Can you say "WOW"?
Johnny Janosik's New Showroom Dazzles
Debra R. Messick -- Metropolitan Home, May 2007
It’s the stuff legends are made of. A converted chicken house is transformed into a furniture showroom, renowned in local lore as the "longest furniture store on the Shore with the shortest prices." For more than 50 years, industry icon Johnny Janosik has provided generations of Eastern Shore homeowners with the widest selection and the most trusted quality. It's hard to imagine anyone improving on such a saga, but the best is yet to come.
The latest chapter in the Johnny Janosik success story could be titled "the stuff dreams are made of." Read on and discover why the "longest store" is now one of the largest on the entire East Coast and one of the ten biggest in the country.
Almost like a fairy tale come true, the setting is a dazzling new showroom/company headquarters, with 70 percent more space and an even more abundant range of choices in sofas, sleepers, recliners and beds than ever before. But it's not just an unprecedented upgrade in size and selection that makes the new Johnny Janosik World of Furniture gallery so unique. "There's a new contemporary feel with unmatched, almost magical product presentation, which makes you want to see more, everywhere you look.
Following the showroom's opening in October 2006, which attracted a throng of thousands (shoppers needed to be shuttled from remote parking lots), company CEO Frank Gerardi frequently asked customers to describe their reaction. "First came the facial expressions, the trying to figure out how to say it, then words like 'mind-boggling,' 'unbelievable,' and just plain 'wow," he explained.
One reason for the overwhelming response is that this is one showroom especially true to its "gallery" billing. There are unexpected, eye-catching attractions everywhere, like the floor-to-ceiling display of lane recliners, backlit in muted hues of purple and yellow, which seems almost suitable for framing. Then there's the scintillating tin ceiling that adds an art deco flair to the home theater area, plus leather hides cascade in a rainbow of supple prairie colors that herald La-Z-Boy's custom leather creations.
Gerardi calls the showroom’s size and selection “overwhelming,” and an excellent business decision. Even with the slowdown in the industry, stores at Johnny Janosik’s two Southern Delaware locations are poised to capture more than $50 million in sales this year, at least a ten percent increase from 2006.
Designer Connie Post's elegant, professional touch is evident at every turn, from tasteful wall quotations to distinctive signature "fronts" that introduce each company's display area. She's also thoughtfully provided a golden-colored tiled pathway ("our yellow brick road," said Gerardi) to lead starry-eyed shoppers back on track around the rest of the showroom, where they can discover many new lines like Lexington, Nautica, Tommy Bahama, Liz Claiborne and Martha Stewart, along with longstanding favorites Pennsylvania House and Thomasville. There are also display areas dedicated to home office space ("Homework"), toddler to teen styles ("My Room") and bedding choices featuring the Sealy Sleep Test Gallery, Tempur-Pedic beds and Serta's Vera Wang line.
Despite its impressive, colossal size, Johnny Janosik's new World of Furniture gallery is designed with ease of consumer shopping in mind. "Although it's big, it's very easy to shop here," said Gerardi. "When you're looking in a room, you're not overwhelmed because you're able to focus. That's because everything's done in its own individual vignette. We can have 300 customers in here at one time, yet the store doesn't look crowded, your elbows aren't touching somebody, and you've got your own private space to make those important decisions."
Many amenities also make the shopping experience user-friendly. Vending machines offer a wide selection of hot and cold refreshments in the store's food court, which also features a wide screen TV (a great treat for tired husbands!), and comfortable seating that includes iJoy lounge chairs that can provide a deep tissue massage. Kids can also take abreak in their special play nook, complete with books, toys and a TV tuned to "Nick Jr." Semi-enclosed design rooms allow shoppers a private retreat to explore the detail of their home furnishing solutions, aided by computers loaded with room-design software.
The showroom is a true showplace, allowing people on the Eastern Shore to experience and visualize cutting edge styles, colors and products previously viewed only in the pages of magazines or on trips to New York, Boston or Washington D.C. "Seeing things in person not only gives you more ideas, but also the confidence to actually make it happen," said Gerardi.
As just one example, the store offers four exciting home theater showrooms. Shoppers can enjoy classic feature films showing continuously on giant TV screens in six-speaker sound in Berkline home theater seating, individual power recliners complete with light-up cup holders and "ButtKicker" technology that lets you actually feel all the action on the screen right in your chair.
This spring a new clearance center is set to open at the Laurel location, and construction has already begun on a brand new company warehouse there. consolidation of the two Johnny Janosik Dover stores is also well under way, with blueprints and even the entranceway completed.