Although known as Arnold’s Office Furniture today, immigrants David and Rose Norman founded their company as Norman’s Stationery Company in 1929. Their son, Arnold, joined the family business and started selling office furniture in 1950. He took over in 1973, renamed the company, and ran it until 2005, when he sold it to Jay Berkowitz.
Twelve years later, Jay and his son, Jordan, have grown Arnold’s into a nationwide provider of new and used office furniture based out of Bridgeport, PA.
“We went from having all of our customers come from foot traffic, to having 75 percent from the internet, 20 percent past customers, and 5 percent walk-ins,” President Jordan Berkowitz says. “Arnold’s went from regional to national and increased sales more than 25 times than what they were in 2005.”
Arnold’s works with clients of all sizes, but mainly medium-to-large companies across the United States and Canada. In recent years, Arnold’s has been moving out of the used office furniture business and is focusing more on selling new. “The office furniture industry is importing new furniture from countries such as China, Mexico, Brazil, and the Philippines,” CEO Jay Berkowitz explains. “A couple of years ago, Arnold’s started importing from China and eventually will be importing 100 percent of their new furniture from various companies around the world.”
Right now, Arnold’s mainly imports from China. In addition, the company’s exciting new product, the Sunline Sliding Cubicle series, is manufactured in China.
“We just secured a registered trademark for the Sunline brand,” Jay Berkowitz says. “We started an exclusive contract with the No. 1 office furniture manufacturer in China for this product, which has been around for 12 years but didn’t have any distribution in the United States. We teamed up with them last year at a conference and secured the exclusive rights in the U.S. to sell and distribute this product.