Contacts: Gary and Kim Snare, Co-owners of Park Furniture & Appliance, Huntingdon, Pa.
What do you do when your long-time employer suddenly announces he’s shutting down the business? It happened to Gary Snare, a manager at Park Furniture & Appliance in Huntingdon, Pa, five years back, forcing him and his wife, Kim, to make some major life decisions. “We figured, we either had to buy the business or be unemployed,” remembers Gary. “We decided to buy.”
The Snares have turned that do-or-die moment into a solid business investment, not only purchasing Park’s in 2002, but growing the retail operation so much that they opened a second branch (10,000 square feet in a strip mall in Orbisonia, Pa., about 20 miles away) in July, 2005.
Gary says his thirty-three years in management were good training for ownership. He’s been willing to try a variety of new marketing ideas, including high definition TV ads and a once-a-year direct mail campaign targeted to specific zipcodes he wants to reach. “That’s worked really well,” says Gary. “In that many years of working with the public, you get to know them, but we’re still learning. We really work at the marketing, we really do.”