It is with sadness that the founding family, directors, and management of Western Appliance announce that the company will close its business after 146 years of retailing in California. A health related disruption of the succession plan, aging ownership/management, macro changes in the fundamentals of appliance retailing, and the corporation finding itself in the vortex of the national multi-employer pension crisis have made continuing operations untenable. The company decided that if it could not continue to offer its customers the level of service on which it had built the business that it was time to exit.
After 146 years of retailing in California (under the same family) and close to eighty years beneath our iconic red sign in San Jose, Western Appliance will be closing in 2020.
While the demise of brick-and-mortar retail stores has been prominent news for many years, we aren’t just another retailer that’s closing its doors.
We’ve hosted neighborhood barbecues in the parking lot; sponsored countless youth sports teams and donated to more local charity auctions/raffles than we can count. Our sign’s been plastered on the outfield wall at Municipal Stadium and on all four sides of the scoreboard at Golden State Warriors games. We made hot news when our stereo store burned down, when our giant sale tent went up in flames (after hours, fortunately), and when our Los Gatos store nearly collapsed during Loma Prieta. When the Federal Cash-for-Appliances program was announced, local news outlets came to us for comment. San Jose mayors, Congresspersons, hall-of-fame 49ers, Giants and Warriors, tech titans, residents of every neighborhood and a master of light have all been our customers. We are a thread in the fabric that is San Jose and it has been our privilege “making life much easier…” for generations of customers. Our trucks have been on virtually every block in this valley, installing the appliances that cook our dinners, keep our food fresh and our dishes and clothes clean. If you’re from San Jose, you likely know us as a customer (thank you so much). Possibly you or one of your family members worked here. If you are a local, you know our jingle and hearing it likely puts a smile on your face. We were together from when San Jose teemed with orchards and agriculture and we were delivering propane to farmers, to its place today as the tech capital of the world.
We have been doing business here for this long because we have been blessed with incredible customers. Loyal customers who trust our recommendations, like our show rooms, and value a communication that strives to be barbershop and not used car lot.
We have earned your trust by maintaining a sales crew that studies the products so we can help our customers navigate complicated options. We have store managers, customer service managers and clerks who take your calls, understand your concerns and proactively assist. No phone call to Western Appliance ever got routed to a call center.
As much as it has been our pleasure helping with your appliance needs, the current environment in this business has necessitated we close operations. In short, we can no longer offer the level of service you are accustomed to, you expect from us and that we take pride in providing.
Our plan is to have one-last giant Farewell Sale starting now. We will be selling to the walls and bringing in new specials at great prices. The sale will continue until our floor is bare. Our goal is to exit this 146-year run in California retailing gracefully. We hope to see you, our customers/neighbors/friends one more time.
Thank you for supporting our business through the decades. We are sad to be closing but very grateful to our wonderful customers and amazing employees.
The Western Appliance Team