case study

Focus

Roof Lifting Gives E-commerce Powerhouse Focus the Space They Need to Grow.

Project Highlights

● LIFTEX lifted Focus’s warehouse roof in New Jersey from 20 feet to 36 feet clear height, adding 16 feet of vertical space and 623,280 cubic feet.
● The roof lift was completed with minimal disruptions compared to new construction to daily operations in under 9 months from inception to final inspection.
● Combined two warehouse locations into one with added vertical space.
● 120% addition of storage space added.
● Saved incurring additional property taxes by not expanding footprint.

LIFTEX Commercial Roof Rising Case Study
LIFTEX Commercial Roof Rising Case Study

Focus, a leading online retailer of electronic goods, was facing a significant challenge. With its roots in camera sales, the company had diversified its product line, leading to a critical need for increased space for warehousing and business operations.

LIFTEX, the company whose innovative roof lifting solution gave Focus a revolutionary cost-effective, and efficient way to greatly expand their capacity and operational ability without the need for an expensive new facility.

This project was completed in a fraction of the time that would have been necessary to find, secure, and develop a new facility to move operations and inventory into, revolutionizing Focus’s business without major disruptions.

The Focus team now feels more capable to tackle the next half-century with their updated building. “As we look to the future of Focus, we learned that if we could lift the roof, we could do anything now,” Sam Silberstein reflects.

About Focus.

Focus is an e-commerce juggernaut with a long history of providing consumer electronics to tech enthusiasts around the world. Founded by CEO Michael Silberstein’s grandfather, Abe Berkowitz, in 1966, the business has seen considerable growth in the past several decades, including a significant boost during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Michael has been at the helm for 28 years and steered the company through significant growth and transformation, including the construction of a second warehouse in 2015 and a prestigious recognition by Newsweek as the Best Online Shop for over 4 years running.

The Problem.

By 2022, the nature of Focus’s business had evolved dramatically. While cameras were once their primary product, they now accounted for just 25% of the inventory space, down from 75%. The bulk of their storage needs had shifted to larger electronic items like printers, computer monitors, audio equipment, and personal drones.

Michael Silberstein explained, “Our product mix had changed so much that we needed a lot more space for these larger items. It was clear that our existing warehouse wasn’t going to cut it anymore.” The need for more space was urgent, with a 75% increase in non-camera products driving this demand.

LIFTEX Commercial Roof Rising Case Study

Exploring Solutions.

Focus initially considered several options. The first was purchasing and customizing a new facility, which, upon further exploration, turned out to be prohibitively expensive. “The cost was just too high,” Michael noted. They also considered (if only jokingly) shutting down operations and retiring, but Sam Silberstein, Michael’s nephew, and the Focus business manager, strongly advised against it.

The breakthrough came when Michael recalled a close friend who had lifted the roof of his residential bungalow to great results. Intrigued by the possibility of doing something similar on a commercial scale, they began researching roof lifting solutions.

Process and Highlights.

Focus Meets the LIFTEX Team

Focus discovered LIFTEX through an online search. Impressed by the videos, reviews, and customer testimonials, they decided to explore this option further.

“The professionalism and expertise of LIFTEX were evident from the start. We felt confident they could handle our project,” said Michael.
Trust was a critical factor in their decision-making process. “LIFTEX always had someone available to answer our questions, and we never experienced a breakdown in communication,” Michael emphasized. They were particularly impressed with Matt DeVito, LIFTEX’s lead project manager, and his team for their reliability and clear communication.

The contract with LIFTEX was signed in January 2023. After an eight-month period where Focus waited out its busy season while completing their permitting, zoning, and preparation, construction began and took less than four months to complete. By January 2024, the roof lifting project was well underway and finished in April 2024.

Once the roof lift commenced, it was apparent that the transformation would be significant. The warehouse roof was lifted from an 20-foot clear height to 36 feet, adding 16 feet of vertical space. This allowed Focus to drastically increase their storage capacity.

“The LIFTEX team was extremely knowledgeable and worked seamlessly with subcontractors to ensure everything was done safely and efficiently,” Michael noted.

One of the highlights of the project was the phased approach to construction. While LIFTEX worked on one side of the warehouse space that was being lifted, the Focus team continued working on the other side, minimizing disruption to their daily operations.

“It was an incredibly well-coordinated effort,” Michael remarked, “It resulted in even less downtime than if we simply shut down and lifted the roof, which was already more desirable than moving.”

Results and Impact.

Enhanced Efficiency and Capacity

The impact of the roof lifting project was transformative. Focus was able to consolidate their operations from two warehouses into one, eliminating delays in shipments and reducing costs associated with maintaining multiple sites. “We went from storing 2,500 pallets to 5,500 pallets in the same facility. It’s been a game-changer for us,” said Michael, of the 120% increase in storage capacity.

The increased space also meant significant savings in personnel costs, as there was no longer a need for multiple security guards, property managers, and custodians. “Having everything under one roof has streamlined our operations tremendously,” Michael added.

LIFTEX Commercial Roof Rising Case Study

Unexpected Benefits.

The project exceeded all expectations, not just in terms of capacity but also in safety and stability. Shortly after the roof lift was completed, an unprecedented earthquake struck New Jersey in mid-April 2024.

“The earthquake hit out of nowhere and the building didn’t budge. LIFTEX’s work was so solid and gave us peace of mind,” Michael emphasized.

Another unexpected benefit was the reduction in operational complexities. “By lifting the roof, we avoided the need to expand our footprint, which would have increased our property taxes. In New Jersey, you pay incredible taxes on square footage, so lifting the roof saved us a lot of money,” Michael explained.

Endorsement and Future Recommendations.

Focus’s experience with LIFTEX was overwhelmingly positive. Michael Silberstein says he’s already recommended LIFTEX to other businesses as well.

“LIFTEX did a phenomenal job. I cannot stress enough how impressed I am with their work,” he said.

For other businesses considering a roof lifting project, Michael advises, “It’s not only cost-effective for building and operations, in New Jersey, you pay taxes on square footage, so lifting the roof can save you a ton of money.”

Focus’s roof lifting project with LIFTEX showcases how innovative construction solutions can meet the evolving needs of growing businesses and real estate investors.

By choosing LIFTEX, Focus was able to increase their storage capacity and reduce the number of warehouses and distribution centers while simultaneously streamlining their operations. The best part is, they did it all while saving massively on construction costs and eliminating downtime.

LIFTEX Commercial Roof Rising Case Study

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