‘A little bit of everything’
Appliance Plus and U.S. Cellular, one of Webster City's newest businesses, offers customers a wide selection of merchandise
The owners of one of Webster City’s newest businesses bring more than three generations of experience in the appliance industry.
Appliance Plus is a family-owned business serving rural Iowa since the 1950s. Owner Gary Fox said his grandfather started the family business, selling General Electric appliances and the business has now growing into its 4th generation.
“I’m the third generation in the business. My kids are working for me and my grandkids want to work for me, but they’re too young,” he said. “That’ll be five generation when they are old enough.”
Appliance Plus is a GE showcase dealer offering new, scratch and dent and pre-owned appliances. Fox said the Webster City location is unique in that it offers customers a wide range of liquidation items.
“Liquidation is a little bit of everything. It’s a surprise when we come and open up the boxes,” said Chelsie Bork, manager. “It’s different items all the time.”
Appliance Plus purchases the liquidation items from a third party that purchases semi-truck loads from big box stores. Some of the items are seasonal, some are pieees of inventory the stores want to move.
“We bring the merchandise in and are able to discount it more,” Bork said.
The liquidation items are a wide-range of merchandise — from furniture to bedding to clothing and home decor. Bork said there’s a little bit everything, including the kitchen sink.
“We actually got a kitchen sink in one of the truckloads. So we posted it on social media that we really do have everything — including the kitchen sink.”
Fox said the business will be adding more items, especially furniture.
Gary and Brenda Fox closed on the purchase of the former Shopko building in January and started extensive construction to remodel the large showroom. Then the pandemic hit.
But Fox is optimistic about the future of the business.
“We’ll be fine,” he said. We just have to show people what we have. We’ve got more and more people coming in now.
Bork said most people who stop at the store are surprised to find the variety of merchandise available.
“People say, ‘Oh my gosh, you have more than just appliances,'” she said.
She added that the look of the store changes as new merchandise comes in and there are always sales and promotions going on.
The Webster City location is also an authorized U.S. Cellular agent.
“We’ve been one of the top agencies in the state for the past 8 or 10 years,” Fox said. “And this is our sixth one.”
The U.S. Cellular office has six employees with Jordanna Zompa serving as the store manager.
Fox has four Appliance Plus Stores across the state along with six U.S. Cellular Stores.