Michael Corkery is a reporter for The New York Times. He writes about finance and its impact on consumers, businesses, and the environment. Mr. Corkery recently wrote an article on Dunham’s Department Store in Wellsboro. The New York Times photographer Ross Mantle took the photos for the feature.
From what we can tell from Michael’s story he was impressed. And, he should be. After all, Dunham’s Department Store is one of the last surviving family-owned department stores in the USA. Michael comments right up front that the big draw is the hot chocolate and the chance to win $100.00 gift card.
Corkery states in his article that Dunham’s Department Store, “has managed to compete in its own way with Amazon and the Walmart Supercenter, which is only 12 miles away and sells just about everything.” Michael was discovering what the locals here in our region have known for years; there’s something about Dunham’s.
The Dunham’s family has been fighting the good fight in retail for four generations. In Corkery’s article, he talks to Dunham’s customer Jim Rice who drives 28 miles to shop at Dunham’s. “They know how to treat you,” Jim says. This is true. They do know how to treat you, and they take good care of their customers.
Outstanding customer service is often lacking in the BIG BOX stores. And, when you do find someone who wants to help they often are lacking in product knowledge. There are exceptions. For example, Chick-fil-A has made their mark by combining good fast food with excellent customer service. But, businesses in the USA are suffering from the lack of excellent customer service. And, their automated phone answering systems will drive you nuts. These phone systems have got to be costing American business billions. If you don’t believe me, please press 5 and wait for the answer. At Dunham’s Department Store, they know how to treat you, to quote Jim Rice. And, when you call the store for information a real live person who wants to serve you actually answers the phone!
We’re so happy that people from The New York Times had the opportunity to experience Dunham’s Department Store, Cafe 1905, and Main Street Wellsboro. We hope that they will get out of the traffic and come back again. Yes, things are a little slower here. But, that’s good. There are people in the larger cities who kill themselves, working in the rat race for years to obtain what the folks here in Tioga County already have when we walk out the front door. It’s beautiful here in the land of the endless mountains. And, we can thank families like the Dunham’s and the Bryant’s for helping to make our community such a special place. They work hard, and they do their best to take good care of the folks who live here.
In closing a special thanks to Dunham’s Department Store, Cafe 1905, The Penn Wells Hotel/Lodge and the Arcadia Theatre for being part of our Home Page family of advertisers. The next time you enjoy one of our broadcasts, please remember that it’s local businesses like these who cover the cost to make that feature possible. We can honestly say that if it were not for John and Nancy Dunham, The Home Page Network would not exist. It was their wisdom and business advice that encouraged us to press on with the vision of The Home Page Network.
Read THE NEW YORK TIMES article by Michael Corkery on Dunham’s Department store here. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/21/business/retail-shopping-dunhams.html
Photos by Ross Mantle, The New York Times