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Spencer Furniture reinvents itself along with showroom transformation

By Janet Stoica

Spencer – Looks can be very deceiving at times and the multi-storied Spencer Furniture building certainly falls into that category.  “People cannot believe our large inventory of furniture displays,” says Tammy Setterlund, marketing director for Spencer Furniture. “They come through our front doors and begin their exploration, soon realizing that our store has many more beautiful displays than they thought. Recently, we had an out-of-town couple visit and the husband told us that when he and his wife parked their car in our lot his wife was hesitant about coming in to see our displays as she felt our building did not look big enough to have much inventory. Once they walked through our buildings and saw what we had, however, they ended up buying several rooms of furniture and they were very pleased with their purchases.”

Spencer Furniture has 40,000 square feet of furniture, from sofas, recliners, café and dining room sets to bedding and sharply displayed floors of Primitive/American country-style furniture and accessories.

On display are glider rockers for young parents and grandparents as well as lift chairs with heat/massage features. The store is the largest La-Z-Boy authorized Comfort Showroom in Worcester County, which means that they are one of the only La-Z-Boy Design Centers offering fabric and pillow choices to their customers. The center also serves as a consumer educational display. The staff here are only too happy to educate their customers on the various furniture choices available---not only to fine furniture aficionados but also to budget-conscious consumers just starting out.  The choices, like their showrooms, seem endless.

“In 1960, when Raoul Chalifoux began his furniture outlet here on this site,” says Tammy, “he wanted to bring good prices and quality furniture to area customers. Although Raoul has since retired, his three children carry on proudly. Sons Kevin and Raoul see to the day-to-day operations of the neat and busy store while daughter Gayle is the sales manager and buyer.”

The store has just undergone a complete refurbishing. Walls and woodwork were repainted, LED lighting displays were installed, and the showroom was completely redesigned. According to Ms. Setterlund, it was a team effort from all the store staff. “With online shopping so big, we needed to give people a reason to visit us,” she said. “We rearranged furniture to make our pathways larger and more accessible to our customers. We had MassSave visit us to help us become a ‘greener’ environment, which also helped us to brighten up our lighting and we updated our furniture styles. Gayle has brought in furniture for everyone’s style and budget. Whether you’re just starting out or are empty-nesters looking for some updating, we’re here for you.” The company also offers furniture made by companies who plant a tree for every one they use in their manufacturing process. Now that’s one of the best practices we’ve heard.

One of the new presentations at the front of the Spencer Furniture showroom is a beautiful line of outdoor/indoor furniture. The display is unique in that its environment is summer soothing and attractive. With our unusually cool spring, this display will take you to a relaxing place that we’d all rather be in right now. Spark up that grille and get crackin.’ Additional reveals include furniture lines by Hickory Craft, Klaussner, and Vaughan Bassett. So many displays to marvel at. How much time do you have? Their Primitive/American country-style line has its own showrooms that are warm, cozy, and captivating. So homey and relaxing. The accessories lines include lamps, garlands, 1803 Candles, Capitol Earth rugs, and lanterns.

The family and staff stand behind their “Integrity Pricing,” which means that they will match any pricing from any other brick-and-mortar stores in their trading area. “An interior designer visited us after she had done her furniture research online,” said Tammy. “She was redecorating a home in the Brookfields. After she browsed our displays, she bought the home’s living room and dining room furniture plus accessories here telling us that she just saved her customer over $2,000 between pricing and shipping costs. She was thrilled that she could choose her wood, wood finishes, and hardware right here in our store while actually seeing the quality of what she was buying.”

Visits are made to Amish Country in Pennsylvania to bring in beautiful lines of handcrafted furniture where no two pieces are alike, as all are handmade. I learned that the Amish craftspeople are so particular about the quality and worth of their furniture that their commitment to detail and excellence involves finishing the underside of all furniture they offer for sale. The next time you shop for furniture be sure to run your fingers under the rim of the furniture feeling for the smoothness and stain application as that’ll be a dead giveaway to attention to detail for sure.

Spencer Furniture offers social gatherings at their store too. They’ll have a Ladies’ Night with wine and cheese, Customer Appreciation Days, and special sales. Sign-up is online. “It’s all about the customer experience,” Tammy stated. “We want our customers to come in to feel the fabrics and wood finishes and check out the woodwork. It’s so important to establish a good rapport with our customers and it’s really a nice friendship.”

Spencer Furniture is at 6 Olde Main Street (off Route 9-West), in Spencer. Phone: (508) 885-3678.  Hours: Mon, Tues, Thurs, and Fri 10 a.m.- 8 p.m.; Wed and Sat 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; and Sunday 12 noon – 5 p.m.