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Raising the Bar
Raising the Bar

Entering a slab yard with over 5,000 options of the finest stone materials available on the market, in more than 5,000 colors, can seem overwhelming. However, the professionals behind Colonial Marble & Granite are making this experience a whole lot easier thanks to new quoting and visualization technology and an upcoming shopping experience center. 

What’s New
To start, Colonial Marble & Granite now offers a quick and easy tool to help customers obtain an instant quote via its website, in-store or at four respective mall kiosk locations. Additionally, it helps users visualize how a specific stone will look laid out on countertops, in different colors and finishes, edgings or in various appliance scenarios.  

“This is an industry where [there are] lots of shadows and curtains and we were one of the first companies to really go out there and open the curtains for people and say, ‘Listen, I don’t care if you haven’t walked in my showroom yet, here’s the pricing,’’ explains Colonial Marble  & Granite Chief Operating Officer, James Freeman. “What we’ve found is these customers are more loyal to us [because] at the end of the day, [they] feel like we were the only ones that didn’t [make them] jump through hoops to get the information they wanted.”  

As technology grows at a rapid pace, Freeman says this new tool is certainly having a positive effect on its users. “All I see are positives for our customers in terms of being able to assess their project needs and get a gauge on where their budget should be.”  

Another tool Colonial Marble & Granite is implementing is the introduction of an experience center at its King of Prussia location, which is slated to open later this year. The  general concept of the center is focused on giving customers a complete 360 experience of the Colonial Home Services products and projects pertaining  to Colonial Windows and Doors, Colonial Generators and more—all in one spot.

 “It’s going to be an enormous investment in our business and [we’re] really trying to push the envelope of what people are doing out in the market because I  think we’re stagnant in what people see and what they know,” explains Freeman. “This will be an opportunity for us to really get out there with something special. … It’s going to give us the ability to showcase products like we’ve never done before and allow people to see them in a distinguished format,” he adds. 

A Cut Above the Rest
With its advancements in technology and shopping experience, Colonial Marble & Granite continues to further cement its status as the region’s go-to company when it comes to high-quality stone materials and customer service.  

 “For us, we really just try to always handle ourselves professionally,” says Freeman. “So if that means we’re going to have to invest in trucks, uniformed technicians, background checks and more to ensure that not only are we putting the best out into the field, we’re also doing it in a way that ensures our faith in the people around us.  

 “There are a lot of opportunities for us to do right by our customers and a lot of those things have a cost and because of that, a lot of times companies don’t do that. We really separate ourselves as a world-class provider to make sure that people really understand how great we are.”  

Each of Colonial Marble’s four showrooms also offers full slabs of the finest stone materials—including granite, marble, onyx, quartz,  quartzite and travertine—for residential or commercial customers to survey. Additionally,  both the Philadelphia and King of Prussia showrooms are considered slab reservation locations, wherein they carry multiple slabs so customers can tag and reserve whichever slab they favor.

Slab Advice
When it comes to choosing a stone slab, Freeman advises customers to go with their first gut instinct. “I can’t tell you how many times a customer does more than one walk through the yard, and they’ll spend almost two hours or  a couple of days looking and then come back and end up with that same stone,” he notes, adding that while the process can be a difficult one, it’s nonetheless made easier when following that initial instinct.  

If that instinct is aligned with the new year’s top trends, they’ll be lighter stones in terms of color and finishes including whites and subtle grays. “The trends are still fairly consistent with what we were seeing last year,” Freeman explains. “We’re seeing a lot of people looking for that softer look of a marble or quartzite. There’s lighter colors and soft finishes, but we’re still seeing a lot of customers who are taking advantage of engineered quartz as an alternative to allow them to get the look of marble or quartzite, but to do it with a less width because of the durable nature of the material.”  

As far as remodels, Freeman suggests homeowners consider the countertops first and foremost prior to entering the process. “I typically recommend to look at the countertops early and often in the process because a lot of times, no matter what you do in your kitchen or how beautiful your cabinets or flooring is, the countertops are the essential focus,” he says. “It’s the first thing your friends and family touch when they come over to visit.”

Oftentimes, during an exhaustive remodel, the budget can run tight or even go over and ultimately, a homeowner is forced to compromise on the countertops in light of affordability. “Try to identify what [your] favorite countertop is, prior to [that],” Freeman adds.

Giving Back
With all the advancements Colonial Marble & Granite is experiencing, the company is also making progress with its charitable arm. From partnering with local charities including  Alex’s Lemonade Stand, Colonial Marble is also in the process of launching its very own charity, Colonial Cares.

 “It’s not fully set up, but that will be our foundation which will be focused on community service and functions,” explains Freeman. “Right now, we’re going to look to continue to find ways to grow our charity efforts.” 

Another example of that work is the company’s annual Colonial Marble & Granite Golf Outing.  Just last year, the event raised over $150,000 and benefited the Saint Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Upper Darby. “That will be our flagship event,” adds Freeman.  “We’ll have a number of mini events throughout the year that will complement that.

 “We’re typically open to discussions if we see opportunities [and] we will definitely take advantage of them. Beyond that we just want to continue to be a company that gives back to the community we serve.”

Colonial Marble & Granite
475 S. Henderson Road, King of Prussia, Pa.  |  (610) 994-2222
768 Corporate Circle, New Cumberland, Pa.  |  (717) 774-2110
2000 Washington Ave., Philadelphia, Pa.  |  (215) 732-7800
240 S. DuPont Highway, New Castle, Del.  |  (302) 947-3000
ColonialMarble.net

Published (and copyrighted) in House & Home, Volume 19, Issue 4 (October 2018). 
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