Exceeding customer expectations
Take a few minutes to think about all of the people you’ve ever worked with. You’ll soon realize that those with the internal motivation to succeed were often the same people with the strongest work ethic. It is this trait that led our founder to where he is today.
KC Store Fixtures may have formed in 1994 but it's beginnings stretch back much further. At the young age of 16, Leo Galey III was on his own and supporting himself. Between bidding paint jobs for local Wal-Mart stores and working double shifts at Worlds of Fun, a local theme park, Leo gained invaluable business insights. His “yes I can” work ethic meant he didn’t wait for someone else to deal with a problem. Whatever the task at hand, Leo’s determination motivated him to seek the right resources, research the topic and work the problem until it was resolved. He soon learned that exceeding customer’s expectations at a reasonable price would provide the financial success and independence he needed. His perseverance and acumen back then, are some of the key values that define the culture of today’s KC Store Fixtures.
In the late 1980’s, Leo’s “yes I can” stance provided an unexpected opportunity while he was in downtown Kansas City headed to an interview. Unfamiliar with the area, he got lost and stopped at a nearby business to ask for directions. Once inside, an employee who asked if he was there to apply for the job opening approached him. Not wanting to miss the opportunity in front of him, Leo quickly answered yes and was hired that day! The following day, Leo was asked to carry a window air conditioner from the warehouse to the owners’ office. The owner told him to set the unit in the corner until he could hire an A/C company to install it. Leo mentioned he could do it. While installing the air conditioner, Leos’ ease of conversation and overall knowledge so impressed the owner that he was given an immediate raise and moved to the sales floor, working directly with customers and learning every aspect of the business. During this time, Leo witnessed the company’s successes and opportunities and helped build their clientele and customer loyalty. In 1993 the owner decided to move the business. It was at this time Leo decided to set off on his own, parting amicably with his employer.
In June of 1994 Leo's entrepreneurial instincts led him to create KC Fixtures & Display. He began working from the basement of his home, gradually building his customer base. Knowing his previous employer would be moving out of the downtown location they occupied for 60 years, Leo contacted the landlord about renting the same space once they were gone. A few months later, with the support of his wife and children, KC Fixture & Display moved into the building Leo had previously worked in. It was an ideal opportunity to continue serving local customers who were familiar with the location. When Leo came in to work on weekends, his young children would come too. They loved to run and play inside the large, open space and their box of toys could be found, each Monday, sitting on top of the company safe.
After a year in the Garment District, Leo’s “yes I can” mantra won him a large contract to build showcases, displays and cabinets for the front entrance of the Worlds of Fun theme park. To execute this large order, Leo began renting space in a WWII era industrial complex, hired more craftsmen and invested in the additional equipment needed to complete the Worlds of Fun order. This project was the stepping-stone to what is now the KC Store Fixtures custom side.
In 1996, Leo’s forward-thinking mindset helped KC Store Fixtures became a pioneer in the Internet revolution and by year 2000, record-breaking revenues led the company to concentrate on e-commerce and catalog sales. In order to be an asset in the ever-changing digital world, Leo knew we had to provide the online tools that would help customers and store operations teams work faster and easier.
In 2000, Leo combined the downtown showroom, warehouse and custom shop under one roof. The new address offered easy access to major highways and room to grow. Not long after this move, Leo shortened the company name to KC Store Fixtures; the emphasis was now on our core business.
As KC Store Fixtures celebrates 25 years in business, Leo continues to meet the changing horizon of the retail fixture world we serve. What was once strictly fixtures and displays, has now evolved to include design, value-engineering, manufacturing, store planning, custom-made products, fulfillment and turnkey services to benefit customer’s in a variety of industries. As Leo has proven year after year, the person with a strong work ethic isn't looking at what he needs to get done; he is looking at what needs to get done for the customer to succeed. We look forward to working with you and building on Leo's core principle of providing exceptional customer service, superior product selection and reasonable prices.