TYLER/LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) - A local furniture store is making a bold statement. Ashley Furniture in Tyler is now back to its original name, Southside Furniture, and owner Pat Melius says their Longview store will soon follow suit. Melius says that with the name change comes more American-made products and fewer Chinese imports.
"A lot of companies are 100% imports and it has happened gradually," said Melius. "We sure didn't see it coming in the mid 80's...until one day you just look around and think, 'There's nothing in here that's made in this country.' It made us stop and think and [ask] what could we do to help the country."
Their move helps the country, not to mention, the long delays for furniture to ship from overseas. Melius says some of her customers have had to wait six or seven months for their orders.
"It's very hard to get cargo on the ships and keep it moving and then the freight rates keep going up which is raising the rate of furniture," said Melius.
Now, at Southside, you can find a variety of brands, several of which are made in Texas. The staff says customers feel better about buying these since it helps create jobs on our own soil.
"The little bit that they can do, whether buying an American piece as opposed to buying an imported piece, to help save an American job, people feel proud to do that," said David Bryant, with Southside.
The quality is super sturdy as Bryant likes to prove.
"When people come in, I'll tell them...I'll get over here and stand on it...and it makes a difference and I wouldn't do that to one of the other ones," said Bryant.
By the way, they can be delivered in a few weeks, rather than half a year.
Melius says they will still carry some Ashley products, but customers will just have more choices now.