Friday, August 9, 2013
Business Spotlight on Seavey's - By Michelle Libby
The Seavey’s family business has evolved over the last 40 years, but a few things have remained the same. Local customer service and deals for their patrons is the way they have been able to stay in business where other small appliance stores have not.
“We are still that touchy-feely place where people want to develop a rapport and have that kind of experience,” said Tim Seavey, who is one of the four owners. He also manages Seavey’s in Windham.
Tim said that his grandfather and great-grandfather opened a grocery store in the 1920s on the site of the present store. In 1960, Tim’s father closed the store and opened an automotive parts store, then added electronics since Tim’s grandfather was already fixing televisions. In 1967, the new building was built and the direction changed again to automotive and appliances. In 1971, they sold the automotive store. In 1972, they became what they are today, an appliance and electronic store. The business is now owned by Tim, Ken Emerson, Toby Seavey and Dana Perkins.
“We are basically a full service home appliance and electronic store,” said Tim. “We are also full service on the road and in the shop repair. No having to call 1-800 Joe’s service. They can just give us a call and we’ll take care of it,” he said.
Seavey’s is able to keep prices competitive through three different co-ops they belong to. The first co-op is out of Massachusetts where $300 million was bought at wholesale for 125 buyers and 75 storefronts. It is also part of a New England co-op and a national buying group, which is a multi-billion dollar corporation. Many times, Tim said that Seavey’s customers can take advantage of incentives from all three co-ops and the manufactures, making the final price better than some of the big box stores. A selling point for Seavey’s is the service and people standing behind the products.
Delivery service is available and shipments of products come from Massachusetts three times a week. This summer, the co-op sold 30,000 air conditioners between Maine and Connecticut.
Independent dealers are unique because “nine out of 10 times at least they are multi-generational. They know their customers and have done business with them before,” said Tim. “You don’t go into McDonald’s and want to see Mr. McDonald, but you can walk into an independent dealer and talk to the owner,” he said.
Seavey’s employs 12 people and has two locations, one in Windham on Route 302 near the rotary and in Scarborough. Seavey’s is open Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. They are not open on Sundays during July and August. In September Sunday hours will be noon to 4 p.m.
Internet selling is also a new way to buy from Seavey’s. Each product has a video tied to the product. Visit www.seaveys.com to see the videos and inventory.