Workingman’s Store celebrates 40 years in Huntington | Business
HUNTINGTON – Jerry Furbee Jr. said his father, Jerry Furbee Sr., worked for Wrangler, a manufacturer of jeans and other clothing, especially workwear, for nearly two decades before retiring in nineteen eighty one.
“I didn’t want to go to high school; I wanted to do what my dad did and after he retired he helped me open the doors of the Workingman store for $ 600 in 1981.
On July 1, the store at 140 5th Ave. in Huntington celebrates its 40th anniversary.
“The main reason we’ve been so successful for so long is to buy the right mix of products at the right price,” said Furbee Jr.
“I buy a lot of discounted and overpriced products and sell them at a fair price,” he said.
The secrets to their success seem simple enough: having the right merchandise at the right price, being open seven days a week, treating people well, and going the extra mile with service.
When it comes to “the right commodity” it is more than clothes for the working man. The store offers different types of casual and formal wear, work clothes for several types of industries, as well as a selection of plus size items.
Currently, 60% of the business is in plus size and plus size, according to Furbee Jr., and plus size items come in sizes up to 10 times shirts and size 80 – not just t-shirts. and sweatshirts, but dress shirts. and trousers, and work trousers and shirts.
“We have people who come in a 60-70 mile radius every day to come to our store,” he said.
Over the decades, the Workingman store has helped spark some development near the 1st Street intersection. Across the street are several other businesses that didn’t exist 40 years ago. Next to it is a McDonald’s, and behind it is Walgreens.
The store has grown three times, nearly doubling in size since opening in 1981 at the corner of 8th Avenue and 1st Street before moving to its current location in 1983.
“We have other properties around the store to expand again if we need to,” said Furbee Jr.
One expansion, which was approximately 4,000 square feet, was to accommodate the section of the store for scrubs worn by healthcare workers.
“When we started 40 years ago, we only had one rack of scrubs,” Furbee Jr. said. “It started from there.”
Workingman’s Store also has a warehouse in Chesapeake, Ohio.
“It’s full of inventory because I can’t keep my summer and winter items together in the store anymore,” he said.
It’s safe to say that things are going well for the Workingman’s Store, which Furbee Jr. is quick to point out has more than just work clothes.
“Other popular items are steel-toed shoes and boots for steel mill and mining workers, as well as socks and shoes for diabetics,” Furbee said.
Workingman’s Store, which has 12 employees, also sells flame-retardant clothing for workers at local factories, he said.
Brand names include Carhartt, Dickies, Arrow, Izod, Chaps, Van Heusen, Levis, Wrangler and many more.
The store has a full-time seamstress to do alterations.
“Glenda stays busy all day,” Furbee Jr. said. “She’s very talented.”
Furbee Jr. has his own favorite part of the business – getting good deals.
“I love the thrill of buying a good deal and passing it on to my clients,” he said. “The support from Huntington has been tremendous. I’ve seen children come here who are now old enough to bring their children here.
The Workingman’s Store is open seven days a week and is working on a new and improved website at www.workingmansstore.com and also has a Facebook page. For more information, call 304-522-3404.