At 94, Pittsburgh’s gregarious Seymour Farber is still knocking on doors. This week he launched the annual ‘Here’s the Deal’ mattress fundraiser, with American Buyer’s Discount Mattress in Homestead donating 10 percent of discounted mattress profits back to charity organizations.
“He’s been the face of this store for decades. People know him and love to talk with him. This keeps him in the business and gives him something to look forward to,” store owner Vincent Snyder said. Farber owned the business until retiring at age 87, a time when he was still coming to work six days a week and taking one off for Steeler games.
With nearly seven decades in the mattress business, he knows the industry well. His fundraising campaign includes perusing through the Mon Valley calling on churches, social agencies, assisted living facilities, and fraternal
organizations. As part of the campaign, for referring members to the mattress store, the organization receives 10 percent cash back on the purchase price. The store guarantees it will beat any advertised price in the Pittsburgh area and is offering free delivery, setup, and removal.
American Buyer’s Discount Mattress already supplies more than 30 social service agencies and is widely-known for its various loyalty programs, including student discounts. When Seymour talks about the store continuing his decades’ old practice of beating any locally advertised sale item by 15 percent and offering free delivery, set up, and removal – his eyes light up. “I’m Seymour and I approve this message,” he said. The company has 70 models on display at two locations, the primary location is in Homestead behind the Waterfront and its newer store in the North Hills. “We offer quality service, selections, and value allowing customers to get the best mattress at a very reasonable price. You don’t get this type of service and price guarantees at the chain and retail
stores,” Snyder said.
As an icon in the mattress industry, Farber has weathered the storm of mattress competition from department stores, chain stores, retailers and internet sales. Loyalty programs are no stranger to this senior citizen. He started the company in 1946 in the Uptown section of Pittsburgh and had locations in Bloomfield and Duquesne before moving to Homestead. When it was still in Duquesne, the mattress store was located across from Duquesne Steel Works, where Farber grew the company through a steelworker loyalty program. He built a relationship with the steelworkers union and distributed 41,000 personalized plastic cards offering discounted mattresses and desirable incentives. “You had to be a steelworker to get in the store. They became my friends and today their families are loyal customers who keep coming back,” Farber said.
Farber, a Greensburg native, is a 1943 graduate of the University of Pittsburgh whose career path shifted from industrial engineering to retail mattress store owner. After World War II, his engineering job was lacking the level of social interaction he craved, so he transitioned into retail through salvage collections coming through on railroad cars.
Today, Snyder still operates the company with old fashioned hand-written invoice business practices, low pricing, and incentives that keep those generation of steelworker families coming back. American Buyers Discount Mattress is the only remaining free-standing business of its kind in Pittsburgh. “With all the big national players coming to Pittsburgh – we’re still here and thriving,” Snyder said -30-