Griffith Furniture Inc100% Local
2501 Meridian Street
Bellingham , WA 98225 (view map)
The founding of Griffith Furniture
In January 1939 John Griffith senior, with only enough money for the first month's rent, leased the closed Piggly Wiggly store at 2501 Meridian and founded the Bellingham Auction House. John Senior, a member of a family with auctioneering roots, drew large crowds at his Saturday auctions. He solicited furniture, appliances and hardware to sell, as well as used tools, chickens, goats and old automobiles. John Senior was in essence creating a new market, as most auctions in the area dealt with just farm animals and equipment.
The elder Griffith was a true entrepreneurial visionary, who saw the potential to make money in previously owned goods. He was truly a pioneer in the "reduce, reuse, recycle" movement. His son, John Junior suggested his father's resourcefulness and sales skills, along with his genuine respect for his fellow man, created a solid, continuing foundation, for what would become Griffith Furniture.
Changing the guard, but keeping the ideal alive
In 1954, John Junior took over the reins of the family business. His focus was was on selling furniture, so the store gradually moved away from the vast collection of goods of the auction house, and towards furniture and home furnishings. This is when the Bellingham Auction House became Griffith Furniture. During the 50's, 60's and 70's, Griffith Furniture carried a more diversified inventory which included not only furniture, but hardware, floor coverings, window shades, paints, appliances and electronics. It would not be until the 80's that Griffith Furniture began moving towards selling just new and used furniture and anyway from the peripheral goods. During this transition, the Griffith Furniture became more selective in trade-ins and used furniture.
Steve Griffith became the third generation to make the store its livelihood in 1979, and assumed the reins in 1994 after his father's heart attack. Currently Steve's son, John is working part time; perhaps becoming the fourth generation to take the helm at Griffith Furniture.
Through the years, Griffith Furniture has served as both a Bellingham geographic landmark and as a benchmark of a successful family business. A business that has been adaptable to market forces yet maintaining a reputation for quality goods and services that has remained for three generations.
The evolution of the store, in both its size and product line, reflects the vision of each succeeding generation of the Griffith family. The physical appearance of Griffith Furniture has changed over the years. Griffith Furniture now occupies over 1000 percent more quare feet than it did back in 1939. The heart of John Griffith Senior still beats in the office and showrooms; his personal care and concern for each customer is still the lifeblood of the store. His gregarious, friendly personality and genuine concern for the well-being of each person he met, whether they became a customer or not, continues.
Both John Junior and Steve Griffith have contributed their own distinctive and unique interpretations of this adage; Griffith Furniture is still a place where reasonably priced quality goods, customer service, customer satisfaction and personalized care are provided for all customers.