Knowing Your Neighbors: Furniture Express
Three friends began selling furniture on social media. They grew the business enough to open a storefront in Hermantown.
DULUTH, Minn. – Three friends, all under the age of thirty, have put their business savvy to the test. They started selling furniture on social media sites, which led them to open a storefront. They have some of the comfiest furniture around, but you won’t catch these entrepreneurs sitting down for too long. They’re busy growing and changing an industry.
Things definitely are moving at Furniture Express in Hermantown. “Within the first two months in july of me selling mattresses, we needed a bigger space,” said CEO John Davidson.
Davidson began selling mattresses out of a garage on several social media sites last year. “We thought it was a fabulous niche for us to step into,” said Davidson.
By eliminating the middle man, he could sell matresses and furniture for less than other outlets. “We noticed the prices were really high and the sales people were really aggressive,” said Davidson.
Soon he outgrew the garage and moved to a warehouse without a fancy showroom that saves the company and their customers money. “The biggest thing is we’re better with efficiency and we’re also better with our overhead,” said Davidson.
He brought two of his friends on board with the business. “It can be challenging at times but at the end of the day, it’s very rewarding,” said Keith Erickson, Furniture Express CFO.
Erickson focuses on marketing while Davidson and Tanner Mariucci who both studied electrical engineering at u–m–d, look for ways to be more efficient. “The last thing i thought i’d in was the furniture business. It seems to be working pretty good,” said Mariucci.
In under a year, the company never expected this kind of growth. “Absolutely not,” said Erickson.
Furniture Express quickly became a success these three can rest their feet on. Now they’re thanking their customers with a Facebook mattress giveaway. “It’s a great way to give back, we wouldn’t be where we are without the support we’ve received from the community,” said Davidson.
Using their engineering background, the team at Furniture Express eventually wants their stockroom and showroom to become fully automated. They currently have six employees and are looking to expand to Superior or Cloquet in the future.
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