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Shay Furniture Celebrating one year in Portage, helping customers find the right furniture for their homes

Written by Carl Kurek. Posted in Business, Business Spotlight, Featured

Published on August 20, 2014 with No Comments

Aug. 30 Anniversary Blowout Sale - Free Chicago-style hotdogs - Indiana 105.5 FM live broadcast

After years in the furniture industry, Greg Smith decided he wanted to open his own furniture business. But he knew that picking the right location would be crucial to the success of his business, especially in today’s market.

“I did a lot of homework before making the move here,” Smith said about his decision to open his business in Portage just over a year ago.

“The population, the average household income, and the fact that there is no other furniture store in Portage made it an easy decision.”

While Shay Furniture might look small from the outside, it is actually a 10,000 sq. ft. showroom filled with name brand sofas, mattresses and other home furnishings.

Smith decided to set up shop in a plaza off Central Avenue in Portage, next to Bluebird Tattoo and Andy’s Red Hots. He admits most people see the building from the parking lot and assume they are about to walk into a cramped store, but it is actually a 10,000 square foot showroom filled with brand name mattresses, sofas, kitchen tables and other home furnishings.

But it is not just the size of his showroom or the quality of the products that fill it that Smith said makes his store unique; it is the environment. He does not sell based on commission, so there is no pressure on his sales team to bombard customers as soon as they walk through the door.

Greg Smith, owner of Shay Furniture in Portage, prides himself on helping and educating customers rather than pressuring them to buy.

“Never chase them,” he said with the same tone that you would expect from an expert chef giving instructions to a student, or a coach passing along his knowledge of the game to an athlete.

“I’d rather educate the customer to get the sale than pressure them to get it. And I follow through with every customer the same way.

“It’s their decision, not mine. I just help them get there.”

It is also part of that motto, Smith said, that made him decide not to charge any re-stocking fees or special order fees. He believes if someone wants a piece of furniture, it is his job to get it to them as inexpensively as possible. And if they change their mind about that special order item when it gets delivered, he will put it on display in his showroom and help the customer pick out something else–all at no extra charge.

“Our job is to help the customer find the right furniture for their home. If we can’t do that right the first time, why should they pay extra,” he said.

Smith said it is this environment that has helped him make a lot of friends in the area over the last year. He said many customers return to his store just to ask him questions, and he doesn’t mind at all.

“I want to help them. They may not buy anything, but that’s not important as long as I’m helping them,” he said.

He recalls one woman whose son took apart their entertainment center to clean their carpets before he returned to school, but when he didn’t have time to put it back together she wasn’t sure what to do. So she stopped in to talk to Smith about it and was able to go home and get it all together again.

If his environment and sales ethic are his first two assurances to customers, Smith said his third is a guarantee to never be beaten on price. And he promises that both on his Website and when he talks to his customers in person.

This has all led to a successful first year of business for Shay Furniture and Smith wants to let his customers and the community know he appreciates it by holding an anniversary blowout sale on Aug. 30. Anyone who comes to Shay Furniture that day will get a free Chicago-style hotdog, courtesy of Andy’s Red Hots.

“It’s pretty cool that a 20-plus-year business is teaming up with a one-year business for this,” Smith said. “But that’s what it’s all about.”

Indiana 105.5 FM will also be on location on Aug. 30 doing a live broadcast from Shay Furniture. Smith hopes to see plenty of new faces that day as well as some of the familiar ones he’s happy to call friends.

For more information about Shay Furniture, visit www.shayfurniture.com or call 219-254-2399. The business can also be found on Facebook.

 

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