A Growing Family

Warners’ Stellian Appliance opens in West Des Moines.

After more than half a century as Minnesota’s one-of-a-kind appliance store, Warners’ Stellian has expanded outside the greater Minneapolis area and selected West Des Moines for its first non-Minnesota location.

West Des Moines Store Manager Dan Barnes, who relocated to central Iowa to manage the new store, says the Jordan Creek Parkway location was a clear choice for the company. “We’d been researching quite a long time to find the right market. This area is the biggest- growing area in the state, with all the shopping nearby. And the culture, with that Iowa nice attitude—our family-owned company fits right in here.”

Warners’ Stellian began more than 60 years ago when husband and wife Steve and Lillian Farkas opened their first appliance store in the Twin Cities. Jim Warner, who worked for the couple for years, bought the company in the 1970s and added his name to the brand. Today four Warner siblings run the company, which has expanded to 10 stores throughout Minnesota.

Robert Warner, President, is the youngest of the nine Warner siblings. “We may have the most third-generation family members involved in a business in the state of Minnesota and even in the country,” he says. “There are 37 grandchildren in the family, 17 of whom work here full-time. We’re about as family as you can get.”

Barnes says that’s one of the things that make the company unique. “Every appliance store I’ve worked for in my 20 years in the industry has been a family-owned store, but at Warners’ Stellian it’s the culture of the company—when you work here, you’re part of the family.”

That’s just one of the features that make Warners’ Stellian different, according to Warner. “We offer breadth of brand on a whole different level,” he explains. “We have brands you can’t find anywhere else, and we deliver superior value to our customers for the life cycle of the product. We’re here for the full journey, not just for the initial purchase as well.”

One way Warners’ Stellian accomplishes that is through its training. Every employee, from sales to service, benefits from a robust training program. “We spend a lot of time with the customer before we even start talking products,” Warner says. “We want our sales team to understand each customer’s passions, where they want to invest their time and money, what will best enhance their lifestyle. We’re not just trying to sell them an appliance. Our goal is to find a solution that will do more than meet their needs.”

Warners’ Stellian takes the same personal approach with its trade customers. “Our independent-builder reps are more of a service team than a sales team,” Barnes says. “They’re dedicated to taking care of builders. They’re out there in the field, whether it’s a multiunit builder or a single-family home builder, checking to make sure the builders have what they need to help with product selection based on the project needs and following up to see that everything is installed and set up properly.”

Barnes adds that the company continues that depth of relationship after the sale as well. “We want people to be able to take full advantage of the features their appliances offer. So if they’re having an issue with a stove, for example, and they know it has a feature that they don’t know how to use, we’ll walk them through full product training,” he says.

The Warners’ Stellian team can do that because the sales and service personnel receive ongoing training, both through appliance service programs and at individual manufacturer training classes. “We carry more than 45 product lines,” Barnes says. “And we service every single one of them. Our service team is top-notch and attends continuing education classes regularly.”

The over 15,000-square-foot store on Jordan Creek Parkway is unique, even for a Warners’ Stellian facility. “Every store is an evolution and uniquely tailored to the market. The West Des Moines store features a Sub-Zero, Wolf, and Cove Living Kitchen, the first of its kind in Iowa,” Warner says.

Functioning appliances are on display throughout the store—from refrigerators and ovens to dishwashers and washers and dryers. But the Living Kitchen boasts multiple complete kitchen layouts with dozens of appliances. “Customers can see how the appliances will fit within the kitchen, how they look surrounded by cabinetry. And our sales staff can show them the finishes and features available in an actual kitchen,” Barnes explains.

During November customers can buy at Black Friday prices from top brands. Plus, the store offers free local delivery and haul away by Warners’ Stellian’s in-house crew. Two of the company’s top delivery specialists relocated from Minnesota to help establish Warners’ Stellian’s promise of professional service here in Iowa.

The store has been open since October 4, but the official ribbon cutting is scheduled for Thursday, November 7, from 4:00–6:00 p.m.

“We have a huge group of people coming down from Minnesota,” says Barnes. “And we’ve invited the local businesses here in the area and the folks from the city of West Des Moines. We’re members of the West Des Moines Chamber of Commerce, and everyone has been so supportive and welcoming. This is an opportunity for us to celebrate with them.”

“One of our core values—as a company and as a family—is that it’s important to enjoy the journey and grow together,” Warner says. “The decision to expand our company to Iowa and West Des Moines specifically was unanimous because we see that as an opportunity to do well for the community and its home builders and remodelers.”