Stacks opens in vacant Walmart

Guests at a gala for the new Stacks Furniture in Alabaster chat inside of the newly remodeled space on Aug. 25.

A longtime vacant building on U.S. 31 in Pelham is now filled with a seemingly endless sea of leather recliners, freshly made sofas and hand-sewn rugs.

Stacks Furniture Outlet is celebrating its grand opening today in the former Walmart building in southern Pelham, and is bringing dozens of jobs and increased tax revenue to the city.

“We knew this building had been vacant for a long time, and it fit our plan of low overhead, low operating cost perfectly,” Robert Kirchmeyer, Stacks’ chief executive officer, said during a pre-opening gala at the store Aug. 25. “The city, the county and the state have been wonderful in working to help us get here.”

The 130,668-square-foot store is the company’s first, and will serve as the flagship, Kirchmeyer said. Stacks also purchased a warehouse in Calera, which will house merchandise for the Pelham store.

On opening day, the company will employ about 70 people at the store and the warehouse, and will bring a much-needed boost to the city’s sales tax base, said Mayor Don Murphy.

The store will be open from 9 a.m.-8 p.m. on Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. By opening for business only four days each week, Stacks will be able to cut down on labor and operating costs, which will help the store keep its prices lower than many other furniture stores, Kirchmeyer said.

“Our philosophy is to save money at every point of our operation,” Kirchmeyer said. “The more we are able to save on our costs, the more value we will be able to pass along to our customers.”

On Tuesday and Wednesday of each week, store employees will restock the large showroom, which will house brands like Sealy, Broyhill and Eclipse mattress.

“We have some very unique hours, and we are open four days a week,” Kirchmeyer said. “That will save us a lot on overhead costs and operating costs, which will save our customers a lot of money.”

Because the Pelham location is Stacks’ first, Kirchmeyer said the company will study the flagship store to determine if it will open other locations throughout the Southeast.

“We do have a plan to expand, and it is based on the success of this market,” Kirchmeyer said. “We are really excited to be here in Birmingham. It has been a great experience so far.”