St. Louis, MO
ProSource Wholesale, America’s largest wholesale home improvement franchise, celebrating its 25th year, is pleased to welcome new franchisees Yali Lu and Juan Figuereo. Their ProSource of Dulles showroom joins over 140 ProSource Wholesale showrooms that sell exclusively through a qualified network of more than 320,000 trade professionals who have become members since 1991. Consumers can only access ProSource Wholesale through their builder, remodeler, interior designer, general contractor, real estate professional, installer, and other trade professionals.
Yali Lu came to America from China when she was 18 years old and did not speak a word of English. Incredible determination allowed her to put herself through undergrad and graduate school. She received a Master’s of Business Administration with an emphasis in accounting which landed her a job with the world’s largest professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). After working at PwC for a year, she was then recruited by Cox Enterprises in Atlanta where she worked for 6 years and led and managed the execution of the annual operating plan as well as the consolidated forecasting for the International Group. It was in Atlanta where she met Juan Figuereo. They met through the Financial Executives Institute (FEI) while Juan was based in Atlanta as EVP & CFO of Newell Rubbermaid. The FEI is an organization that brings senior executives together with rising younger talent as career mentors. And although Juan left the Atlanta area to take a new CFO role in another Fortune 500 company, he and Yali stayed close over the years with Juan providing counsel to Yali through career milestones and new positions.
Yali always had a dream of being a business owner but didn’t know if it was attainable. She shared this with Juan and together they began laying the foundation to bring her dream closer to reality. Juan was in the process of planning his retirement and looking for a business to buy when Yali discovered ProSource and brought the business model and franchising opportunities to his attention. “We reviewed at least 15 franchise opportunities prior to selecting ProSource,” shared Yali Lu. “We thoroughly compared their business models, territories, growth margins and profit potential to determine the most attractive franchises. ProSource outperformed them all.”
Yali and Juan chose to acquire an existing, underperforming ProSource showroom because it would be less expensive to start, quicker to break even and easier to transition. Also, the struggling showroom would provide a higher profit opportunity because of their territory and customer base potential.
On April 1, 2016, the ProSource of Dulles showroom was acquired by Yali, with Juan as her lead investor, and she as the General Manager and co-owner. Although new to ProSource, Yali was no stranger to the flooring industry having previously held the position of Sr. Manager of International Finance for Mohawk Industries. She immediately hit the ground running and implemented more changes in the first 45 days than the showroom had made in the last two years combined. She credits the previous owner with having the exiting team for her to work with which contributed greatly to her immediate success. “We have experienced incredible differences in just a short time and have seen an increase in team morale, sales numbers and structured compensation,” added Yali Lu.
Even though the ProSource of Dulles showroom was not located in her hometown of Atlanta, she couldn’t pass up the potential and unique business model. Currently, Yali travels back and forth between Atlanta and Washington D.C. to oversee the transition and process implementation. Even though it is hard work, she feels that this is where she is called to be. “I feel very lucky and blessed to have the opportunity to own a business, especially as an immigrant,” says Yali Lu. “If you try hard and are determined, you might get lucky and achieve your dreams.” Yali expects to grow by acquiring more showrooms in the future, of course working with her trusted mentor and business partner Juan Figuereo. Regarding how Juan is enjoying his retirement, Yali had some insight. "Juan flunked retirement! He just started a new position as Executive Vice President and CFO of Revlon Inc., based in NYC. I think he decided that retirement is not for him yet. At least now he'll be closer for our monthly business reviews."
About ProSource Wholesale Franchise Opportunity
ProSource opened its first showroom in St. Louis, MO in 1991, and continues to play a significant role in their trade professionals’ success by connecting people, products and projects. The company’s unique business model innovated 25 years ago continues to be recognized by franchisees as a catalyst for creating relationships and building success for not only the trade professional, but also the franchisee, and strengthening the local home improvement community by embracing this business philosophy. The ProSource Wholesale successful franchise business provides franchisees with many benefits.