Kullberg’s BrandSource Home Furnishings is celebrating 90 years of business for Westman. Phil Brooking, the current manager, says that customer service is a key to the store’s success.
Kullberg’s has been a family business for three generations. Nels Kullberg opened the parent store in Brandon those 90 years ago. Son Jack followed in his footsteps and now Richard Kullberg has owned and operated the store since 1979.
Opening a branch store in Virden was a bright idea promoted by furniture salesman Brian Johnston. He originally started in the Brandon location in 1977. In 1985 Johnston took on Kullberg’s Virden store that originally opened where the Farm Credit Canada (FCC) office building is located on King Street.
Johnston recalls the sales force included Ray Bonner and Darwin Walker. Over the years Erin Polk, Shirley Kennedy and Betty Grant were also part of the Virden team.
Johnston recalls the new furniture location proved successful from the start. “There was an extremely good response from the community. We exceeded our expectations.”
He explained there’s a ‘dollars per square-foot’ formula that furniture retailers use to measure a location’s success. The Virden location sold about double the dollars as Johnston worked to keep people coming to Virden from a retail area which included Virden area, and beyond to Moosomin, McAuley, and all the way northeast to Hamiota (Brian’s original hometown).
Free delivery for 100 kms helped.
It was some 18 years ago when Virden’s Saan Store closed. Kullberg’s moved across King Street to the roomy site where it continues today.
Seven years ago, Johnston felt it was time to retire. Phil Brooking from Brandon had been managing Smitty’s Restaurant, and he decided it was time to make a change also. Brooking took on the management of the Virden Kullberg’s where staff, Kim Bohrn and Margie Taylor (part-time), serve shoppers.