"Benefits of keeping it local and small"

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"Benefits of keeping it local and small"

By Cassidy Swanson, Sunday News Correspondent

In the age of big-box stores that promise the lowest prices, unmatched variety and one-stop shopping, two local appliance dealers — one a New Hampshire-based chain, the other a true “mom and pop” style store — are giving the likes of Sears and Home Depot a run for their money.

A true mom-and-pop Glenn’s Appliance & More, located at 679 Mast Road, relocated to Pinardville last month after almost 20 years at different locations in Manchester, most recently the Maple Tree Mall. Office manager Donna Wilczek said the new location is easily accessible for the store’s base of customers in Manchester, as well as new customers in Goffstown.

“It’s a more neighborly type of place, and we feel like we fit in,” Wilczek said.

Owner Glenn Krull served in the Navy for 20 years as a medic while working parttime at an appliance store, opening his own store with his wife in 1995. The Krulls do all their own deliveries and service appliances, both on house calls and at their Goffstown shop.

“People will actually bring their washer to us,” Wilczek said. “People bring in these old lamps, and (Krull) can still fix them.”

Without the advertising dollars that their larger competitors have, Glenn’s has come to rely on steady word of mouth to earn new customers.

“We get people walking in here saying, ‘Well, my sisterin-law bought this from you about 15 years ago, and I want to see if I can get the same thing,’” Wilczek said. “And we have a lot of (family) generations now.”

Krull credits his business’ success to the personal touch he and his small staff provide.

“When I sell an appliance to someone, it’s almost like taking a family member and sending them out to do work at somebody’s house,” he said. “If somebody calls me back, and they’re having an issue with an appliance, I take it personally. So it’s not just a job. I really enjoy seeing that people get quality product, and they’re satisfied with it.”

Krull said he is present at about 95 percent of deliveries, and that he performs factory tests before each item is delivered, offers helpful advice (like how much detergent to use with a new washing machine), and will go so far as to take doors off the hinges to help get a large appliance into a home.

“I would say the majority of our service calls are from customers that did not buy from us, because they weren’t informed of how to use the appliance and things like that,” Krull said.

Krull said he uses his 30 years of experience in the industry to hand select each item he sells, which means a smaller volume of product than big-box stores but ensures the quality of each item, he said. His knowhow also gives him a better insight into how each product works than employees of large chains.

“They might’ve been selling two-by-fours yesterday, and now they’re selling washing machines,” he said.

And like Baron’s, Krull said, his prices are just as competitive as the big-box stores.

“(The big stores) have, in a sense … brainwashed people into thinking their prices are the best,” he said. “Generally, we can match or beat their price, and my warranty, at a minimum, is a three-year parts and labor warranty. Everyone else, it just comes with a one-year, unless you buy an additional warranty, and you don’t have to buy that from me.”

cswanson@newstote.com