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 W hat does successful furniture Bracey and Dan do all the buying for the
retailing look like? How about more than 90 years in business, 130,000 square feet
of showroom and warehouse space, and
a dedication to providing customers with superior-quality furnishings and outstanding customer service for nine-plus decades.
In 1925, Seymour and Esther Fischgrund opened Fish Furniture in downtown Cleveland. They specialized in dinette and dining room furniture, much of it customized by the Fischgrunds themselves.
In 1955, Fish Furniture salesman Al Geller took over day-to-day operations of the store. In 1963, he and his wife Norma purchased the retail establishment from
the Fischgrund family.
ALL IN THE FAMILY
Today, Fish Furniture is owned by Dan Geller, Al and Norma Geller’s son. The business has stayed in the family and remains a  xture
in the Cleveland area. However, much has changed since 1925. There are two locations— one on the east side and one on the west side of the city, in the May eld Heights and North Olmsted neighborhoods, each approximately 50,000 square feet. The retailer also owns
a warehouse in Bedford Heights, which functions as the distribution and clearance center. Fish Furniture carries a furnishings selection that has grown from dinettes and dining rooms to include bedroom, o ce and living room furniture, as well as mattresses and home accents.
Though the retailer’s footprint has grown, it continues to be a family-owned company that treats its customers and longtime sta  like family. Primary buyer, Kitty Bracey, for example, got her start in interior design and has been a buyer for Fish Furniture
for 25 years.
“The generation that hired me has retired, and I now work for Dan Geller. He’s the next generation, and he’s the heartbeat of Fish Furniture,” she said. “We are a seasoned store. Many of our sta  have been with the store for 20, 30 years.”
store’s two locations.
For a retailer as committed to o ering its customers the  nest quality as Fish Furniture,  nding the best quality for its shoppers is
key. Fish Furniture shops High Point Market and Dallas Market Center for much of what lands on its showroom  oors. Bracey said she likes Dallas Market Center, in particular. She’s discovered new vendors there, and stays on trend by visiting showrooms. “Dallas Market Center is where I  nd the diamond earrings for the little black dress,” she said, noting
that it’s at DMC where she shops for all of her home décor and gift items, such as lamps, tabletop, bedding and more. “It’s where I look for my glamour points.” Those accessories are important; it’s how Fish Furniture
creates the total home package for its customers, she added.
STRONG RELATIONSHIPS
Before social media, email blasts and TV ads created connections with customers, Fish Furniture was passionate about building good relationships. That continues to this day. “I think good business is built around relationships,” Bracey noted.
Those relationships matter when serving their customers, and they also matter when working with vendors. Bracey continued that strong relationships with her reps are extremely important, especially when it comes to staying on trend and  lling any in-store product voids. She appreciates the relationships with sales reps who have a personal investment
in Fish Furniture’s success and are willing to o er guidance. “I like having the reps come in to the store,” Bracey said. “I like them to know the pulse of our business so they can make recommendations. You need reps that understand your locale and customer base.”
Whether it’s helping generation after generation of Cleveland consumers create a home haven, or partnering with their vendors and reps, Fish Furniture’s commitment to service and quality have kept the retailer at the top of its game for just shy of a century. It’s these enduring values that will guide Fish Furniture into the future.
[DALLAS MARKET CENTER] IS WHERE I LOOK FOR MY GLAMOUR POINTS. — Kitty Bracey, Fish Furniture
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