MUNSTER | Tilles Interiors, founded in the 1940s, is closing its doors.
Owners Andy and Robin Jost are retiring.
“We haven’t had a vacation in 14 years,” Andy Jost said. “We want to move on to the next phase of our lives.”
The timing also comes during the changing face of the industry, Jost said.
“Consumers don’t have the same appreciation as they did 10 years ago for the extreme quality stores like us offer,” he said. “More consumers are looking for ‘disposable furniture’ and then five years later worry about it."
Jost said they continued to emphasize their high quality of furniture at a reasonable price while much of the competition has over the last several years begun to carry lower-quality brands because they think the consumer wants lower prices.
“This is a very service-oriented business, and my wife and I are very active in every facet of the business working with customers prior to the sale, during the sale, after the delivery,” he said. “When you’re active like that, it’s very difficult to be able to take time off unless you can have a super-amount of people on board and today’s consumer really requires that everything be kept at the lowest cost. As the professional athletes say, 'We want to go out on top.'”
A closing event sale at the store at 901 Ridge Road will begin Thursday. There is no timetable yet on a final date of sale, Jost said.
Jost said he and his wife will miss most of the interaction with customers.
“Some of them purchased furniture for five or six homes,” he said.
Jost said some customers, upon hearing the news about the closing, have called in tears.
“They say they’re happy for me and my wife, but they won’t have a place to buy our type of furniture and be treated the way they were,” he said.
Sam and Belle Tilles founded the business in 1940 in downtown Hammond. They retired in 1972 when Don and Dorothy Peddycord brought the business and moved it to Munster a few years later. In the late 1990s the Peddycords retired and let their daughter Robin and her husband Andy take over the reins.
“Our decision to close the store was a difficult one,” Robin Jost said. "Tilles Interiors has been part of the south Chicago, Northwest Indiana marketplace for over 70 years and we’ve made many friends over that time. Andy and I want to express our sincere appreciation to all our clients for their continuing support.”