Akron home furnishings mainstay Chez-Del is putting its operations under one roof, moving from 1930 W. Market St. and consolidating at its much larger site at 480 W. Exchange St.
The move comes after the third-generation family business renovated its 25,000-square-foot West Exchange showroom, which for years has anchored the corner of Maple and West Exchange streets, in the Five Points area just west of downtown.
“The West Exchange Street building is just a really cool old building. It’s well over a hundred years old,” said Tim DelMedico, one of three siblings who run the 66-year-old furnishing and interior decorating business. “This will better serve our customer base. We’ll have a larger showroom [in one place].”
DelMedico said all five full- and part-time workers at the West Market site will move to the West Exchange location, bringing the payroll there to 15 employees.
“Nobody is losing a job,” DelMedico said. “In fact, we’re actually looking to add employees in the design field.”
He said the family is discussing the future of the 2,600-square-foot West Market location, which the family owns.
The West Market building will be the site of a moving sale Saturday though Oct. 6, with discounts up to 70 percent. On Oct. 19 and 20, the West Exchange store will host “Welcome Home Weekend” with prizes and refreshments.
The family also owns a warehouse on Bartges Street.
The renovation of the West Exchange store — which boasts 16-foot-high ceilings — began this spring and involved incorporating previously unused space into the floor display area, taking up carpet, refinishing wood floors and removing wallpaper.
Shoppers now can clearly see a large wood, three-story staircase, which prior to the renovation was obscured.
Workers knocked walls down to create themed display areas DelMedico calls “lifestyle galleries.”
“We’ve gone into more of a lifestyle format,” he said. “So if someone wants that ‘uptown loft’ look, we’ve got it [on display]. If someone wants that ‘European countryside’ look, we’ve got it.”
Outside, the renovation included a new facade — a textured material that looks like stucco — on three sides of the exterior. There’s also a new roof and lighting.
The building, which once housed Palmer Furniture Co., last had significant renovations in the early 1980s.
Chez-Del traces its roots to a basement business started by Tim DelMedico’s paternal grandmother, the late Angela DelMedico.
As a 14-year-old, she would stand outside Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. and peddle silk flower arrangements she had made.
Eventually, she began making draperies for her friends, working out of her basement.
By 1946 — the official founding year of the business — the venture had evolved into a full-scale decorating operation.
Chez-Del — French for “the House of Del” — outgrew the basement in 1949, when Angela DelMedico and her husband, Joseph, acquired the West Market Street site.
Angela’s son, Vincent “Del” DelMedico Sr., eventually took over, expanding the company into a full-service furniture store and decorating business. In 1979, he opened the Exchange Street store.
Tim DelMedico and siblings Vincent DelMedico Jr. and Jacquelyn Paparella — the third generation — now run the business.
Katie Byard can be reached at 330-996-3781 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Beacon Journal staff writer Mary Beth Breckenridge contributed to this report.