Niles-based Camdens appliance store celebrates milestone
Published 9:09 am Monday, October 5, 2015
Jeff Miars did not always plan on taking over the family business.
The 2006 Niles High School graduate was actually studying business computer information systems in college before deciding at the end of his freshman year to keep Camdens appliance in Niles and Edwardsburg in the family name.
“I wanted to keep the name around and make sure we continue to give back to the Niles area,” said Miars, who took over the business from his father, Mark, earlier this year. “If Mark decided to sell it, there wouldn’t be a small business appliance store selling major appliances in Niles.”
With Jeff at the helm, Camdens is under its third generation of family ownership as it celebrates 50 years of serving the greater Niles area.
Cam Miars (Jeff’s grandfather) started Camdens in 1965 on Second Street in Niles before moving to Main Street in 1968. From 1971 to 1978, Camdens operated in Bell Plaza where it added appliances to its already booming television and stereo business.
Cam then sold the business to Mark, who ran the company for many years until turning it over to Jeff this year.
“So it was very important to keep the name around, the service and the products that we offer out there,” Jeff said. “We’ve been around a long time and have developed a lot of good relationships with customers.”
Today, Camdens sells major appliances. Approximately 80 percent have minor scratches or dents, resulting in between 15 to 20 percent off the retail price. About 10 percent are close-out items (previous year’s model) and the rest are new models.
Jeff said offering unique products, like scratch and dent, has helped Camdens stay in business over the years.
“For the past 20 years scratch and dent has been big for us. It lets us get prices out there that are less than the box stores with minimum damage to the products and still has the manufacturer’s warranty,” he said.
Camdens also sells Oreck vacuums.
Jeff said Camdens gives back to the community as well in the form of sponsoring Optimist Soccer and the Irish Youth Hockey programs.
Camdens has 13 employees between the two locations.
It is located at 3108 S. 11th St. in Niles and at 22587 US-12 East in Edwardsburg.
The Niles phone number is (269) 683-1500 and the Edwardsburg phone number is (269) 699-5127.
People can shop for every item or check out store hours online at CamdenAppliance.com.
A 50-year celebration with special deals and giveaways will be offered Oct. 24, at the Edwardsburg store.