The Havertys warehouses have come a long way since the company’s inception in 1885. We’ve grown from small, entirely wooded, no heated or air conditioned spaces to enormous distribution centers that house thousands of items, with temperature controls.
Take one of our oldest warehouses in Columbia, SC. When we shut it down in the 80’s, it had been open and in use for roughly 60 years. And those 60 years saw very few updates in structure or utilities (or lack thereof).
Mr. Clarence Smith, our CEO here at Havertys, actually began his career in this very building back in 1973. He recalls lots of details – lack of heat, single-stringed light bulbs and a rope elevator. There was also a very narrow catwalk along a mezzanine inside, just wide enough for a pair of hand trucks to roll across. Anyone up there had to be extra careful not to fall into one of the holes in the floor but also be sure to keep an eye upward to keep from whacking their head on the pipes of the sprinkler system above. This mezzanine was also home to a load of pigeons and the mess they created. This was a fun task that the employees had to try to keep under control.
This warehouse closed though, along with 35 others, once the 491,000 square foot Eastern Distribution Center (EDC) opened in Braselton, GA in 2002.
In 2006 the EDC expanded to the 841,00 square feet it is today. It holds the furniture and accessories for the southeastern US all the way up to Washington DC to Baltimore, and across to Cincinnati. It houses state-of-the-art repair shops as well as a recycling center.
It’s always fun to look back and see where someone came from in order to get to know them a little better. It’s also exciting to see how far we’ve come.