Gaylords Lamps and Shades is one of the area’s most well known specialty small businesses, but after four years in Bethesda’s Woodmont Triangle, owner Mel Levinson decided the location just wasn’t working out.
The problem, in a nutshell, was a lack of parking, especially important for a business that relies on repairs of hard to carry equipment.
“It affected us because people bringing in product don’t want to walk half a block,” Levinson said.
The pending move raised eyebrows a few months ago, when signs on the shop’s 7833 Woodmont Ave. location said the business had lost its lease. That’s not exactly what happened, Levinson said.
The business, which opened in 1953 and for a long time was located on Leland Street in Chevy Chase, is doing fine, Levinson said.
It opened last week in its new Kenwood Building location (5272 River Rd.). There is free parking lot in an attached garage. The Woodmont location had a curbside meters nearby, but the closest county parking garage would mean quite a haul for bulky lamps or fixtures.
“It’s a smaller space but we’re selling what we sell,” Levinson said.
Lamp shades and repairs are the store’s main business. Levinson bought it from its original owners 14 years ago.
“You go into all of these big stores, like Target or wherever you go, there’s no customer service,” Levinson said. “People think they can go on the internet and buy something and it’s going to be the same. It’s not the same. They have to put it together. If it comes broken, they have to deal with it and send it back. Our customers want someone to wait on them. They want customer service.”
Levinson is having a grand opening sale: Gaylords will meet or beat any online price on lighting fixtures, lamps, chandeliers and Maitland Smith furniture.
Flickr photo by Raoul Pop