Neves Celebrate 20 Years in Business
For the past two decades, Gordon and Lisa Neve have immersed themselves in nearly every aspect of the Antigo community—literally from floor to ceiling.
Monday, December 5, 2022, marked the 20-year anniversary of the couple’s ownership of what is now Neve’s Floors To Go Furniture & Mattress Gallery at 710 Fifth Ave.
Like anyone in business, they strive to serve their customers. In return for two decades of support from the community, they continue to give back with their time and talents.
“The Antigo area has treated us really well,” Gordon Neve said. “We feel pretty blessed around here.”
Sales, delivery, and setup, as well as removal of a customer’s old furniture and flooring, has taken them to every corner of their market, with a heavy emphasis on Antigo, Wittenberg, Birnamwood, Tigerton, Pelican Lake, Pickerel, Crandon, Wabeno, Laona, Mountain, and Lakewood.
Because the Neves have a strong customer base, they believe it’s important to give back.
“We are pretty heavily involved with the community,” Gordon Neve said.
A few of those community activities include the annual Christmas booth and chili cook-off contests, the streetscape decisions for the reconstruction of Fifth Avenue, Antigo First (and its predecessors), Party on the Ave, the pre-chamber of commerce Customer Appreciation Day and the Antigo Music Association. Both are also appointed to some city standing committees, such as the Plan Commission, Hotel and Motel Room Tax Commission, and Police and Fire Commission.
Twenty years ago
The couple purchased H & R Furniture from Jerry Riha and Jim Horton on Nov. 29, 2002.
“Father’s Day (of 2002) was the first day we came up and saw the store,” Lisa Neve said. “Black Friday was our first day open.”
The store traces its roots to the 1940s, when, like many furniture stores, it was also in the funeral home business. Through a series of owners, it came to Riha and Horton and then to the Neves.
Gordon and Lisa Neve were both involved in the furniture business prior to owning the Antigo store.
“The goals were to update it … the displays, the furniture and things,” Gordon Neve said. “We probably moved things around two or three different times in here.”
Living in Marshfield at the time, Gordon Neve worked with furniture and appliances. Lisa Neve worked with a La-Z-Boy representative, which is how they discovered the Antigo store was for sale.
“It was a process with me, going from 60-70 hours a week at a store in Marshfield to getting a job in Plover, then basically the same thing, helping take something over,” Gordon Neve said.
Lisa Neve said she nor her husband had much knowledge of the flooring side of the business, so Riha stuck around and helped them the first couple years.
Soon, they contacted with Floors To Go, which opened their store to all types of products, not just the select few the flooring representatives would offer them.
Today, while the living room and bedroom (including the three major lines of bedding) are the most popular rooms they coordinate with customers on, they serve all rooms, including the kitchen and bathroom, although that is mostly the flooring.
They don’t work with kitchen cabinets, appliances or fixtures. But, the store’s three floors feature plenty of window treatments, area rugs, decor and accessories.
“We try to hit all price points,” Lisa Neve said.
Today and tomorrow
That initial plan to update the store continues for the Neves. They are always looking for new ways to display their products, as well as new products themselves.
“We go to markets all the time,” Gordon Neve said. “Two or three times a year, we’ll go to the furniture market. We’ll go to the flooring market.”
Mattresses and recliners are big sellers, because they wear out faster than other furniture. Everybody uses them every day, so those sales are brisk for the Neves.
“The vinyl plank COREtec is probably been the biggest innovation in the last eight or 10 years,” Gordon Neve said.
Shaw Floors and Mohawk Carpet are major lines as well.
The store is open six days a week and by appointment after hours. The full-service operation includes four part-time employees and three installers, as well as the Neves.
“Since we’ve been here, we’ve probably seen half a dozen going out of business sales,” Gordon Neve said. “We’re still Small Town, USA.” For the past 20 years, the Neves have nurtured their customers—and that’s why they are still here.
“The customer really is the store. I honestly believe that. I don’t care if it’s from the sales end of it, the delivery end of it or the follow-up. If we don’t have customers, you don’t have business, I don’t have a salesman, I don’t have a delivery person, I don’t have a store.”
The Neves’ commitment to their customers and the community will help to ensure their continued success for many years to come.
Source: Antigo Daily Journal, December 2, 2022