Rome wasn’t built overnight and neither was Don’s Appliances. Actually, their inception was 50 years ago which is the reason they’re being recognized today! The story of Don’s Appliances starts with a single showroom and two employees operating in their original Upper St Clair location in Norman Center. Today, 50 years later, Don’s Appliances has grown to 11 showrooms, 180 employees and several showroom concepts under the Don’s Appliances umbrella— WATERSOURCE by Don’s Appliances, Don’s Appliances Factory Outlet, Hillmon Appliance Distributors and Duggan’s Service and Appliances in Erie.
“A transaction is a great transaction when three parties win: the manufacturer, the customer and Don’s Appliances,” says Matt Hillebrand, one of the company principals. What does it mean to win during an appliance transaction? Don’s is a member of a national buying group called BrandSource that allows them to compete with the pricing of large box stores like Home Depot, Lowes and Best Buy.
BrandSource has millions of dollars in buying power and supports some of the operational aspects of the business allowing Don’s to focus on the customer experience continually offering the white glove service they were founded on. Not all local appliance retailers have the ability to offer next day delivery by an in-house delivery and installation team, and in-house parts and service repair. The customer has always been the focus at Don’s Appliances since the company’s inception in 1971.
In 1971 founder Don Hillebrand worked with one other employee selling appliances from their showroom in Upper St. Clair. Here they delivered, installed and serviced appliances by day and sold them in the evening. In 1985 Don’s five sons— Tim, Terry, Matt, Jason and Nick began working for the family business. They took over operations entirely in the early 2000’s.
The rapid growth of a brick and mortar retail business during the “apocalypse” set in motion by internet retail giants is remarkable. How does a local appliance retailer expand from 7 to 11 locations when many national chains are seeing share value plummet and stores close right and left? The Hillebrands credit their successes to the forward-thinking employees of Don’s and “doing business right.” Nick Hillebrand states, “We sell the same piece of steel everyone else does. It really comes down to our people. We’re going to make mistakes from time to time but our employees always support the customer.” Don’s Appliances was founded on excellent customer service and they continuously allocate resources to enhance customer experience as business grows and landscapes change.
For 50 years Don’s has been growing the business and supporting customers and the communities they operate in. They’re large enough to offer competitive pricing, yet small enough to continue offering the “white glove” service they were founded on. Don’s Appliances’ focus is always on the customer— from their experience online, to the first step into a showroom, when the products are delivered and installed and well after the appliances begin needing serviced.
Don’s Appliances wants the community to celebrate their 50th birthday, too! They have partnered with LG Home Appliances to give away a full kitchen package including a range, refrigerator, dishwasher and microwave. From now until April 16th register to win here!This content was provided by a local, independent contributor to Made in PGH, a lifestyle blog.