Missoula, MT 59801
About Wagners Home Furnishings
Give a brief (100 words or less) history of how your business started:
Wagner’s Home Furnishings was started by Bill Wagner in 1953. Bill started an unrelated business in the late 1930’s which closed when he left to serve in the US Navy during World War II. After the war, he found opportunity in the Home Furnishings industry in Billings and Livingston. His heart was set on getting home to Missoula, and he seized that opportunity in 1953. Wagner’s Home Furnishings allowed Bill the chance to his own business as well as to live in and serve the community he loved.
Tell us a little (100 words or less) about the founder of your business:
Bill Wagner was born, raised and educated in Missoula, MT. He met his wife, Margaret “Peg” Kemp, while at the U of M. They were married in 1938. Together they had 6 children, all of whom found work at Wagner’s during some point of their lives.
What is the key to your longevity as a Missoula business:
The key to our success has been a commitment to quality home furnishings, honesty, service and a wonderful staff. Just as importantly, we have been blessed with a very loyal and supportive customer base throughout Missoula and western Montana.
What is the biggest event that’s ever happened in your business’s history:
In 1963, Bill Wagner passed away unexpectedly, just 10 years into starting the business. This event brought Peg into the business full-time at a time when female-owned businesses were rare. It also created a need and opportunity for increased involvement by both family members and existing staff. It united everyone with a passion and commitment to successfully carry on Bill Wagner’s goals and vision. Family and staff members came together to move the business into the forefront of the home furnishings industry here in Missoula.
How has your business changed, or evolved, over the years:
During the most recent economic downturn, most home furnishings stores were moving to lower quality, lower priced goods manufactured from overseas facilities. In 2008, Wagner’s decided to make an even larger commitment to American Made manufacturers and higher quality goods. That decision has come back to serve us well. Today, as many as 70% of our customers will customize the pieces they see on our floor thru special ordering so that they fit their unique lifestyles and needs.
Tell us a little (100 words or less) about your current business and its employees:
Our retail store is located at 916 SW Higgins Ave. We have 15 Full-time employees with nearly 250 combined years of experience in the home furnishings industry. In addition to home furnishings, mattresses, carpeting and window treatments, we also have a full-service Upholstery shop. In May of 2012, we went through a major building renovation to update our store front and façade. In 2013, Wagner’s was also accepted into America’s premiere Furniture and Mattress Buying group, which keeps us competitive with larger retailers and specialty stores. We recently added an in-store Mattress Gallery, offering a comfortable shopping experience featuring quality,
What are your future plans for the business:
We will always be about home, family and a strong commitment to community involvement. Our principles of quality, honesty and service will continue to shape all of our future plans. We are most fortunate to have a third generation, seasoned in our industry that has entered the business with a skill set that compliments our strengths and needs. This, along with our skilled, professional staff, will allow us to continue to provide all that has made us what we are today while being able to adapt to the change that the future will demand.
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