Knowing that one of Santa Clarita’s oldest furniture outlets got its start as a waterbed outlet pretty much tells you when they got started.
You guessed right, the Seventies.
“When we started, all we sold was waterbeds,” said Norb Moniz, president of A Royal Suite, a home furnishing retailer marking its 40th anniversary. “My brother and I had 14 stores; we were the largest retailer of waterbeds in California.”
Today, a decade after he sold his last waterbed, he still stocks replacement parts for longtime customers.
That focus on customer service has fueled the store’s growth from its original 800-square-foot outlet across from Water Wheel Car Wash on Sierra Highway. From there, Moniz moved to a 2,000 square-foot store in 1979, then to 5,000 square feet in 1986, and since 2011, its current 22,000 square-foot store on Carl Boyer Drive across from Sam’s Club.
The most recent move held some risk, as the economy was still sluggish following the Great Recession, but Moniz reports “constant growth” in the seven years since.
“We didn’t fully appreciate the value of the customer service we provide until the market got difficult during recessions,” Moniz said. “That’s when other stores went out of business, but thanks to our personal touch, we were able to continue to thrive.”
Moniz has lived in Santa Clarita since 1961, and raised three kids here. Now that they’re grown, he has time for his other passion besides the furniture business: coaching kids. He’s defensive coordinator of West Ranch High School’s football team.
To mark its anniversary, the store is holding a 40 years-40 percent off sale on all merchandise through the end of November.
Another factor that sets A Royal Suite apart is a focus on buying from domestic manufacturers, which Moniz said means higher quality, faster delivery speed, and a far wider selection than competitors can offer.
“When a lot of the industry switched to foreign suppliers, we went the other way, and focused on American furniture makers, and it paid off,” Moniz said. “Now the others are scrambling to catch up.”
His suppliers are all over the country, though he buys from California companies whenever possible. While some foreign manufacturers offer limited choices of style and color, “we can offer 50 styles and 100 fabrics,” with a 42-person staff who help shoppers navigate all the choices. That kind of selection is attracting more customers from the San Fernando Valley, along with his local customers, Moniz said.