By Robert Swart on July 4, 2021
For years, Scott (Your Uncle in the furniture business) and the Robinson Furniture team have been taking care of your furniture needs in Detroit.
“We have a long and proud legacy in the retail furniture industry. First with the original Robinson Furniture store in the Belmont Shopping Center before our keenly anticipated reopening in 2012. Since our reopening, we’ve been known as “the home of the $40 down and you take it home” store. A customer can come in and take anything they want a home for only $40 down and they can pay it off in 90-days interest-free. We have 8 different finance companies we deal with depending on what is best for our customers.
Scott is what we like to call a Local Biz Hero, a self-made entrepreneur who brings true value to his community. High standards of professionalism and the strong work ethics of small business owners like Scott are the foundation of the Detroit economy.
Scott supports the local business ecosystem and the community. Scott is always willing to step in in a time of need, whether donating to the Cancer walk or helping out at one of the local hospitals. When Linda Hutcherson was granted custody of her three grandchildren after the unexpected death of her daughter, she received another setback when the court told her she needed to get beds and appliances so she could properly care for the children. When Scott heard about Linda’s circumstances, he told her to keep her money and he gave her beds and appliances hoping it would help Linda in her time of need. Scott’s kind spirit again came to the rescue when his sons showed him the story of a group of five people who visited a small local restaurant and ordered the most expensive food on the menu, ate it, and left without paying. This was when Scott again stepped in and settled the bill including a generous tip for the waitress. These and many other events would have gone unnoticed was it not for the media that got wind and reported on it.
Scott, married for 24 years with 2 sons Dylan and Brendan, owner of Robinson Furniture, is a Detroit native, born and raised. He is incredibly grateful for his two sons that joined him in the business full-time. The retail business involves exceptionally long hours and doesn’t allow a lot of free time, but Scott prefers to spend time with his family, which he loves very much if he is not tied up at the store.
Scott still remembers when he was just starting in the furniture business and he was working for a real tough guy. Till today he can hear him say “write it down, write it down so you don’t forget”. Today Scott can hear those same words reverberating as he is telling his kids, “write it down, so you don’t forget”. Today Scott has his own store with great salespeople and an exceptional lady, Sandy, his office manager, and her daughter Mikala.
“This is truly a family business with both my sons working in the business with me and the same employees I had like forever. I am always in the store and available for my customers. I will do whatever I can to help out my customers and give them a very enjoyable shopping experience.”
Just look at what some of Robinson’s customers say about him and his team on Google:
“Very very good customer service. Brenden was very helpful. He got us in and out. Went above and beyond to make sure we got what we wanted. Sold us a bed and living room set. Make sure you guys asked for him, he’s the man for the job.” – Tyhita
“The customer service was spectacular. When I walked in someone came to greet me and show me around. When I checked out everything went very well. The guys that came and put together my items were very nice courteous and fast. I was told my time would be 10:00 for delivery they called me at 9:48 saying they were pulling up. This entire experience from beginning to end was AWESOME!!! I could not ask for anything better.”- CaSandra
“The customer service was great and very helpful. We were in and out of the store with exactly what we were looking for. Our salesperson Dylan was very good and knew his stuff. The delivery guys were personal and put everything together with ease. They place items in our daughter’s rooms quickly and without damage. This would get perfect 5 stars, but as you know there is always room for improvement.” – Lavonn
While other retailers stop ordering when the pandemic struck, Robinson Furniture continues to submit orders to fill the warehouse. That has put Robinson Furniture in good stead because we have stock available that the customer can take home – no waiting period.
We don’t only deliver your furniture, but we will put it inside your house and put it together. Whatever the customer needs, we listen and work with the customer to meet their needs.
We sat down with Scott for a quick interview –
Q: Why do you do what you do?
A: “It’s in my blood. I cannot wait to get to the office at 5 a.m. although the doors are only open at 10 a.m. I am very blessed to have both my sons full-time in the business with me, just the cherry on top. I love our customers. They are like family, and we immediately connect when they come into the store. There is always something crazy happening in the store and we laugh a lot. We are known for our funny crazy commercials and people sometimes come into the store just to see me and hug me and take selfies with us or they just want to know how their uncle in the furniture business is doing.”
Q: How did you get into this profession?
A: “My grandfather and my dad were in the furniture business for as long as I can remember but I always said I will never go into the furniture business. So, I went into the produce business. In 1978 I gave that up and didn’t know what to do. I went to work for one of my dad’s friends in the furniture business and I never look back.
In 2002, after 24 years of working 100 hours per week, I was burnt out and just had my first kid, I decided to get out of this industry and never go back. Then in 2012 I was drying down Jefferson Avenue and saw this property and it was empty back then, I said to myself that this is the perfect property for a furniture store. At that time Detroit was bad, they were just getting ready to go into bankruptcy and everything was boarded up. There was something about this location and I keep on coming back to it. Later the owner and I made a deal in Dunkin’ Donuts.
Here we are almost 10 years later. Guess it is in my blood. From the look of things, it looks like it is both my sons’ blood as well”.
Q: Being in the furniture retail business Scott works directly with many people, we asked him what’s the most unusual situation that ever happened to him on the job?
A: “People do crazy things. We sell stereos and people come in and turn the stereo really loud. So much so that my back-office staff complains that they cannot hear the people on the phone. I’ve also caught a couple having some fun on a mattress. The biggest surprise was when a lady enters the store and instead of talking to us, she starts wrapping and she was really good. There are a hundred stories, I should write a book.”
Q: If you could share one tip with the readers for choosing a furniture store, what would it be?
A: “When you are looking for a piece of furniture you may be able to find it in many stores. More important is to find a store that will give you the necessary time to listen and understand what your real needs are (whether it is financial, make or model of a furniture piece, delivery, setting up of your furniture at home, etc.) and then work with you to find a solution that addresses your specific needs.“
Q: What is the best thing you like about Detroit?
A: “For sure my customers. They are really fun and sometimes they just goof around and make us laugh. I just love my customers. Then you can just go down the street to the river and you will find people strolling next to the river, riding bicycles, skateboarding and a lot is happening down there. Looking across the river you can see Canada. I just love it in Detroit and I love the people.
So remember if you’re looking for a professional store that carries furniture, appliances, stereos, TVs, lawnmowers, riding lawn mowers, snowblowers, waterfalls, mopeds, ATVs, Arcade machines, and believe it or not tires and rims. Remember your first choice should be Robinson Furniture, 3180 E Jefferson Ave, Detroit. The phone number is (313) 338-3290, or visit www.robinsonfurnitureinc.com. Your Uncle in the furniture business!
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