WICHITA — Integrated Facilities Group has had an unexpected bonus in its relatively new space at 125 S. Washington, which is just south of Ribbit Computers at the southwest corner of Douglas and Washington.
“We’ve experienced a huge amount of walk-in traffic,” says Jessica Powers, IFG’s marketing, development and workspace coordinator.
“We wanted to take advantage of that.”
So the company is opening the Back Room as a retail furniture outlet for the business.
The bulk of IFG’s business is contract work that takes months or may even be years in the works, such as outfitting an entire new building with furniture.
The company, which is in its 25th year of business, moved from 1214 E. Second St. almost a year and a half ago. Its space jumped from 2,000 square feet to 10,000 square feet.
“A lot of our business is based on what people see in our showroom,” Powers says. “Being able to show everything … is important. It just makes everything so much easier.”
What hasn’t been easy, though, is handling the walk-in traffic. People often show up with random needs, such as an office chair for a new employee. Or sometimes, “strangely enough,” Powers says, it may be a conference table and full set of chairs that a customer needs by the next day.
“We’re not really set up to do one-sie, two-sie types of things, but we want to be,” Powers says.
The Back Room will be in almost 3,000 square feet on the first floor. Make-A-Wish has the other half of the floor and uses IFG’s furniture, which Powers says helps display what the company can offer.
She says the new retail space will sell fun things and things IFG sells a lot, such as desks, conference tables, lobby furniture and accessories.
“We’re trying to fit that weird need,” Powers says. “It’s kind of going to be a learning experience for us.”
Powers says there’s no one in the Back Room full time yet, but she thinks it will be ready in about a week.
“Everything is tagged and ready to open.”