OCEAN CITY, N.J. – In a time of independent dealer contraction and family succession issues, Johnson’s Appliances & Bedding is a throwback to another era.
Founded by returning World War II veteran Samuel Johnson and his brother Irvin in 1945, the Jersey Shore company grew from a small electronics shop to a franchise GE appliance dealer in 1951. It broadened its majap assortment in 1972 after moving to a larger store, opened a second location in 1999, and a year later added bedding.
Today, the family business is run by Samuel’s son Don, and employs four generations of Johnsons. Located just a throw of the dice from Atlantic City, the Nationwide Marketing Group member serves a diverse clientele ranging from vacationing visitors and year-round residents to a dedicated clientele in the Philadelphia metro area, who discovered the dealer during summers at the shore.
After seven decades Johnson’s has become an integral part of the community, Don said. He attributes his company’s longevity in large measure to the support of the NECO Alliance, a warehousing co-operative and Northeast chapter of Nationwide that “gives us easy access to whatever [inventory] we need.”
That access usually allows for next-day deliveries, and proved to be essential to customers in the wake of Super Storm Sandy, which ravaged the coast three years ago.
But having survived hurricanes, recessions and changing consumer tastes, Johnson’s is more than ready for its next 70 years.