Wooster Appliance first opened its doors in the late 1950s on East Liberty Street. At that time, it was called Jollif and Stucker. Initially offering television and appliance repair, they later added appliance sales. The business changed ownership in the 70s. At that time, the name changed to Wooster Appliance and the businesses moved to Walnut Street.
Lee Spencer and his wife, Mary, were born and raised in Wooster but moved to the Western US as Lee embarked upon a variety of business ventures. He found success in both sales and management but wanted to move back to Ohio to be near family as they raised their children. When the Spencer Family made the move home in the 90s, Lee joined the Wooster Appliance team. The harsh economic downturn of the late 2000s was tough on many small businesses. Wooster Appliance needed to change in order to survive and Lee saw an opportunity.
He partnered with Bill DeRodes and they purchased the business in August of 2009. This would prove to be a turning point for both Lee and the business. He recalls, “I knew we could make the business work. It was time to take a leap of faith. We took over that day, and thanks to the incredible support of our community, we have never looked back.” When Lee took over, the business was primarily a repair and service center. Lee continued to service appliances and started to sell scratch and dent machines as well. Building the business wasn’t easy, Lee and his team worked long hours and made countless trips to Cleveland to build inventory. The hard work paid off. The business was on an upswing and Lee and the team at Wooster Appliance were outgrowing their storefront. In 2011, Wooster Appliance made the move to its current location on Market Street.
Through each move and transition, one thing has remained the top priority: customer service. The current staff has a combined experience of over 125 years in the industry. Mike has been working at Wooster Appliance since before Lee took over. When asked what sets the company apart from others, he explains, “We provide the same array of products as the box stores but with an unmatched level of customer care. Taking care of people creates long term relationships. We have done business with families from generation to generation and the same customers from home to home.”
One segment of the business that has grown substantially is appliance repair. Whether it’s under warranty or purchased from another store, Wooster Appliance will do whatever it takes to find a solution. When asked about a specific example, Lee smiled and recalled an instance where a customer’s freezer went out and they couldn’t get the part in for a few days. “We plugged in a freezer in the back and had the customer bring in his groceries to prevent them from going bad.” In addition to more personalized and knowledgeable experience, buying from Wooster Appliance can save customers more than buying from box stores. Lee explains, “we are independent and have access to more than just national or manufacturer rebates. Our sales team knows how to take advantage of every rebate, allowing customers to keep more cash in their pockets.” According to Lee, November is a great time to buy appliances as the best pricing and rebates are available before the holidays. Whether you are looking for new appliances or need a repair, the team at Wooster Appliance is ready to answer all of your questions. Stop in today at 231 S Market Street in Wooster or give them a call at 330.262.5851