Premier Furniture and Equipment now open in Shell Rock

Roger Johnson, President of Premier Furniture and Equipment, has a priority of equipping K-12 schools with quality furniture. (Bethany Carson Photo)
Bethany Carson

    Premier Furniture and Equipment has joined the ever-growing number of business to choose Shell Rock as the ideal spot to build a facility. The K-12 furniture supplier opened its doors on Dec. 4.

     “With opportunities… growing staff and growing needs, we just needed a facility to improve efficiency,” said Premier Furniture and Equipment President Roger Johnson.

    Premier Furniture is highly specialized in the K-12 educational field, and the facility is open by invitation, offering innovative products to innovative educators. At Premier Furniture, school administrators can view samples of furniture and equipment before purchasing, rather than just view photos on a website or in a catalog.

    The Premier sales team provides onsite meetings at schools to review objectives and establish design concepts and a timeline. They source products from leading manufacturers and work to find the best fit for schools and their budgets. They then design 2D and 3D mockups, featuring the design, color and finishing choices to help visualize the project, and formulate cost projections and provide detailed bidding documents. To complete the process, they offer certified installation and assembly teams to get the job done and ensure all objectives are achieved.

    Premier Furniture offers everything an educational facility may need, from classroom configurations to cafeteria, library and athletic area equipment and furnishings, as well as carpeting, window coverings, signage, and much more.

    They pride themselves on being a relationship-driven company, specializing in turn-key project management for educational facilities planning renovations, additions and new construction.

    Johnson believes it’s not a good sales pitch or advertising that sells furniture: it’s a good reputation. Word of mouth is invaluable, so providing customers with quality products and services is top priority.

    Recommendations on the best products are made to fit customers’ needs, not based on what any particular manufacturer has to offer.

    “We are a dealer for over 100 different lines of manufacturers…” Johnson said. “Since we don’t have an exclusive arrangement with any of that manufacturers, that allows us to be better consultants.”

    Premier has 11 employees, and between the five sales consultants on the road visiting schools, the company boasts over 100 years of experience in furniture sales. The other employees work behind the scenes to provide top-notch customer service, fill orders and prepare quotes.

    While their main focus is serving educational facilities in Iowa, the company also serves the surrounding region of Minnesota, Nebraska, Wisconsin and Illinois. In addition to furnishing schools, Premier has also furnished churches, preschools, banks and other business.

    Johnson built Premier Furniture and Equipment, starting the company in April 2016 out of his home in Waverly after working in the industry for many years in sales and retail. Work on the new facility in Shell Rock, located in the business park near the Shell Rock Clinic and Rolling Ford, started in April 2019.

    Johnson chose Shell Rock as the place to build due to its welcoming business environment and how close it is to home. He appreciates the Butler County community’s common sense approach to business, as well as its residents’ morals and work ethic.

    By September 2019, Premier Furniture and Equipment had started to move in to the new location. The facility features a staging area and a wide variety of furniture samples for prospective customers to compare.

    The type of furnishings needed in schools has changed over the years. There is now more soft seating, and more mobile, flexible collaborative zones in places such as school libraries. A lunch area may be used for cheer practice later in the day. Schools want tables with wheels, and chairs that stack, so space can be repurposed as needed for better functionality.

    Johnson and his staff enjoy collaborating with school administrators and others working in K-12 education to help schools choose designs that work with dynamic teaching styles and are conducive to learning.

    “Everything we do directly impacts students, regardless of if they are in kindergarten or a senior in high school. It influences what class they want to take: what’s in a room, the functionality…” Johnson said. “We want to get it right for the students.”


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