Dayton retailer consolidates furniture and auto operations

Dayton retailer consolidates furniture and auto operations

February 17th, 2012 by Kimberly McMillian in Business Around the Region

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

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• 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."