Need High-Grade Upholstery? Soft Touch Opens New Backstock Warehouse

GIRARD, Ohio — Residential and commercial customers looking for commercial-grade upholstery material can find thousands of yards at clearance prices at the new Soft Touch Furniture warehouse storefront.

The local furniture manufacturer spent the last couple months converting its 2,691-square-foot storage warehouse at 1560 S. State St. into an actual storefront, where customers can walk in and buy what they need, says Jake Ellis, marketing and project manager. The company has been building up the inventory for decades, he says, most of which is excess rolls of commercial-grade fabric and vinyl accumulated over its 45-plus years in business, he says.

“We have rolls over there that we’ve used for commercial jobs and some residential jobs,” he says. “It’s going to last people a long time. It’s not cheap material by any means.”

Most of the material is vinyl and fabric priced at $15 or less per yard, including some outdoor materials like Sunbrella that can range $40 to $50 per yard, he says.

On average, fabric costs per yard can range from $50 to $70, with some of the more pricier options costing up to $200 per yard, according to HomeAdvisor.com.

Other materials, like hides and leathers, will be priced higher at Soft Touch. “We can’t just give that one away,” Ellis says.

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Gallery images include the new Soft Touch Furniture warehouse storefront, rolls of material inside, other items that will be available for sale after the grand opening, and workers from Youngstown Mirror & Glass and Quality Alarm during the storefront installation.

The warehouse floor is lined with 36 white wooden racks, each holding 14 rolls of material, for a total of 504 rolls. That doesn’t include additional rolls of material on metal shelving units in the warehouse. 

Some of the rolls might have as little as five yards of material, while others could have more than 30 yards, taking total yardage available well into the thousands, Ellis says.

Customers can go in and shop right now for residential DIY projects or commercial, he says. The company is planning to host a grand opening in the fall, after which it looks to add other supplies, such as foam and adhesives.

The warehouse is one of the ways Soft Touch Furniture innovated to energize its business coming out of the pandemic. Over the last year, the company ramped up its local marketing efforts, raising awareness of the company in the residential market and earning new customers that way, he says.

Through the warehouse project, Soft Touch was able to invest money back into the community by contracting with Youngstown Mirror & Glass Co., which built and installed the storefront to the building, Ellis says. Soft Touch will also need to hire additional staff to run the storefront.

The warehouse is also a boon for other upholstery shops and commercial customers who can get what they need without having to pay shipping prices, he adds.

“We want to try to help out the people in our community as much as we can,” Ellis says. “If we have something over there that can help them out and it’s at a great price, come on over. We’re not here to put anybody out of business. We’re here to help people do business.”

For more on Soft Touch Furniture and it worked its way through the pandemic to Rally Around Small Business, watch the video above.

Copyright 2021 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.