Walls Furniture

A Family-Owned Business Supporting the Community                                       

Writer / Aimee MacArthur
Photographer David Fenning

Walls FurnitureCraig Robbins did not plan on owning a furniture business. Robbins had a successful sales career working for a large corporation. He was ready for a career change when he and his wife, Audrey, a professor at Ball State University, decided to move back to Muncie to be closer to family.

“I came to the furniture business in 2008 and I purchased the business from my mother-in-law and father-in-law last year,” Robbins says. He is the owner of the Muncie location of Walls Furniture which opened in 1996.

As a second-generation owner, Robbins decided to make some dramatic changes to the Walls Furniture business model and how it handles inventory. “I went to all the big manufacturers that I’ve used and presented this idea to them,” he says. “What if you gave me your best-selling stuff, which is the stuff I pretty much sell and you let me stock it in a couple of different warehouses. So, when I sell it, I can just go get it.”

Robbins’ goal is for Walls Furniture customers to be able to find an item they like, purchase it and have it delivered to their home within 48 hours. He does not want customers to wait weeks or months for a couch, dining room set, recliner or other piece of furniture. Walls Furniture sells home accessories, furniture for every room in the home, mattresses and electronic products such as media and TV consoles. Robbins stocks items in limited colors, so customers are not overwhelmed by a multitude of choices. He says customers are used to hearing from other stores that they will have to wait months for a piece of furniture.

Robbins believes his customers do not want the same furniture for years. Robbins thinks most customers may have the desire to redecorate their homes or want to change furniture after wear and tear. Spring is an ideal time to restyle and refresh the interior of a home with a few new pieces of furniture. About 90% of Walls Furniture’s inventory can be delivered within the 48-hour timeframe, except for some mattresses, which may take a few weeks.

Robbins does not use any kind of sales tactics like marking up prices and then marking them down to what they would normally be and call it a sale. “When you come to Walls, you’re not going to be taken advantage of with a sale,” he says. “Whatever you buy, you know that we stand behind it.” Robbins says the shopping experience at Walls Furniture is meant to be pleasant, starting with Jimmy Buffett music which plays in the parking lot. He does not believe in high pressure sales and he and his staff try to set the tone with a friendly and relaxed atmosphere.

Robbins stands behind the furniture and mattresses he sells and wants to make sure customers are happy with what they buy. He will try to fix any issues or problems and has been known to visit a customer’s home to replace an item under warranty. His hands-on ownership style translates into repeat business for Walls Furniture and customers who share their positive experiences with friends and family.

Walls FurnitureRobbins’ philosophy of going above and beyond to help customers extends to his strong belief in serving the community. He and his wife, Audrey, believe in supporting Muncie, where they both grew up and now raise their children. Robbins gives back by regularly supporting the YMCA shelter in Muncie with furniture and mattress donations, as well as providing sneakers and basketballs to kids at the shelter. He feels strongly about helping single mothers and their children, especially those who are struggling with homelessness. He also supports Christian ministries and Afghan refugees who are living in Muncie. Robbins believes Muncie is a city who helps those in need. “Muncie has a really good community. Anytime there’s an issue or a need in Muncie, the people come together faster than any other community I’ve had business in,” he says. “We find a way and we get things done.”

As a father of four young sons, ages 5, 7, 10 and 12, Robbins spends his free time coaching youth sports teams. He was a former athlete and played baseball, basketball and tennis. He stays active and enjoys coaching and being a mentor to young athletes. “I remember every coach I had and I remember something about them,” he says. “It gives me an opportunity to teach them a little bit about life. There’s more to baseball than catching or throwing.” He motivates young athletes he coaches to be confident, keep their heads held up high, and be supportive of fellow teammates no matter if they fail or succeed.

When Robbins is not coaching or attending games with his family, he is hard at work at Walls Furniture, thinking and planning how to make the business the best it can be, which includes a possible expansion. “My great futuristic plans would be to buy the field to the north of me and divide my current store into seven, 2,200 square foot units and rent them out, he says. “Then I would have a bigger store next store.”

The need for expansion is necessary since Walls Furniture customers travel from far away to visit the store. “We have customers come all the way from Ohio,” he says. “We deliver to every surrounding state: Michigan, Ohio, Illinois and Kentucky.” Robbins values his customers and looks forward to helping them find what they need to make their homes feel comfortable and spruced up with brand new furniture. “When you’re a customer of mine, you’re more than a number,” he says. “You’re a person.”

Walls Furniture is located at 3611 North Nebo Road in Muncie. To learn more, visit wallsfurniture.com, call 765-286-5494, or follow them on Facebook at facebook.com/wallsfurniture.

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