Grand Home Furnishings, based in Roanoke Virginia, is one of the largest furniture store chains in the South. Our growth has spanned 100 years and generations of customers.
Grand Home Furnishings operates 19 mattress and furniture stores throughout Western and Central Virginia, East Tennessee and the eastern part of West Virginia.
Customers visiting Grand for the first time are pleasantly surprised to be given a frosty Coca-Cola when they enter the store. This is Grand's way of saying, “Thanks for visiting our store and make yourself at home.”
Grand Home Furnishings began as a piano store in 1911 in Roanoke, Virginia under the name "Grand Piano Company." It was begun by Paul Hash, a local merchant.
The company added furniture to its line of musical instruments, sheet music, Victrolas and radios.
In 1945 George Cartledge, Sr. of Atlanta and two business partners, all three of whom operated a furniture wholesaling business, bought Grand Piano Company. George Cartledge's brother Karl along with Henry Williamson were sent from Atlanta to run the store. The name was changed to Grand Piano and Furniture Company and the music-related merchandise was cut back to pianos while the furniture was expanded. George Cartledge bought out his partners in 1950. Shortly thereafter two stores were opened in Radford and Covington.
In 1953 Grand opened a fourth store in Lynchburg, Virginia. For the grand opening weekend George Cartledge felt it would be wonderful to give away a refreshing soft drink as people entered the store. He secured cases of Coca-Cola in the then 6-1/2 ounce glass bottles. Over 14,000 bottles of Coke were given that weekend and Main Street Lynchburg had to be closed to accommodate the crowds.
In the 1960's more stores were added: 1961 - Staunton 1965 - Harrisonburg 1965 - Waynesboro 1968 - Pulaski 1968 - Roanoke "Exchange Store" (an early outlet concept) 1969 - Martinsville
George Cartledge, Jr., son of George Cartledge, Sr., joined the operation in 1966 and in 1968 was named president of the company. Today he is the current Chairman and CEO of the company. Expansion of stores continued throughout Virginia and Tennessee.
Also, in 1968 Robert H. Bennett, Jr., son-in-law to George Cartledge, Sr., was promoted to Executive Vice-President. In the 1970s, 1980s and early 1990s Mr. Bennett was involved in the company's consumer credit operations as well as overseeing the company's expansion into new markets and the construction of new stores. He was instrumental in the conversion of the company from a manual records inventory and credit operation to the highly efficient computerized operation we know today. Mr. Bennett passed away November 7, 2002.
1972 - Lynchburg clearance center 1973 - Winchester 1976 - Hagerstown, MD 1981 - Roanoke "Grand Interiors" 1982 - Harrisonburg clearance center 1983 - Blacksburg 1984 - Bristol, VA 1986 - Winchester clearance center 1989 - Charlottesville
George Cartledge, III became involved in the family business in the 1980s, alongside another member of the third generation, his cousin Robert G. Bennett. Pictured (left-right) George Cartledge, III; George Cartledge, Jr. and Robert G. Bennett.
As consumer's shopping habits turned away from downtowns to suburban shopping centers or mall locations, Grand moved with them. Numerous downtown stores were closed in favor of larger, new, one-floor operations in suburban areas. Grand opened the following stores: 1990 - Harrisonburg 1991 - Roanoke, Valley View Mall 1995 - Greenville, South Carolina 1996 - Christiansburg 1997 - New Winchester location 1997 - Spartanburg, South Carolina 1999 - Kingsport
In 1997 George Cartledge Sr. passed away at age 87, having been active in the business right up to his death. He always insisted on treating everyone "right", especially customers. He set an outstanding example as a citizen both personally and corporately, giving generously to the community.
By 1998 sales of pianos declined to where even the company's primary piano manufacturer, Kimball, exited the piano business. Grand ceased piano sales and the company's name was changed to Grand Home Furnishings.
In the 2000s Grand consolidated warehouses and opened new stores, many in altogether new markets. An outlet store was established at Grand's former central warehouse in Roanoke. 2001 - Norton 2006 - Lewisburg 2008 - Wise 2008 - Smith Mountain Lake 2009 - Beckley
Grand's strength has always been its people, all of whom share a dedication to excellent customer service which has enabled Grand to grow over the years and become the leading furniture and mattress store in every city and town we serve. In celebrating 100 years of business the Grand Happiness Foundation was established. Each Grand store spent the year working with organizations to help local families. The year long efforts resulted in $315,700 worth of donated furniture and financial support to 100 local charitable organizations.
A custom we still enjoy to this day is the practice of giving a free Coke to all shoppers every day at all Grand stores. Nearly one million Cokes are given out each year. It's a customary gesture that when you enter someones' home they'll offer you something to drink. When you enter Grand we'll do the same. It's our way of saying "Thanks for visiting our store and make yourself at home."