Bakersfield, Calif. - Urner's, the independent appliance, CE and furniture dealer based here, will celebrate its 90th anniversary with a charity giveaway next month.
The company - whose complete name is Urner's Appliance Center, Big Screen City, Sofa's Etc. and Z's Please Sleep Center - will mark the milestone by providing mattresses and TVs to the local rescue mission valued at well in excess of $110,000.
Principals from Mitsubishi and Tempur-Pedic will join Bakersfield mayor Harvey Hall on Oct. 9 as Urner's delivery teams replace every mattress in the shelter's dormitories and install two 60-inch TVs, donated by the manufacturer, inside the dining commons.
According to the dealer, president David Urner and VP Steve Illingworth - son and grandson, respectively, of co-founder David E. Urner - determined that the best way to celebrate the anniversary was to follow the company tradition of giving back to the community. Other local recipients of Urner's largesse over the years have included the CSUB Foundation, the Bakersfield Symphony, Ronald McDonald House of Bakersfield, Memorial Hospital House of Hope, and Teen Challenge.
Urner's opened in September 1919 as Home Appliance Co. during an era when "modern appliances" were sold primarily through hardware and lighting stores. The concept of a specialty appliance store was the brainchild of Urner - who began his retail career selling cookware off the back of his bike - and fellow high school teacher Errol P. Janes.
Today, the retailer serves the Bakersfield community from a 50,000-square-foot storefront, warehouse and office facility with a merchandise mix comprised of 51 percent white goods, 29 percent electronics and 20 percent furniture and mattresses.
A member of the Brand Source buying group, Urner's regularly ranks on the TWICE Top 100 Major Appliance Retailers Report, and is a 13-time winner of The Bakersfield Californian's annual Best Of Readers' Choice Poll.