By Allyssa Baird, YSN
One of BrandSource’s newest members may very well be one of its oldest.
Welcome Willis Furniture & Mattress, which joins the group from Virginia Beach, Va., where it was founded way back in 1892!
The business was started by the great-grandfather of current owner Ben Willis, along with his great-granddad’s father-in-law. Ben himself joined the company in 1985 after graduating from the college of William & Mary’s business school and has since worked in every area of the operation.
Today he remains the last family member still involved in the business after other relatives stepped away from the furniture trade. The single-store business, which has survived two world wars, the Great Depression and countless other challenges, is nothing if not resilient, and Bob compliments his core furniture assortment with mattresses, floor coverings, window treatments and decorative accessories.
How does Willis Furniture continue to stand apart in the Virginia Beach market after all those decades? “We don’t sell commodities,” explained Ben. “We offer personalization and customization. It takes a little longer, but it’s worth it.”
Ben said he chose to join BrandSource in order to participate in the group’s benefits and marketing support. “We are looking forward to being more efficient and more effective marketers,” he told YSN.
Well, Ben, you’ve come to the right place! Welcome to BrandSource, and here’s to Willis Furniture’s next 128 years!
BrandSource, a unit of YSN publisher AVB Inc., is a nationwide buying group for independent appliance, mattress, furniture and CE dealers.