What if the Pittsburgh Mills Mall Closes?
Let’s face facts – it doesn’t look great at the Pittsburgh Mills mall right now. After years of struggling to attract and retain stores, the mall had a high vacancy rate, and that was before it was forced to shut down for almost 12 weeks due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Furthermore, Levin Furniture closed this spring (pre-pandemic, in fact) and many customers with open orders lost their deposits. The same thing happened a few years ago when Roomful Express went out of business.
These two factors make customers nervous about ordering furniture & placing deposits with us – and frankly, understandably so. Our furniture is primarily special order, with 60-120 days lead time. We only require 25% for a deposit, but that still means that we’re asking you to give us hundreds or thousands of dollars in exchange for you trusting that we’ll deliver your furniture in four months.
How can we reassure our customers that our business is strong and won’t close before you get your purchase? One way is to remind our customers of our history. We’ve been in business since 2002, in the Galleria at Pittsburgh Mills since 2009, and in our expanded showroom since 2018. We’re a small, local business, owned by a family in Penn Hills. Our small staff of three has been working together for 10 years – we have virtually no employee turnover. We live in the communities we serve, and are committed to honoring our neighbors. We’re not going anywhere anytime soon. In fact, we continue to invest in new display furniture for our showroom. There's no indication that the Pittsburgh Mills mall will close any time soon. New businesses are actually moving in (just wait until you hear what's going on in the old H&M - I screamed when I found out.) And, if if the mall does close, we’ll open up in a new location.
But – here’s the rub…
If you had asked your Levin salesperson, they would have assured that they’d be in business, and your deposit was safe, just the same as we tell potential customers, and just the same as I’m doing now. So let me tell you a personal story.
I’m Chelsea, one of the salespeople at The Amish Home since 2010, and I also maintain the website and social media pages. I bought my first home in 2016 and, last summer, my husband and I hired a contractor to renovate our bathroom. This was a licensed contractor with great reviews. We paid him a $6k deposit, which he stole. He never once set foot on our property after he had our money. Fortunately for us, we had paid our deposit on our credit card. Our bank refunded our entire deposit and it’s up to them to pursue the contractor for the debt.
Here’s my point: The absolute best way to protect any deposit is to use your credit card. And I’m pretty sure it matters that it was a credit card, and not a debit card. Our store doesn’t offer a cash discount, but after what we’ve been through, I would always pay the extra few percentage points for the peace of mind. To be quite honest, the process of disputing the charges was pretty easy, even though it did take several months.
I hope this advice helps you feel more confident in trusting our store with your deposit. Please don’t hesitate to call us at 724-895-3805 or email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions you might have.