The business with likely the most noticeable and retro sign on all of Smithtown’s Main Street has been in business for almost 50 years with no signs of slowing down – Smithtown Appliances.
In an era where big box stores dominate, Smithtown Appliances continues to keep prices competitive. How the store keeps its prices on or better than its competition is its affiliation with Intercounty Appliance, an appliance buying cooperative.
Vito Blandi, who also is affiliated with the buying cooperative, owns Smithtown Appliances. According to the owner’s son, also named Vito, having the right price coupled with excellent customer service makes it hard for people not to shop there.
“He buys right, we sell right, and then we do everything with relationships,” he said. “If you’ve got this price no matter where you go all we need to do is care more. If you care more you’re going to keep your relationships.”
These relationships have kept the business up-and-running for 48 years.
“Initially before he [Vito] grew up to be the youngster he is now, I dealt with his father. The service here is excellent. You know how many places I could go to, right? Didn’t even bother to compare,” said longtime customer Michael Costanzo.
Mark Cohen, a 14-year Smithtown Appliances employee with more than 25 years experience in selling appliances, said everyone at Smithtown Appliances is like family to each other.
“I work for good people, and I work for honest people,” said 14-year employee “I don’t plan on going anywhere else. We all work with each other.”
The appliance store still continues to build new relationships with customers today.
“I’ve been meaning to stop in and see what they could offer and I was pleasantly surprised that the small store does offer customer satisfaction in a sense that they give you their personal attention … and the prices seem to be very competitive,” said Fred Domini, a first-time customer and 10-year Smithtown resident while shopping with his wife Debbie.
Although they serve a lot of local clientele, the relationships extend well beyond the Town of Smithtown, with orders shipping out regularly to the Hamptons and throughout Long Island to Brooklyn, Manhattan and more.
While the younger Vito is not in an ownership role of the family business yet, keeping all of the relationships thriving is what keeps him around.
“I got into this business partly because it was a continuity of my parent’s dream and life’s work, part of it was we have a very good clientele, we’ve always had a good clientele,” he said. “I like the business.”