Beidler’s celebrates 70 years of service
Beidler’s Furniture Store in Woodstock, a longtime business fixture in the Shenandoah Valley, is celebrating its 70th anniversary this month.
Woodstock native Freddy Beidler opened the store in 1945 in Woodstock, where it flourished before he sold it to the Cline family from Harrisonburg in 1973.
Lee Cline, the store’s owner, said, “There’s no really set of rules or format for running a small business. You just kind of roll with the punches and hope people like what you’re doing.”
At Beidler’s, the Clines sell appliances from washing machines to refrigerators and furniture from sofas to recliners to families in the valley as well as residents from the Washington, D.C., metro area.
For the store’s 70th anniversary, Cline said they are giving away T-shirts as well as having special discounts, promotions and interest rates on their products.
“The community has really supported us over the years, in good times and bad,” Cline said. “We’re very, very thankful to live in a community like Shenandoah County.”
Cline, 61, said that he is as much in the background as an owner these days as two of his three sons, Cory and Brian Cline, who have taken over managing the business.
Over the years, the Clines have expanded Beidler’s original store with a larger showroom as well as keeping up with the latest advances in General Electric appliances.
“We’ve pushed the walls out as far as we’re able to push them out,” Cline said. “I don’t think we can expand any more unless we go up.”
At age 23, Lee Cline said he took over the business after his father passed away. Lee Cline said he was pursuing degrees in finance and business administration at Virginia Commonwealth University at the time.
“When I came home from college in 1977 … was I ready to run a business? No,” he said. “But I had the support of my mother. She said, ‘you’re going to make mistakes, but just learn from them.”
During his high school years, Lee Cline started out in the business by helping his father with deliveries and then moved on to other roles.
His sons also started in delivery at the store.
“Everyone in the family has started out delivering and worked their way up,” Lee Cline said. “It makes it a whole lot easier to do the other operations in the store.”
Lee Cline said Beidler’s is a family business in every sense of the word. Each member handles multiple aspects of the business from furniture sales to bookkeeping to appliance repair order and deliveries.
And unlike the larger appliance chain stores they compete with regionally, Lee Cline said they take the approach of stressing service over everything else, especially pricing.
Cory Cline said, “It really makes you feel good whenever a customer looks you in the eye to say, ‘I’m coming here to buy from you because you work on what you sell.”
In a manner similar to their father, Brian and Cory Cline moved back to Woodstock after college to take on the business and raise families of their own.
“I always told all three of my sons to get an education and learn to use your mind instead of your back,” Lee Cline said, adding jokingly, “They wouldn’t listen to me. They decided to buck the trend and come back.”
Brian Cline graduated from Shenandoah University with a degree in accounting. Meanwhile, Cory Cline graduated with a degree in business administration from Chowan University in North Carolina.
Moving forward, Brian Cline indicated that they will try to follow the same advice their father was given when he took over the business.
“The only way to get any bigger or any better is to learn from any previous errors and just evolve with [the business],” Brian Cline said.
Moving forward, the Clines say they will continue to stress customer service while staying up to date with the latest trends.
“We finish when we’re done,” Brian Cline said. “People always … ask when we close, and I say, ‘whenever we finish with the last customer.”
Contact staff writer Kevin Green at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or firstname.lastname@example.org