Bud Poirier, Bob’s father, opened our appliance service company on the corner of Washington and Dean Streets in Norwood in 1962. Poirier was then a small independent service agency.
One service call stands out: Bob Sr. had to tell a customer their Maytag washing machine was beyond repair. The client asked a simple question:
"Can you sell us a new one?"
Poirier was not a retail appliance store, but Bob decided to ask his father if there was anything they could do. They contacted Maytag directly and were told the manufacturer only sold to retailers, who had to order a minimum of four appliances.
Bud and Bob considered this dilemma: Could they satisfy their customer’s request and then sell three more units? Father and son confidently decided they could, and Poirier Service became Poirier Sales & Service, quickly moving to a new location across the street with extra space for warehousing.
We started slowly, specializing in scratch-and-dent products. Soon, as word spread that the Poiriers would, in fact, always do what they said they would do, the retail component was expanded.
Poirier is a member of New England Appliance and Electronics Group, a regional buying group, made up of independent appliance dealers in New England. This combined buying and marketing power allows family-owned businesses to compete and capture market shares from big-box stores, you know, those guys who just can’t deliver on the same quality, service, experience, responsiveness, and competitive pricing of Poirier.
The New England Appliance and Electronics Group now boasts 110 independent dealer members, who represent 160 retail showrooms throughout New England.
Continuous growth throughout the 1970s required a larger showroom to display the ever-expanding brand names available at Poirier. In 1981, we moved into our current location, a 13,000-square-foot facility, still in Norwood at 1015 Washington Street.
As an example of Poirier ingenuity, we wanted to find a more appropriate method to display the increasingly popular category of high-end, luxury, built-in appliances.
So Poirier partnered with our regional Sub-Zero Freezer Company wholesale distributor, who also sold custom cabinetry, and we became the first strictly appliance showroom to properly display built-in refrigerators, wall ovens, and cooktops in a true kitchen environment.
Now, finally, homeowners and tradesmen could see how these items would enhance their remodeling and building projects. These custom-oriented displays are now seen in nearly all the best independent appliance retailers in the region.
Poirier’s Norwood showroom currently has a range of custom displays that highlight quality brands, such as Sub-Zero, Wolf, Thermador, Miele, and Monogram. The showroom displays feature “live” appliances and give customers the ultimate experience of trying these brands in our place. Access to these luxury brands also differentiates Poirier’s sales offerings from those of large chain and home improvement/lumber outfits.