Nawara Brothers Celebrates 75th Year

Nawara Brothers commemorates its 75th anniversary, with a little help from the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce.

Anniversary sale stirred a Black Friday-like fervor

By Andy Kriege, YSN

BrandSource member Nawara Brothers Home Store in Grand Rapids, Mich., celebrated its 75th year in business this fall.

Festivities included a ceremonial ribbon cutting performed by the local Chamber of Commerce and a huge anniversary sale that brought the community out in droves. In fact, the appliance, CE and bedding business garnered over $250,000 in sales during the three-day celebratory event.

“The turnout for the sale was impressive,” said co-owner Tom Lamancusa. “People lined up for two hours for the doorbusters, just like the Black Friday Walmart shoppers of yesteryear. They were shouting for the $375 Bosch dishwasher.” 

Lamancusa said customers readily shared their enthusiasm for the sale and support for the business on social media. “Facebook was red hot with shares and posts and just overall happiness for having a small, thriving family business in their community for such a long time,” he said.

The dealer credits Nawara’s longevity to many factors, including an end-to-end customer experience that spans shopping, installing and servicing. “We don’t care about the big box stores one bit,” he said. “We take them head on without fear. They are the ones who have to try to compete with a local, family-operated dealer.”

Nawara owners Tom and Phil Lamancusa (center) and their parents Paul and Donna.

The company also attributes its success in part to employing the latest retail technology, thanks to AVB Marketing. “We utilize the AVB website, AVB marketing and many other AVB BrandSource programs and promotions to keep us current and competitive,” Lamancusa said.

But the biggest factor in Nawara’s favor, he said, is the family’s strong will to survive through 75 years of ups and downs, including wars, economic downturns, major construction roadblocks and disruptive technology, as well as family dynamics and contentious succession issues.

Indeed, success for the company was not a foregone conclusion. “One thing is for sure, it wasn’t just given to us,” Lamancusa continued. “We had to earn it and frankly take it from our predecessors to keep it successful. My brother Phil was instrumental in the latest two buyouts from our uncles, to allow the business to fall to the third generation and into one family, with my mom and dad [Donna and Paul Lamancusa], my brother Phil and me. Hopefully we can keep it going and our children can have something to be proud of and carry Nawara Brothers into the future.”

 Nawara’s first storefront (left), circa early 1950s.

“We are unique as we still operate out of the original 1948 location that was built by our grandfather Frank Nawara Sr. and his brothers,” Lamancusa continued. “The facility has been expanded, upgraded and modified over 75 years, but you see the same storefront and wood floor when you walk in the front door.”

Added Phil, “We started as a hardware and appliance store and over the years we have evolved into an appliance, TV and mattress home store.  We go out of our way to find the product that best fits what our customers need.”

Perhaps that’s the real secret to Nawara Brothers’ 75 years of success.

YSN publisher AVB BrandSource is the nation’s largest merchandising and marketing co-op for independent appliance, mattress, furniture and CE dealers.

Upcoming Events