After 66 years in business, Sheely’s transitions to third generation of owners
By Jordyn Grzelewski
Now based in a large showroom and employing more than 150 people, Sheely’s Furniture and Appliance got its start modestly.
Dale Sheely Sr., a part-time math teacher and full-time electrician, began selling hot-water heaters out of his wiring storehouse in 1952.
The business grew when he and his wife, Alyce, began selling furniture as well.
Now, 66 years since the store was founded, it is being handed down to the third generation of owners. Dale Jr. and Sherry Sheely recently announced they will be leaving the business. Taking over as owners are Jessica Smith, a granddaughter of the store founders, and two longtime employees, general manager Jeff Curry and buyer Lance Romeo.
The new owners say they are eager to move the business forward with a fresh vision, based on the solid foundation built by their predecessors.
“I personally am so proud of the foundation and generations before me, and I will continue to build upon those values,” Smith said.
“After 28 years of being an employee of Sheely’s Furniture and Appliance, I am humbled to be given this opportunity by the Sheely family,” Romeo said. “I am excited to continue the success and new challenges of our industry in the future. We will continue to bring in new and exciting merchandise that our customers are asking for.”
Sheely’s, based at 11450 South Ave. since that location was built in 1980, offers a wide selection of furniture, appliances and lighting. Its inventory is housed in a 80,000-square-foot showroom and at a 150,000-square-foot warehouse.
The store recently added 5,000 square feet of selling space for a new warehouse outlet, which opened earlier this year.
“The expansion offers customers the opportunity to shop an exclusive selection of special purchases, while enjoying the Sheely’s superior customer service experience,” the store said in a news release.
In a company history on Sheely’s website, the store attributes its continued success to the values upon which Dale Sr. founded it.
“By only buying and building what he could afford, Dale avoided loans, high interest and partners. He realized that low prices and a true commitment to service was a formula for success that would stand for decades,” the store said.
In an interview with The Vindicator last year when the brand was celebrating its 65th anniversary, Dale Jr. and Sherry noted the role customer service has played in the store’s success.
The store owners touted principles such as honesty and trust. Sheely’s offers free local deliveries that are handled in-house, and is a noncommission store.
The new owners plan to carry those values, including the emphasis on customer service, into the future.
“I am very grateful to be welcomed in by the Sheely family and for the opportunity to lead this great retail furniture business model each day with Jessica, Lance, the Sheely family and our 150 employees,” said Curry, one of the new owners. “The opening of our Warehouse Outlet Center this spring has been very successful, and we will continue to give our customers what they want in the future.”