On April 12, AFR Furniture Rental, a national lounge furniture rental company for live events, announced its acquisition of West Coast-based Kool Party Rentals. The decision to purchase came on the heels of seemingly casual conversation between the two brands when the C level at each realized they had been working on many of the same events together in the California and Arizona areas, where Kool does most of its business.
“Our same clients were renting illuminated product, decor, and tables and chairs from [Kool] and lounge furniture from us,” says Tricia Schmitt, chief branding officer for AFR Furniture Rental. “We knew a lot about each other, so the casual joking conversations in the past just clicked.”
What does the acquisition mean for clients of each company? Schmitt shares three key benefits for event professionals.
1. More Rental Options
The combination of the two companies adds more than 15,000 rentals to AFR’s current 50,000.
2. Better Pricing on AFR Furniture Rental Items for West Coast Events
The AFR team previously serviced those markets from its Las Vegas warehouse every week, which required a minimum order. That will now be eliminated. Because Kool’s 13,800-sq.-ft. warehouse in Arizona and 9,600-sq.-ft. warehouse in California are not large enough to hold the AFR lines, the company is currently sourcing larger space to house the combined inventory.
3. Improved Renting Experience for Kool and AFR Customers
Because the two companies had been working in tandem on many events in the West Coast market, clients of each had to juggle orders and contacts at both for a singular event. Those clients will now be able to call one of their contacts representing both lines, creating a seamless rental experience. And AFR isn’t stopping there. The company will be curating a new Kool collection to be rolled out nationwide in January 2018 at The Special Event in New Orleans.
“Kool only services Arizona, California and Nevada right now, so our plan is to take the best of what they have and bring it to the rest of the industry,” says Schmitt, noting this includes many illuminated products and decor items.
All Kool employees are officially part of the AFR company, with no plans for layoffs. Kool CEO Jack Weiner who will remain in his current position. This marks the fourth major acquisition by AFR in recent years, beginning with Miami’s Room Service Rentals in 2010, San Diego-based Plush Lounge in 2011 and Agile Trade Show in 2013.
D. Channing Muller is principal and founder of DCM Communications, a boutique marketing consulting firm for event professionals.