efficiently utilizing the new warehouse space was a new racking system including a furniture cantilever rack open web system, manufactured by Steel King, Inc. and installed by Craft Equipment, a Steel King premier dealer. Per-square-foot storage space has been greatly increased. “We can store so much more now,” Drake says. “Because it’s open, this system is much more furniture-friendly. You can store long and short items, and boxes as well.” Cantilever racks are an ideal storage solution for long, bulky or odd-shaped items such as furniture. There are no interfering columns between racks, so loads may be placed anywhere along the rack. The lack of a front column saves space normally lost to a rack structure, and adds handling clearance. The open web design easily accommodates the routing of in-rack sprinkler systems if required by local building or fire codes. The Village’s system provided great savings in fire protection by using a new style of shelf decking. “The big thing about it was that we could get a decking system which was first of all metal, so it was non-flammable, and second it had holes in it to carry down water from the sprinkler system,” Drake continues. “That meant we could mount fire sprinklers on the ceiling and not need them for every level of racking.” Because the racking was all uniform, it made for a far neater appearance than their previous warehouse. “You would have walked into the old warehouse and said, ‘what a dump,’” Drake says. “The racks in the new warehouse are close to perfect, in alignment, and I think we’ll find our employees are going to go ahead and take care of things better.” Installation of the cantilever rack system was very smooth as well. When the building was up and ready, the racks arrived, right on time. The whole installation—warehouse, racks and all—took less than 6 weeks. “It’s a phenomenal install,” Drake concludes. “It’s a great product which is now providing the benefit of proper storage and handling, protecting goods bound for our customers’ homes.” For more information about this article contact Donald Heemstra at Steel King, 2700 Chamber St., Stevens Point, WI 54481 or call at 1-800-826-0203, Email: dheemstra@steelking.com or visit the website at www.steelking.com.

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