“We had a gun to our head, there’s no ifs, ands, or buts. The waterbed business was crashing and we had to reinvent our business or we were not going to come out alive. I like to share that problems are opportunities in disguise. We had to reinvent our business and it was the opportunity to create City Furniture. We didn’t think the world needed just another furniture store, but we felt the customer would respond to our vision to be the Ultimate Furniture Store. We work to do things that aren’t being done. We continue to look at our business from our customer’s point of view and try to innovate ways to make her shopping experience better. Furniture shopping needs to be fun.”
Keith Koenig, president of City Furniture, has an unwavering passion for serving the retail home furnishings consumer, transitioning from selling waterbeds, to offering a full line of furniture and home accents, to adding an upholstery factory and licensed Ashley Home Stores. Its energetic, fun and entrepreneurial culture is based on a guiding purpose, “To enrich people’s lives and make the world a better place.” With 28 stores, it is the number one furniture store in South Florida and among the Top 100 retailers nationally with more than 1,500 associates and an aggressive college recruiting program. Stores feature amenities like a wine and coffee bar plus same-day delivery and free shipping. Sales associates assist guests and process orders on iPads, trucks are fueled by clean, compressed natural gas and 98 percent of waste is recycled.
In 1971, Keith’s late brother, Kevin, opened Waterbed City in Fort Lauderdale with a few thousand dollars. Keith joined his brother in 1972 while still in college and they soon became partners. When waterbed sales declined in 1990, the brothers added innerspring mattresses. In 1994, they opened the first full-line City Furniture store. Since then City Furniture has grown dramatically and added 12 Ashley Home Stores across South Florida.
City Furniture is known for generously supporting dozens of charities, ranging from the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, City of Hope and the Anti-Defamation League to the Doreen Koenig Blessed Beginnings Maternity Center at Holy Cross Hospital, the Archdiocese of Miami, University of Florida Foundation, Museum of Discovery and Science, and Habitat for Humanity. It is the only company to win Philanthropic Company of the Year in the Broward and Miami-Dade counties in the same year.