Allen Wayside Furniture is the place to go for fun family service with an emphasis on quality. For 36 years, the Seacoast business has been providing customers with extraordinary care, exceptional value, and the largest selection in the area. They will not be undersold. While some competitors favor gimmicks, the family team of Allen Wayside truly enjoys delivering friendly service and very low prices.
Offering middle to high-end quality home and office furnishings with rapid delivery and an enjoyable experience is CEO Doug Abrams’ primary goal. And he has had plenty of experience doing so. He sold his first bedroom set when he was only eight years old. As he was dusting furniture, a customer asked how much the set cost. Doug told them, and then wrote up the sales slip since the adults were all busy with other customers. That hooked him on the family business. But his parents owning the company did not guarantee him the position he holds today; he earned it. From dusting, he moved on to cleaning the warehouse. By the time he was 15, he worked 40 hours per week in the family business. Rather than playing school sports, he delivered furniture.
An outgoing and considerate guy, Doug meets some of his best friends on the showroom floor when they come in to shop. “The people who come in here are great. Customers really become friends. We want this to be a fun and enjoyable experience for everyone.” To exemplify this, statues of the Blues Brothers, Jake and Elwood, greet visitors at the entrance to the Portsmouth store. Customer/friends bring cookies and brownies to some of the store managers. Second generations of families are now buying from Allen Wayside because of the excellent quality and customer service. Doug says he is “really pleased to see this happening. People are coming in and saying ‘I’m here because my parents and grandparents bought from you, enjoyed the experience, and their furniture is still going strong.'”
This intense customer loyalty is built with extra attention and service, such as the overnight delivery to a family whose mother was returning from the hospital to spend her last days at home and the short notice delivery to a man recovering from surgery who needed a lift chair. Allen Wayside’s delivery time is shorter than most because they carry a huge back inventory in an on-site warehouse. It ties up millions of dollars in inventory, but generally allows for a two- to three-day delivery turnaround, except for special orders from Italy.
The company continues to expand; they have already outgrown their expansion of two years ago. Three decades ago, they started in a 3000 square foot house, and today they are a superstore. Several superstores, in fact. They have stores in Portsmouth, Conway, and Plaistow, and are planning to open at an additional location in the near future. Sometimes even loyal customers occasionally buy a piece or two elsewhere, but they return for the quality and service of Allen Wayside. One customer had bought chairs from another dealer with a good name, but within two years the chairs fell apart. Doug explains that although certain name brands used to be synonymous with quality, things change over time. Allen Wayside Furniture makes a point of carrying only today’s well-constructed products and standing behind them.
Allen Wayside also carries custom-made furniture with a wide selection of beautiful fabrics to choose from. And they have the largest leather gallery in the Seacoast area. Although the family business is the focus of Doug’s life, it is not all of it. A resident of Rye, he is on the town’s budgeting committee and is a volunteer firefighter. He is engaged to Jennifer Galli, Allen Wayside’s CFO. Seacoast WBBX listeners may be familiar with his mother Silby Allen; she worked with Kurt Dowdy for 26 years. Though his father Allen Abrams has passed on, Doug is proud to be working with co-owner sister Vicki and her son Bill. Having multiple generations working side-by-side is part of what makes the Abrams family happiest; the other making their customers happy.
Swing by one of the Allen Wayside Furniture showrooms today and get in on the family fun!