AIS Opens New and Expanded DC Showroom in Award Winning Location
Dynamic Space Showcases Wide Breadth of Innovative Product Solutions and Newly Trending Colors, Materials, and Finishes
Featuring an array of diverse work areas and collaborative spaces, AIS opened the doors to its new Washington, D.C. showroom on March 14. AIS hosted exclusive grand opening events with dealer partners giving them personal tours and a first look at the stunning space.
AIS doubled its footprint in the nation’s capital via the new location which is situated in the heart of the Capital district just five blocks away from the White House. The new showroom encompasses more than 8,100 square feet on the second floor of the iconic and upscale professional building located at 1501 M St., NW, STE 230 Washington, D.C. The building is one of the many locations of the Heyday experience owned by commercial property management firm, MRP Properties, who creates high-end brand experiences for their tenants and guests. Important to further supporting the mission of AIS’s sustainable practices, the building was awarded an Energy Star label in 2015, 2016, and 2017 for its operating efficiency.
Opened to the public on March 21, the showroom is a key sales tool supporting the company’s dealer partners by providing an esteemed location to build relationships with their customers, demonstrate creative, relevant product solutions, and support their sales efforts. While reflecting the AIS brand, the space demonstrates the company’s growing breadth of product solutions and provides an immersive experience for sales representatives and dealers in a welcoming work environment.
Attending the opening was AIS President Nick Haritos, who along with various other company executives, and the local sales team, hosted approximately 300 guests including dealers, architects and designers, and commercial real estate professionals over three days.
“This venue is an ideal environment for showcasing our products, engaging our customers, and demonstrating the growing AIS brand,” stated Haritos. “We are very pleased with the entire showroom design and our dealers – along with other business partners – are always welcome to visit.”
“AIS is about making business easy and convenient for our dealers and customers,” stated Ben Maxwell, the company’s senior vice president of sales for the eastern United States. “Together with our New York City showroom and Leominster, Massachusetts headquarters space, the new DC showroom gives our regional dealers access to three powerful AIS selling spaces staffed with supportive teams ready to help them win.”
Maxwell continues, “The goal of the relocation and expansion in DC was two-fold. First, we wanted to create a beautiful selling space where customers can engage with our people and our broad portfolio of products seamlessly. Then, it was important for us to provide a remote office environment for our dealers. Our dealers know they can stop in for an hour, a full day, or multiple days – and work effectively in the AIS showroom, where they are welcome any time.”
A Group Effort Between the AIS Team and Strategic Partners
To complete this major move and renovation, AIS partnered with industry experts who contributed in various ways to the procurement, design, décor, and other aspects of the showroom. The Tenant Agency, who located and negotiated the space, positioned AIS in a highly desirable part of the city with access to many amenities. Architecture and design partner, sshape helped to co-create a space that reflects the AIS heritage of its Leominster headquarters and the refined environment and architecture of the building. The company’s marketing and branding firm, mr@mrs ensured that the look and feel of the space reflected AIS’ brand aesthetic and values and Meta4Mat produced brand elements throughout the space infusing messaging and graphics.
The showroom was designed in collaboration with the AIS internal design team and sshape to be beautiful, bold, and uniquely reflect the roots of AIS. In a nod to whimsy, and to honor AIS’ New England heritage, custom wallcovering featuring the iconic pink flamingo lawn ornament was designed especially for the showroom. The pink flamingo was created by Massachusetts sculptor, Don Featherstone, and manufactured by Leominster, MA – based Union Products. The wallcovering adds a festive feel and pays homage to the late 1950s when pink flamingos were all the rage. It is situated adjacent to the custom café that welcomes guests, creating a casual yet sophisticated atmosphere, with all the amenities to host showroom visitors.
Showcasing the Broad and Versatile AIS Product Line
With the significant expansion of AIS products over the past five years, the larger showroom ensures the company can showcase its wide range of office solutions and market relevant applications.
As visitors enter the showroom, they are greeted at the company’s Calibrate reception station, featuring a custom stone transaction counter.
The showroom space is designed with the future of work in mind with adaptable, flexible open-plan inspirations, collaborative meeting spaces, and touch down stations featuring newer products such as PowerBeam and more traditional panel systems such as Divi and Matrix for more permanent or heads down work.
Other featured products include the company’s many seating solutions positioned in stations throughout the space and showcased in a lengthy seating display where focused discussions can occur with task, guest, conference, stools, and multi-purpose seating solutions. Lounge and work lounge solutions, including the newly introduced Chatham Cove and long-time favorite LB Lounge, are featured throughout the space, reflecting a more casual and impromptu work style. A panel height demonstration wall helps customers envision the site lines and privacy options they can offer their teams.
The product applications within the space reflect the wide range of color, material, and finish offerings on standard products which are beautiful and easily accessible. A small number of special products are showcased to initiate conversation, garner feedback, and to highlight the specials capabilities of AIS.
AIS’ Colors, Materials, and Finishes Palette Continues to Expand
The showroom’s surface materials center is devoted to the latest upholstery, panel materials, laminates, and paint finishes offered by AIS. Here, visitors can explore a large variety of surface solutions and fabric grades to complement their space and their brand. The center showcases AIS’ new Seating Upholstery Alliance program coming in October 2022 with partners Mayer, Momentum, and CF Stinson.
AIS continues to invest in new colors, materials, and finishes and will release a new series of Grade A and B panel materials as well as new paint finishes in September 2022.
“AIS continues to outpace the industry and this exceptional DC showroom space positions us for continued growth in a market where our commitment to dealers gets stronger every day. The company has so many good things happening and this new showroom is simply another remarkable and positive step forward for AIS,” concluded Haritos.
AIS, headquartered in Leominster, Massachusetts, is a leading North American manufacturer of commercial office furniture and boasts one of the most impressive stories of growth and success in the furniture industry. Founded in 1989, the company, with sales of more than $200 million annually, is known for offering market-relevant, feature-rich product lines that entice designers and support the diverse needs of end-users while offering exceptional value. AIS is an innovator that leads the industry in sustainable lean manufacturing, lead-time performance and manufacturing flexibility. AIS’s BIFMA-compliant products meet or exceed industry standards for safety and durability. Products also are SCS Indoor Advantage™ Gold certified.
The company’s Leominster headquarters, and manufacturing facility boast a rooftop of more than 10,000 solar panels, returning 50 percent or more of energy used to the power grid. AIS has permanent showrooms at its Leominster headquarters and in Chicago, New York City and Washington, D.C. With these and other locations across the U.S., the company has over 1 million square feet of office, showroom, and factory space. AIS’ more than 800 employees represent over 32 countries around the world and make AIS one of the largest and most diverse employers in central Massachusetts. Over the past five years, AIS has created more jobs in the region than any other company. AIS and its employees also lead in giving back to their communities; the Boston Business Journal has recognized AIS with its Corporate Citizenship Award annually since 2019. For more information, visit www.ais-inc.com.