For more than 75 years, Peck’s Office Plus has been outfitting small businesses in top of the line office furniture and supplies to make the workspace and conditions as high-class as possible.
A family-owned business in its third generation of the Peck family, the company is in the midst of a complete upgrade of their business with a new retail center and distribution center, revamped web site and the same commitment to customer care that the company has prided itself on since its opening.
“It comes down to better service, good competitive pricing and the product knowledge and expertise that we bring to the service,” said Robert Peck, a third generation owner of the business. “We know office supplies; we know office furniture; and we know suppliers and where to get certain things.”
Although the actual opening date is unclear, the first photo of Jacob Peck - the father of the store’s founder Herman - dates back to 1913 in front of the store’s original location in Harlem. However, the Peck family traces its business tradition back to 1929, when Jacob Peck decided to move the store to Main Street in Flushing - a location where the store stood until recently.
Herman Peck ran the Flushing store until he passed the family business onto Irwin - Robert’s father. Irwin built up the business creating a niche in the office supplies industry as well as the community with a focus on quality customer care.
In 1983, Irwin Peck entertained thoughts of selling the business, but before doing so, he talked to his son Robert about the possibility of taking it over. At the time, Robert was 24 and had not seriously considered taking over for his father, but the idea of continuing the family tradition and running his own business intrigued him.
Ultimately, Robert decided he wanted to try the family business, and he has been running Peck’s for the past 25 years. During that time, he continued to build and expand the business acquiring a second store location on Myrtle Avenue in Ridgewood.
Shortly after Robert took over the business, serious new competition from Staples and Office Depot emerged. While those retail giants might cater to the needs of very large corporations or the one-stop shopper, Robert Peck said that customers still saw the value in doing business with Peck’s.
“We cater to five to 50 employee-type companies and give them better pricing and service than Staples can,” Robert Peck said.
While expansion continued during the 90’s and the beginning part of this decade, the biggest growth is happening right now at Peck’s.
“We’re constantly evolving as any entrepreneurial business must do to survive,” Robert Peck said. “I think the biggest thing for us is shifting our focus and streamlining to make our operation so much more efficient than it was before. It’s night and day how we operate now and how we used to operate.”
Earlier this year, Peck’s moved out of its Flushing location and into a new distribution center and retail showroom on Jamaica Avenue in Brooklyn.
“Where we were, it was very limiting [space wise],” Robert Peck said. “It was very limiting in managing a company that ships out 100 orders a day.
The current location in Brooklyn, which is 13,300 square feet of space - 19,000 if you include space for parking - allows incoming and outgoing orders to be processed quicker and allows for bigger office space for Peck’s employees.
While Peck’s still has its retail store in Ridgewood, the distribution center will ship office furniture including chairs, desks, tables, filing cabinets and other office supplies to customers.
Another feature that Peck’s offers its customers is space planning and office design. Utilizing state-of-the-art space planning software, Peck’s creates plans tailored to the customers’ specific space allocations and works with the client to design their entire office - a process that Robert Peck said is one of the most enjoyable parts of the business.
“When we do a design of an office for someone, we want to make sure that they are fully satisfied,” he said.
In addition to the new facility, Peck’s recently unveiled another major change - the redesign and re-launch of the web site - something Robert believes was critical and important in helping Peck’s stay at the top of the industry.
One of the main attractions of the new web site is that all of the products Peck’s sells are listed online and customers can actually place orders for furniture or supplies as well.
“The shopping online is going very well and more and more customers are utilizing that service every single day,” Robert Peck said.
In addition, the web site is an informational tool educating customers about the different products and services Peck’s offers, and customers can request additional information by requesting a catalog online.
While Peck’s is in the midst of a major upgrade, Robert Peck said he always sees room for continued growth. When he sold his Flushing retail store, he was not able to replace the full art department and the more than 4,000 products that the store held.
“That was one part of the retail business I hated to give up,” Robert Peck said. “I knew that people really needed a place to go to buy those supplies.”
However, Peck said that he hopes that he is able to open another retail store within the next year or so, which would also carry these types of products.
While Peck’s Office Plus has been in the Peck family for more than 75 years, Robert Peck said he did not know if his children - the oldest is only 16 - would want to continue the tradition into the fourth generation.
“My feeling is I am 48 years old I want to focus on growing the business and make it more successful,” Robert said.
Peck’s 10 Steps to Planning your Office
Step 1 - We listen to you and gather the information about all your requirements.
Step 2 - We measure the space, taking into account every detail including radiators, the columns, where the electrical outlets are, the windows, the light switches, the doorways, etc.
Step 3 - Based on the above two steps we develop a preliminary floor plan for you to look at. We present it to you with detailed drawings and explain it to you.
Step 4 - Based on your feedback, we make changes and improvements to the preliminary plan. This is a process where we could possibly go through several revisions until you are satisfied with the plan and approve it.
Step 5 - Based on your budget requirements, time frame, and style choices, we then help you select the furniture that best suits your needs, and come up with a detailed, itemized proposal. The proposal includes a deep discount off the manufacturer’s list price, any delivery and installation costs, as well as payment terms.
Step 6 - Once the proposal is approved, we then go to color selection, helping you to pick the color scheme for the furniture, chairs and files, making sure that it coordinates well with your carpet and wall colors.
Step 7 - We order all the furniture and monitor and track the orders until their arrival.
Step 8 - We organize and execute an installation plan that takes into account all the variables. This plan actually begins to take shape early on as we become familiar with your space and how you operate.
Step 9 - We deliver and install the product, executing the floor plan.
Step 10 - We review the entire job after it is installed and address any damages or imperfections, or things that need to be corrected, and follow up on them until the job is fully completed.
- Courtesy of Peck’s Office Plus