Vintage Tub and Bath offers a variety of tub and bathroom fixtures that will add the finishing touches to any new home construction or remodel project.
The family owned business was founded in 1993 by a couple in Hazleton, Pa., who began by restoring bathtubs they obtained from older homes that were set for demolition.
Today, Vintage Tub and Bath no longer refurbishes tubs, but sells new vintage and contemporary design tubs and bathroom fixtures directly to homeowners. “Many of our customers are DIYers,” CEO Dawn Bobeck says. “We love to receive before-and-after photos of our customers’ projects.”
Vintage Tub and Bath is known for its signature clawfoot tubs. But to appeal to a wider market, the company offers 17,000 SKUs from more than 85 manufacturers on its website, www.vintagetub.com. The online-only company promises its site feels just like going to a local showroom, but without leaving the comfort of home. “We offer a showroom experience online,” Bobeck says. “Our sales representatives are truly finish experts. The training is extensive, but a seasoned representative can assist customers with their entire home remodel.”
Products can range in price from an $800 classic clawfoot tub to a $37,000 copper tub. “Value is important to our customers, they expect excellent quality, but at a reasonable price,” Bobeck adds. Custom painted tubs are also offered at Vintage Tub and Bath by its in-house artist for less than $200. This service provides customers a way to match any tub with their décor. “Customers are limited only by their own imagination,” she says. “We are a niche company and try to offer custom products and unique service as our differentiator.”
Vintage Tub and Bath updated its website in November 2013 to give it a fresh look and make it more user-friendly since most of its sales are conducted through the site. Customers now have the option to utilize a “bill me later” tool, powered by PayPal, which offers financing. The company also increased the size of its product images and navigational menus were improved to be more intuitive and help shoppers find what they are looking for more easily on the site, Bobeck says. “We are currently focusing on internal site search to improve usability and relevance,” she explains.
The company uses Upstream Commerce, an Austin, Texas-based company that provides data to online retailers to price products more competitively, boost sales and increase profit margins. “Upstream has helped us to identify pricing opportunities on a daily basis,” Bobeck says. “We invested in the product last year and are still finalizing the integration.” Because consumers today are more price-conscious, the Upstream Commerce technology will help Vintage Tub and Bath ensure its products are one of the best priced when compared to other retailers.
A major challenge for Vintage Tub and Bath has been the rising cost of freight because the company ships its products throughout the United States and Canada with no additional cost to the customer. “We focus on the balance of doing the right thing for the customer while being efficient and cost-effective,” Bobeck explains. To overcome this obstacle, Vintage Tub and Bath changed its packaging from wooden crates to corrugated cardboard in May.
Behind the Scenes
Vintage Tub and Bath employs about 50 people from its hometown in Pennsylvania. “The area is known for the people’s excellent work ethic and we draw from that pool of dedicated, hardworking individuals,” Bobeck says. Most of the training offered by the company is provided by its managers, and employees are often sent to conferences for continuing education.
Although training is available at the company, a number of its employees were interns at the company before securing a full-time position. Vintage Tub and Bath has a strong internship program and currently has three students interning in its marketing and merchandising departments. Several former interns have found permanent positions with the company,” Bobeck says. “Our marketing director was a former intern.”
Vintage Tub and Bath was chosen to be the exclusive Internet retailer for the Sue Wong Signature Bath Line, Bobeck says. Wong is a women’s clothing designer with a timeless and romantic style. “When a woman puts on Sue Wong, I want to bring out her most confident and feminine self,” Wong says. “I strive for that alchemy, where the romance of the clothing transforms a woman into a goddess – an emissary of beauty.” Wong is creating a line of clawfoot and Zen tubs that will echo her style in the fashion industry. The line will debut later this year.
In the future, Vintage Tub and Bath is planning for an increase in demand for copper tubs and fixtures. “I see that as a growth area for us,” Bobeck says. “As finishes come in and out of popularity we watch that to make sure we carry the hottest finishes. We keep up with the changes in styles and customers’ tastes.”