published Friday, February 17th, 2012

Dayton retailer consolidates furniture and auto operations

J. B. Griffin, owner of Griffin's Antiques & Furniture in Dayton, Tenn., opens the top drawer of a dresser that flattens for a writing desk and has multiple slots for office supplies.
Photo by Kimberly McMillian
J. B. Griffin, owner of Griffin's Antiques & Furniture in Dayton, Tenn., opens the top drawer of a dresser that flattens for a writing desk and has multiple slots for office supplies. Photo by Kimberly McMillian

• Name: Griffin's Antiques & Furniture; J.B.'s Auto Sales & Service

• Location: 7901 Rhea County Highway, Dayton, TN 37321

• Owner: J.B. Griffin

• Age: 50

• Retail store products: Antiques, home furnishings, handmade pottery, specially designed artistic tiles, Mohawk OZ furniture polish, along with a 30-day layaway plan and U-haul rentals for delivery of furniture

• Auto shop services: Griffin, a mechanic, said his established shop offers regular auto maintenance and protection plans on drive lines to transmissions, with 100 percent coverage up to 36,000 miles.

• Inspiration for retail store: Griffin said he came away from an encounter with a Florida furniture warehouse owner two years ago that suggested he, too, offer the same sort of quality furniture at affordable prices. "We sell like-new furniture at second-hand prices," he said.

• Relocation investment: $40,000 to refurbish the building, previously occupied by a flea market

• Price range of services: $5 to $9 for tiles and pottery, up to $2,000 for a dining room set; auto maintenance varies, depending upon the type of check-up

• Biggest hurdle: Educating people about really good furniture. Griffin said he wants people to understand there's a "difference between value and low price," and that smaller businesses can offer what larger retailers don't.

• Lesson learned: The slow economy has proven advantageous for teaching Griffin how people of all income levels "can have something nice without spending a lot of money. ... Those who consistently offer their products and services will eventually be successful."

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