Retail Merchandiser - September/October 2013 - (Page 37)

Retail CLARK APPLIANCE Legacy in Retail After 100 years, Clark Appliance says it is enjoying its best year ever and can teach its customers to make decisions about what is best for their needs. N ot many retailers have had the honor of being recognized for their time in their communities, but Clark Appliance soon will. For a century, the company has sold high-quality appliance products to people in Indianapolis. “We’re one of the very few that has seen 100 years in our business,” President Bob Clark says. His grandfather, Revere Jacobs, started the business with a single store in 1913 that sold washing machines. After Jacobs’ death, Clark’s mother and father took over Clark Appliance. At the time, it was in debt and close to bankruptcy. However, “They worked to make it profitable, and it became mainly a Maytag dealer,” Bob Clark says. In 1986, Clark and his wife, Cindy, bought his parents’ shares of the company. Over time, Clark Appliance grew to sell other high-end brands, including Monogram, Dacor Inc. and Viking Range LLC. Today, Clark Appliance operates two stores in Indianapolis and its sweet spot is customers between the ages of 35 and 65. While it often provides items for starter homes, “What we specialize in is their second or third home,” Bob Clark asserts. “As their kitchen [gets bigger], they’re at the point where they can afford to get what they want rather than what they settled for in the past.” Clark Appliance serves more than its customers, however. The firm has contributed to its community by hiring and buying locally, and contributing to the Ronald McDonald House and Habitat for Humanity. Additionally, “We’re being recognized this year by the Indiana Historical Society for staying in the Indianapolis market as a local, family owned business,” he says. Service Oriented Clark Appliance sets itself apart in its market through its service, Clark says. Although some bigbox competitors use contractors to perform deliv- With two stores in Indianapolis, Clark Appliance specializes in outfitting consumers’ second or third homes. eries and installations, Clark Appliance does them all on its own. It also gives customers a better shopping experience with a floor staff that has been trained about the products they sell. “We teach them to educate the customers so [they] can make an informed decision as to what’s best for their needs,” Clark says. Unlike some retailers, Clark Appliance’s salespeople do not try to push a specific product to earn September/October 2013 Bob Clark, president Indianapolis retail merchandiser 37

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Retail Merchandiser - September/October 2013

Retail Merchandiser - September/October 2013
BLE 2013
Cyber Defense
Looney Tunes
The Biggest Loser
SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment
LeBlanc’s Food Stores
Clark Appliance
16 Handles
Cycle Gear
Wedge Community Co-op
All-Rite Construction Inc.
Radio Shack
Terraco Inc.
New & Notable
Focus on Convenience Stores
Bagels or Bookcases
Healthy Food
NACS 2013
Casey’s General Store
Monarch Custom Beverages
Craig Distributing
Nouria Energy
Maritime Farms
Speedy Q Markets
Parker Cos.
Orton Oil
The Linn Cos.
Tiger Fuel Co.
Architec Housewares
State Oil Co.
La Vie en Rose
New & Notable

Retail Merchandiser - September/October 2013