DC opening positions Steinhafels to take next steps in Chicago and beyond

WAUKESHA, Wis. — Top 100 retailer Steinhafels has had a presence in the greater Chicago market for more than a decade.

But the opening of its new distribution center in Bolingbrook enables the Waukesha, Wis.-based, employee-owned retailer to take the next step in solidifying its place in the metro and beyond.

Steinhafels officially opened the 110,000-square-foot distribution center, located at 999 Belle Lane, on Nov. 1. John Haas, vice president of operations, told Furniture Today that it includes state-of-the-art lighting and racking efficiencies as well as expansive break areas and a gym, and will eventually host up to 50 full-time equivalent employees over the next year.

Haas said it will hasten delivery time for customers of Steinhafels’ four (soon to be six) Chicagoland stores, while taking pressure off its Waukesha, Wis., facility.

“It’s a really big deal for us. We’ve been operating out of Waukesha since the beginning, and it gives us that extra arm in the Chicagoland market. It gives us the opportunity to distribute quicker to our customers in Illinois and northern Indiana,” Haas said. “It opens us up into the future, going into the Chicago market and giving those customers the Steinhafels experience they’ve had in Wisconsin.”

Haas said Steinhafels can be more efficient in its delivery methods. “There are joint efficiencies. It will allow us to be more targeted from a transportation standpoint,” he said. “More storage capability so we can be more efficient with inventory selection. We’ll have more in stock goods.”

And while Steinhafels has had a good go of things in Chicago so far, having the facility means it can do that much more for its customers in the region.

“Our Chicago stores are performing well for us. We’re encouraged by how the brand is being perceived,” said Chad Dern, vice president of marketing. “This is the next phase. This is about improving that customer and associate experience. It shows our commitment to Chicago and customers there.”

Plus, with stores in Schaumburg and Orland Park already in the pipeline and coming online for Steinhafels over the next 12 months (and possibly more stores on the horizon), having the distribution center operational is essential if the retailer plans further expansion.

“It not only solidifies our presence, but it’s essential for the way we like to serve the customer. It’s essential for our success in Illinois and our continued expansion in the region,” Haas said.

See also: Why furniture retailers are fired up for opportunities in the Windy City

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