While it may appear this issue’s fashion photos were made inside a luxurious Pine Belt home, they were actually made inside the Hub City’s newest furniture retailer – Miskelly’s.
In the early days of its existence in the old Gander Mountain building at Westover Crossing in Hattiesburg and before its incredible grand opening extravaganza, Miskelly’s gave Signature the run of its brand new 70,000-square-foot facility. It was difficult to decide where to shoot first as there were so many incredible options and vignettes from which our photographers could choose.
In order to get to know our new neighbors, we decided to delve a little deeper into the store’s history and its reason for heading south to the Hub City.
The three principles of Miskelly Furniture – Chip, Oscar and Tommy Miskelly – grew up in Okolona, south of Tupelo. Their father, Howard, owned a retail clothing store, where they spent many hours helping with the family business and learning about retail. It was during these years that Tupelo experienced tremendous growth in the furniture manufacturing business – and the Miskelly brothers saw the opportunity for furniture retailing and began to work on the future.
In 1978 the first Miskelly’s Furniture was established when they leased a 10,000-square-foot-building in Pearl. Quickly outgrowing that space, they moved to a new location near the Jackson International Airport. Here, the store flourished and the business prospered, realizing significant growth again in 1983. At this time Tommy Miskelly joined his brothers, Chip and Oscar, and the Miskelly “Commitment to Excellence” was born.
During the next decade the three brothers worked to make Miskelly’s the premier name in home furnishings in the Jackson metro area. In 1985, when they saw the potential for a furniture showroom that would rival any in the southeast, the company built and moved into a 70,000- square-foot retail showroom. The new location had, in addition to one of the largest showrooms in the South, a 75,000-square-foot state-of-the-art distribution center as well as an additional 10,000 feet of administrative office space.
In 2001, Miskelly’s saw the need to provide more for their customers, so they added an additional 58,000 square feet to their distribution center and a 25,000-square-foot corporate office center. This additional space afforded Miskelly the luxury of buying in volume and passing these savings directly to its customers.
The “Family Business” philosophy has become an integral part of the Miskelly story, employing more than 300 people whose focus is a direct reflection of their mission statement, “Our Family Serving Your Family With Excellence.”
Miskelly’s is always ready for the next challenge. A good central location in Hattiesburg brought them to town in late 2017 with a grand opening in February 2018. Their push for excellence has garnered a national listing among the Top 100 Furniture Companies in America for seven years. And in February, Miskelly was named the #1 Independent Furniture Retailer in America by Home Furnishings Business, a national trade magazine.
Following the Hattiesburg opening, Miskelly Furniture is the largest furniture and bedding retailer in Mississippi with 570,000 square feet. Hattiesburg’s store is the second largest location and seventh store in the chain.
All employees at the Hattiesburg store are local people – from the manager on down. Store Manager Jason Arnett was working for the business in Jackson, but grew up in Hattiesburg, thus making him a perfect fit to return home and manage the store.
Miskelly’s welcome to the Hub City has been overwhelming, according to marketing director Betsy Tabor. “We have exceeded our goal for the store every week.”
“We knew Miskelly and Hattiesburg were going to be a good match,” said Oscar Miskelly. “But after the initial two weeks, we can say we underestimated. Miskelly and Hattiesburg are a great match.”