Ramsey’s Furniture has been serving the City of Covington for more than a century now. Throughout that time, it has specialized in top-of-the-line products. Top notch customer service has remained the top priority for Tony Ramsey and his predecessors.
The business being passed down from generation to generation has allowed Ramsey to have a unique perspective operating it today.
“I am in three generations of selling to people now. The people I sold to when it started, I am now selling to their grandchildren,” Ramsey said. “Building relationships is why people come back. They know who I am, and they know who we are, they know the product. They do not come in asking to see [specific] companies, they just want to see our mattresses because they know that what I sell I stand behind.”
The original Ramsey’s Furniture opened in 1919 by C.D. Ramsey. Fourth generation Tony Ramsey has been running the store since 1997 when he took over the business from his cousin, Sam Ramsey, who also served as the Covington mayor.
Ramsey’s is still located where it has always been, right off the Covington Square. It owns the building across the street, too, which allows the store to offer more of a selection for its customers.
Tony Ramsey can still remember how his involvement with the business originally came to be.
“[Sam and I] were talking at the Salem Campground in the summer of 1997 and he said he could really use somebody, and we got to talking,” Tony Ramsey said. “I drove over here from [Newnan] for three years and I finally moved my family here in 2000, this became home for my kids.”
While owning the store for the past 26 years, Ramsey has noticed changes within the furniture business.
Ramsey pointed to how the use of technology has ushered in. As a result, the new ways to view and purchase products have been altered significantly.
“[The furniture industry] has changed more in the last five to 10 years than it has changed in the last 30-40 years,” Ramsey said. “With the onslaught of e-commerce and the information people have at their fingertips and what people have available to them just sitting on the couch. Your competition is not the person or people in the next town, it is the keyboard.”
Ramsey’s has adapted to the different methods by offering customers the ability to view their products online. It showcases different pieces for any home with descriptions for every item listed on the website.
Despite the challenges that Ramsey’s face due to it now being easier than ever to buy from the big retailers online, Ramsey believes his store still goes above and beyond with service, establishing strong bonds within the community.
As a family-owned business, Ramsey’s Furniture did experience down periods during the COVID-19 pandemic. Ramsey felt like his store was less prioritized than the bigger name-brand stores in the area.
“You can be an independent dealer like we are, but you must be important to the vendors. During COVID, we were pushed over, and we were not really important to them,” Ramsey said. “It was taking us 12 months to get the product, when it should only be 45 days.”
Ramsey always stays on top of which brands or models he offers for purchase. If he knows the quality is not up to his standards, he won’t sell it.
The goal for Ramsey’s is to sell the highest quality items for affordable prices, which, along with the customer service, has been one of the main reasons Ramsey’s Furniture has become a mainstay in downtown Covington.
Ramsey’s Furniture passed their 100th anniversary in 2019 and are four years into the next century ahead. Now in 2023, Ramsey still holds many of the same values and looks within the store that was there in years past.
Ramsey stressed that no matter what other changes may come and go, the quality of product and customer service will remain the forefront of Ramsey’s Furniture operations.
“There is an expectation when you shop with us that these are better goods than some of the stores that are nearby and we pride ourselves on that,” Ramsey said. “If you go into a big box store, you may never see the same guy ever again. He may have helped you but if you come back in six months he may not be there. If you come back here, it will be familiar.”