Vandalia businesses in conjunction with the Chamber’s 100th anniversary.
By Seth Whitehead
Chamber Executive Director
It’s quite fitting that Allen’s Furniture Company sits just across the street from the Vandalia Statehouse and the Madonna of the Trails statue.
Like those historic landmarks, the store is a Vandalia fixture.
Allen’s has been providing quality furniture to the Vandalia area since Sam and Jeanette Allen opened the business in 1932. The store moved to its current location on the corner of Fourth and Gallatin streets in 1936, and Sam remodeled the building to include its distinct two-level loft showroom in 1947.
Daughter Lorraine now manages the longtime family-owned store, and she doesn’t hesitate when asked what has been the key to the businesses’ eight-decade run.
“We sell good, durable quality furniture and we stand behind what we sell,” Lorraine said. “That’s why we’re still in business.”
Allen’s offers top-of-the-line brands such as La-Z-Boy and Flexsteel and it has routinely been voted the area’s furniture store in the Leader-Union’s “Best of Fayette County” poll, including the 2014 survey.
“Our business is unique because of our dependability, stability and service over the years,” Lorraine said.
Lorraine and sister Rita Mae began helping their mother run the store following their father’s passing in 1950 and later returned after retiring from teaching careers to operate the store.
They have carried on their father’s business philosophy.
“We want to do anything to satisfy our customers,” Lorraine said. “That was my dad’s way of doing business and we’re carrying it on.”
The business overcame its biggest challenge in 2010 after lightning struck the building, sparking a fire that destroyed three floors of furniture.
“It was terrible,” Lorraine recalls.
But Allen’s Furniture after briefly closing in order to clear out the showroom and repair the building, the store has soldiered on.
Allen’s inventory includes sofas, loveseats, reclining sofas, recliners and much more. The staff consists of bookkeeper Ruth Ann Summers, salesman/truck driver Steve Adams, salesman Marion Torbeck and truck driver Brian Sapp. Customer service is the entire staff’s top priority.
“We want to take care of our customers and we take care of anything that isn’t correct,” Lorraine said. “And we have very good merchandise. We have the best.”
Allen’s Furniture is located at 330 W. Gallatin St. Contact Lorraine and the staff at 618-283-0123.
After 80-plus years in business, Allen’s Furniture expects to be going strong for many more years to come.