JOE WELLS – GABRIEL FURNITURE TESTIMONIAL


My name is Joseph Wells. Our business is Gabriel Furniture in Appleton, Wisconsin.

My wife and I owned the buildings in downtown Appleton and with some recent developments, there’s a very large corporation going to be moving their headquarters right downtown about a block away from our store. We had about 35,000 square feet and a building right on a main street, College Avenue, and we had a feeling that this was going to turn into residential living downtown. So we really started a search and I told her I didn’t want to do this ourselves so we did have a developer come on board to find the buildings. And we wanted to run a closing a business sale. And probably about five or six, maybe eight years ago, we had an experience with Lynch so Lynch was one of the companies that we had talked to and did a phone interview along with PFP and several other manufacturers or companies.

I was very, very impressed with the information that was given to me by Planned Furniture Promotions. One of the things that enticed me the most was that they were going to buy our inventory and at the time they had thrown a number at us and it was a doable number but the biggest thing was they were going to give us a broom-clean store at the end. And we had so many situations where running through scenarios in our head. Do we end up with parts and pieces and oddball things? We thought, well, that would be just be a disaster. We’d end up having to have a sale of pennies on the dollar and end up donating so many things. So we just felt for the situation for our deal, it was best to end up doing it this way.

So the interview was phenomenal. The guys that we met, Tom (Liddell) and Roy (Hester), they were incredible in our interview. My finance guy, our accountant and my manager were all there and all were equally impressed, and it really couldn’t have gone any better in terms of interview process and the people we picked. And my wife has said at least a hundred times she said thank goodness you decided to do that instead of trying to do this ourselves. It was overwhelming to try to do this kind of event ourselves, so it worked out very good.

They exceeded our expectation in absolutely every possible way. I know this may be a self advertisement but when we put in a – they first talked to us about putting in similar type of products to meet the different types of categories of consumers, which makes a lot of sense.

And they brought in some things that were maybe a little less expensive than things that we carry but also some equal to type of products and some of our companies that they dealt with also that they brought products in. And there were a particular dinette sets that they brought in and we did – we did decent business ahead of this situation. We were design-oriented type store and for us to maybe turn a table and chairs of exactly the same thing, maybe ten times in a year, that was pretty good, we were pretty happy with that. But some of these turned up that we would sell in the 90 day timeframe we would sell 60 sets of the same thing. Many different situations. It was mind boggling. We were at a point of bringing in and selling 24 mattress sets a week. That was way beyond, way beyond what we had ever did. So we were very happy. The margins were much higher than we had anticipated. I worked right with our (event) coordinator, James, who did a phenomenal job and the team they brought in I couldn’t have hand picked better and more cordial people to my customers as well as to my staff. They were awesome.

The people from Planned Furniture blended right into my staff. They were very cordial. They goofed around with us. Had a lot of fun. It was a great experience. They treated my customers with the utmost respect. And even though there were a few, we had very, very, very few problems that came up, James as well as the staff and the service situation took care of everything. My wife and I are sitting here two months after we retired and the thing is I couldn’t – there’s not a place in the community I couldn’t go or walk up to that someone has said ‘I can’t believe what a respectful way that you guys closed your business.’ And they’re so happy with the things that we’ve done and how we treated the community. So it went very well.

I would recommend Planned Furniture Promotions in a heartbeat. I…I know everybody has to do their due-diligence of companies they talk to but with the experience that they have and how the event went for us and how they treated our customers as well as my staff, I would say they are – they are a shoe in. They’re a well-run company, a well-oiled machine and they know what they’re doing.