With the resurgance of Downtown Woodland I’m happy to learn about a buisness that has been in the same location since 1946 (although the family has had the building since 1910!). Wirth Furniture deserves the spotlight and then some. They are more than a furniture store too. They have flooring, custom draperies, fabrics (along with an on-site upholsterer) and more. Stop by and say hello, but first read my interview with the Wirth family.
What’s your name and your role?
My name is Zack Wirth, one of the store owners of Wirth Furniture in Woodland, California. We are a retail store that sells medium to high end furniture, flooring, upholstery, window coverings, and custom draperies all for a very good value.
When did Wirth Furniture open?
My mom, Kim, can talk about the beginnings.
Kim: The Wirth Family has been in this location since 1910. It was a mercantile back then. Eventually this part of the building was rented out and had an upholstery shop in it. No one in the family took over the retail business until Eldee came back from the war. He and his wife established Wirth Furniture in January 1946. It’s been at this location since then, with four generations running the store; my husband David came into the business after college in 1969.
How much has the business changed through the generations.
Kim: It actually hasn’t changed a lot, we’ve always been a full-service business. We have become a little more design oriented. We do contract out large deliveries but we still do our upholstery onsite. It’s all done by a fantastic craftsman.
Zack: We definitely have become more design oriented. We have professional designers, and the public too, work out of the store. I know it’s overwhelming but we try to carry as many lines as we can possibly get. Whether it’s custom ordering or off the floor, we offer a discount year round now. It’s not a sale, this is something we do all the time. We found that our customers really enjoy it because they don’t have to wait for that one big yearly sale. If there happens to be a manufacture’s discount we pass that along as well. We always have competitive prices. Most brands are 25% off of retail, all the time.
Since you’ve begun to take over the reins, what has changed?
Technology and social media has complicated things a bit. When a customer sees something on Instagram or Houzz they think they know everything there is to know about that piece of furniture. But when they come into the store they start to learn how it’s made and what quality really is.
Are you talking about the construction of the furniture?
Yes, the construction of the product. We can show people what materials are used versus the furniture they’ve been looking at. There is a difference. It happens with all the products. There are levels of quality and we focus on medium to high quality lines and products.
I see a rolodex over there on the counter. Has Wirth advanced their own technology?
No! My dad is technologically challenged. So, we’ve kept it KISS (keep it simple stupid), but it has its benefits. He’ll say, “see, if we didn’t have my paper trail we would have missed this!”.
How has coming into the business been for you?
It’s been good. We all get along, although I probably drive everyone crazy.
It brought you back to Woodland, right?
Yes, its been 17 years since I lived here. I like being back in the community and to see the change the City is going through. I see it out my front windows, it’s really picked up.
What are some of the furniture lines you carry?
Stanley, Lexington, Universal, and Hooker are some of the bigger brand furniture names. Upholstery-wise we start at Flexsteel and Hancock, which is a huge seller.
What do you want Woodland to know?
We’ve always had the rap of being an expensive furniture store. And yes, our products aren’t cheap, but they are well made and are pieces you will have for a lifetime. I want Woodland to know if we’re comparing apples to apples, I will go up against anyone’s price and be competitive. Call me and let’s talk.