Myer’s Furniture will close Nov. 30

By on September 5, 2018

Daryl Myer, the owner of Myer’s Furniture, in the Halligan showroom at the furniture store. Myer is retiring and closing the business on Nov. 30.

 

Myer’s Furniture, Manheim, will close its doors Nov. 30. Owner and president Daryl Myer said he’s retiring, but all orders placed for furniture will be delivered, and all items that are contacted to be installed will be installed — even if it’s after the last day of business.

“The business closing is a planned event,” Myer said. “We’re not being forced to close or have made a quick decision. I’ve had the privilege to do work for multiple generations of many families, and it’s been an honor to have earned the trust and friendship of clients. It’s time to retire and move on. I told my family I would retire when I turned 70, and I’ll be 70 in Jan. 2018.”

He is the second generation owner of the 70-year-old business. He said neither of his two children have an interest in taking it over. Both his son and daughter are established in other careers.

Myer’s Furniture has a number of long-time employees, who Myer said have “aged along with me,” and he did offer employees an opportunity to purchase the company.

“Manheim is known for its legacy businesses like Myer’s Furniture,” said Manheim Chamber representative Kelly Lauver.

He explained that the retirement closing sale will be held over four months. It will be “business as usual, and custom orders will be accepted through Sept. 15.” Starting Oct. 1, remaining inventory — furniture, lamps, accessories, bedding, window treatments, and flooring — will go on sale. Discounts off currently tagged and listed prices will be progressively larger each week for the following nine weeks. The last business day is slated for Nov. 30, but Myer said if inventory remains, there may be special public sales in the warehouse.

Although the business is 70-years-old it’s operated for 61 of those years as Myer’s Furniture.

“We’re probably the last full-service furniture retailer in the area. We not only sell furniture, but we also sell mattresses, flooring, and window treatments. While there may be furniture stores, mattresses, window treatments and flooring are now sold by retailers who specialize in those individual areas,” Myer explained. “We’ll often install flooring and window treatments and then deliver and place furniture for the same client all in one day.”

Myer’s Furniture was founded by Clayton Myer as Myer’s Upholstery just after World War II. For several years, the business operated in the basement of this home on South Hazel Street in Manheim. The photo shows the sign for the business, and a young Daryl Myer can be seen on the sidewalk by the porch.

 

Myer’s Furniture as it appeared in July 1968.

History

Myers’ Furniture originally was known as Myer’s Upholstery and was founded by Daryl’s father, Clayton. But the story of the business goes even farther back. Clayton Myer’s brother, Jacob, worked at Beck’s Furniture store (Manheim) in the late 1930s, learning the upholstery trade there. He purchased the upholstery part of the business and moved it to Doe Run Road. Clayton and another brother, Charles, joined the business, and it operated as Myer’s Bros. Upholstery before World War II.

When World War II came, upholstery supplies could not be found, and the brothers were presented with an opportunity to shift their efforts to making parachutes. Myer said since Jacob was a deacon at a local Brethren Church and a pacifist, business operations were suspended, and one brother went back to farming. However Jacob also operated a propane company, Myer’s Metered Gas, which did operate during the War.

After World War II, upholstery supplies were available again. Clayton Myer established Myer’s Upholstery, which initially operated in the basement of the family home at 44 S. Hazel St. The business expanded to include auto upholstery and tops.

“My dad constructed a ramp so cars could be driven into the basement to be reupholstered. The concrete ramp still exists today,” Myer recalled adding that he started working for his dad at age 7. His job: tearing furniture apart. His pay: a penny per hour.

The business outgrew the basement and relocated to its current location at 936 Lancaster Ave. (Route 72). Myer said this portion of the road had just been completed.

“This stretch was completed as a ‘by-pass.’ Route 72 used to run along what’s now known as Park Hill Drive; it was moved out of the residential area. When the road was put in, it cut off a portion of a farm. My dad bought that portion in 1955 and built the store. Our grand opening was Nov. 7 to 9, 1957, and we were the first business on the new part of Route 72,” he said.

Manheim Historical Society’s history book “Manheim Revisited” indicates that the original store had 3,000 square feet of showroom space and 5,000 square feet of work space, During construction of that original part of the store, Daryl helped by painting the work area a green color. Paint came in the form of powder that was mixed with water. He still has a few of the metal powder containers, and those walls still retain their original green paint.

Daryl helped around the store, and when he was age 10, he received his largest pay increase ever: a 1,000 percent raise to $0.10 per hour installing floors.

“It was pretty exciting to a young boy,” he said.

Except for three years for volunteer service and employment at an airport, he spent the rest of his working career at the family business.

Myer’s Furniture circa 1990

 

Myer’s Furniture in July 1997. The home to the rear continues to be used by the family today.

 

Myer’s Furniture in July 1997 when the last expansion project was completed. The building has much the same appearance today

Growth and changes

The location next to the Manheim Auto Auction was a good one for customers. The proximity to the auto auction and the company’s expertise in auto upholstery resulted in an uptick in auto upholstery business. Myer said in 1961, the building was expanded — a warehouse was added, as well as a five-bay auto upholstery area. Myer said in 1962 one of its employees, Gene Gibble, wanted to start his own auto upholstery business, and his dad, Clayton, sold him that portion of the business. Daryl Myer purchased Myer’s Furniture from his father in 1978.

The latest building expansion began in 1996. A grand opening was held in the fall of 1997 for the building one sees today.

“I thank everyone who has supported this business for so many wonderful years,” Myer said. “Over the years we hope you experienced Myer’s Furniture as being one of the best in product knowledge and customer support through honest and fair service to all who trusted and appreciated our style of doing business.”

As for his plans in retirement, he said he’s looking forward to not having any daily deadlines to meet.

“As a business owner, there’s always a deadline — taxes to pay, customer deliveries to make. I still go out on almost all of the deliveries,” he said.

He’s a pilot and is looking forward to spending more time in the air with his plane.

“My health is good, and I plan to fly as long as I can pass the medical exam,” he said.

Along with that is a desire to travel and spend more time with his wife, Marcia. He is also active in his church and MCFEE (Manheim Central Foundation for Educational Enrichment). He’s served on the board since its inception in 2001, and is currently treasurer of the organization. Myer said he may scale back a bit, but plans to remain active with both his church and MCFEE.

“Daryl is a true community volunteer and supporter,” Lauver said. “He’s always willing to step up and work for our community. Congratulations to Daryl on his retirement and we look forward to his continued involvement in the community.”

For further information about Myer’s Furniture and its hours of operation, visit myersfurniturepa.com, or the store’s Facebook page.

Rochelle Shenk is a correspondent for the Lititz Record Express. She welcomes your comments and questions at RAASHENK@aol.com.

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