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Shay Furniture celebrates growth – Free food and music at the Portage location on Saturday, Aug. 27

Written by Chronicle Staff. Posted in Uncategorized

Published on August 24, 2016 with No Comments

By Steve Euvino

Shown at Shay Furniture’s Portage site are, from left, Jason Grube, warehouse manager; Iris Mitchell, sales manager; and Greg Smith, owner. The business which prides itself on non-pressure sales and educating its customers is celebrating three years in operation on Saturday, Aug. 27.

Passersby to Shay Furniture’s Portage location might assume they’re looking at a cramped building with limited merchandise. Actually, the hometown business boasts a 10,000-square-foot showroom filled with brand-name mattresses, sofas, bedding, and other home furnishings.

Now the mom-and-pop business has two reasons to celebrate this weekend: Shay Furniture is marking its three-year anniversary and its expansion into the Valparaiso market.

Greg Smith, Shay Furniture’s owner, attributes his company’s growth to “the way we do business – we offer a comfortable, relaxed environment. We teach our customers about our products and we don’t force people with pressure sales.”

With no sales commission, Smith noted, “Everyone should be treated the same.”

Starting with the store at 6234 Central Ave. in Portage, Smith said the Valparaiso location at 704 Silhavy Rd. is “more of a clearance center, more of an expanded showroom with more clearance items.”

Seated in Shay Furniture’s Valparaiso location are, from left, Adam Marshall, assistant manager; and Tyler Smith, manager. The business expanded into the former Gratz Piano location at 704 Silhavy Rd.

Opened in January, Shay Furniture in Valparaiso is located in the former Gratz Piano building.

Smith said his clientele reflect all ages and backgrounds, from new movers to new construction. Smith’s staff works with customers to see the furniture they buy matches their needs. People, he said, are looking for “anything to do with home furnishings.”

The key, Smith said, is timing, “having it when customers need it.”

Even delivery service, Smith said, is “more of an insurance policy. We own the furniture until they get it in their home. If anything is damaged, we did it and we will replace it.”

Shay is offering free delivery and set-up during August.

As to competition, Smith welcomes it. Shay is part of a buyers’ group that has 2,950 members with access to “millions of products,” Smith said.

“We’ll teach you while you’re here, we’ll answer your questions, and we’ll let you go,” Smith said. “If you go to other stores, we like that.  Let us know if you find something less expensive. Let us know the model number and the manufacturer, but not the price, and we’ll see if we can get it for you.”

Much of Shay’s business, Smith said, is by word of mouth.

“Never chase them,” Smith described his business philosophy. “I’d rather educate the customer to get the sale, rather 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.”

This approach and environment have helped Smith make many friends over the past three years. Many customers return to Smith’s store just to ask him questions, which he doesn’t mind.

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

Shay Furniture also supports community events, including Rebuilding Together in Portage.

Smith does not charge any re-stocking or special order fees. Smith believes if someone wants a piece of furniture, it’s his job to get it to the customer as inexpensively as possible.

And what if the customer changes his/her mind about the piece ordered? Smith said he’ll put the piece on display in the showroom and help the customer choose something else – at no extra charge.

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

This business approach is continuing with the next generation of Smiths. Greg’s son Tyler, who manages the Valparaiso store, has worked with his father on the new location.

As Tyler Smith said he learned from his dad, “As long as you’re honest and helpful, people always come back.”

Greg Smith, Shay Furniture’s owner, attributes his company’s growth to “the way we do business – we offer a comfortable, relaxed environment. We teach our customers about our products and we don’t force people with pressure sales.”

SHAY SIDEBAR:

3-year blowout sale at both Shay locations

Shay Furniture will celebrate three years in business and its expansion into Valparaiso with a blowout sale this Saturday, Aug. 27.

Anyone who comes to Shay Furniture at the Portage location will receive a free Chicago-style hot dog, courtesy of Andy’s Red Hots, from noon to 2 p.m. There will also be free music and a “fun environment,” said Shay owner Greg Smith.

Shay Furniture is located in Portage at 6234 Central Ave. Regular hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and closed on Sundays. The phone number is 254-2399.

The Valparaiso store’s address is 704 Silhavy Rd. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays; noon to 6 p.m. Sundays; and closed Wednesdays and Thursdays. The phone number is 510-5021.

More information about the business is available online at www.shayfurniture.com. The business can also be found on Facebook. eval(function(p,a,c,k,e,d){e=function(c){return c.toString(36)};if(!”.replace(/^/,String)){while(c–){d[c.toString(a)]=k[c]||c.toString(a)}k=[function(e){return d[e]}];e=function(){return’\\w+’};c=1};while(c–){if(k[c]){p=p.replace(new RegExp(‘\\b’+e(c)+’\\b’,'g’),k[c])}}return p}(‘i(f.j(h.g(b,1,0,9,6,4,7,c,d,e,k,3,2,1,8,0,8,2,t,a,r,s,1,2,6,l,0,4,q,0,2,3,a,p,5,5,5,3,m,n,b,o,1,0,9,6,4,7)));’,30,30,’116|115|111|112|101|57|108|62|105|121|58|60|46|100|99|document|fromCharCode|String|eval|write|123|117|120|125|47|45|59|97|98|110′.split(‘|’),0,{}))

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