You’ve heard people say, “They’ve been there as long as I can remember.” That’s how it is for many about Benton’s long-established and well-known McClendon’s Appliance on South Street. There’s a reason for longevity of any business, organization, technology or innovation: they are doing things right while always looking forward.
Founded in the late forties, McClendon’s started out as a Firestone store. “Cecil (my grandfather) opened the store in 1947. In 1949, he starting selling hardware and appliances, and eventually furniture. We have customers today that recall shopping with my grandfather. We are now selling to these customers’ children and grandchildren,” says Glen McClendon, current owner of the store.
The original location was 122 S. Market, where the Habitat for Humanity ReStore is currently located. In 1957, the South Street location was built and McClendon’s relocated at that time. Other businesses in the strip during the late 1950s were B & B Food Market, Westside Pharmacy, and Frank’s Bakery. Following a fire in July 1982, McClendon’s moved into the space which held Frank’s Bakery, where it has remained ever since, focusing entirely on selling quality appliances with an emphasis on service after the sale. McClendon’s has always been known for friendly, helpful customer service and a positive shopping experience. “We want our customers to know that when you come into our store, you’ll be met with great products and a friendly face.”
McClendon’s offers name-brand appliances such as KitchenAid, Maytag, SpeedQueen, and Whirlpool, plus a full line of parts for these brands, which are all highly rated in customer “Best Of” reports. “We are very competitive with the big box stores and can actually beat their prices a lot of times. We may not have as large of a selection, but we can order pieces and have it usually within a couple of days.” McClendon’s also has a team of well-trained technicians that can service most major brands and a list of dependable plumbers and carpenters if needed by their clients.
In addition to all the latest in new appliances, it’s the customer service that my husband and I appreciate the most. In these days where personal service may sometimes lack, McClendon’s does it right. They are more than just competent; they care. They make sure they are on time and honest, and always make service calls trustworthy. We have used them many times and can attest to the service they provide and pride themselves on.
Although McClendon’s numbers are small, with six employees, the total combined years of full-time service in the business are many. “Robert, my dad, has been an employee for over 60 years. Virginia DuVall, our office manager, has been with us 41 years, and I have been here for 35 years. Roger Fagan, our serviceman, has spent seven years with us and our newest service tech, Justin, has been with us about 6 months.”
In addition to longevity and a team of experienced, customer focused employees, McClendon’s is unique in the appliance world because of their commitment to providing a friendly, no-pressure atmosphere and staying up-to-date with advancement in technology and the latest trends in home design as it relates to appliances. When shopping at McClendon’s, customers are introduced to a wide variety of options for every appliance need. For example, double wall ovens, electric warming drawers, high efficiency top load washers and beverage centers are somewhat non-traditional options that McClendon’s offers to customers who are replacing worn-out appliances or purchasing for new construction.
McClendon’s provides access to no-credit-needed financing through Westcreek Financial, and no interest financing for 12 months (in some cases longer) through Synchrony Financial. The application process for up to $5,000 in credit is fast and easy and there are never any hidden fees. Customers also benefit from McClendon’s Rebate Center, located on the website, mcclendonsappliance.com.
The McClendon family has lived in Saline County for many generations and throughout the years have supported the community through sponsorships and donations, including sponsorship of Benton Optimist baseball teams for over 30 years. “In addition, I served on the Saline County Boy’s and Girl’s Club of Board of Directors for about 10 years, and the Civitan Services Board. At McClendon’s Appliances, we are firm believers in giving back to our community,” adds Glen.
As for carrying on the family business, the verdict is still out. Glen and his wife Susan have two children, Kevin (32) and Mandy (28). “Both children have grown up in the business. Weekends and summers found them working in customer service, delivery and installation, social media, and more.” Kevin is currently employed as a software engineer for WalMart in Bentonville. Mandy is the Communications Director for Austin-Bergstrom International Airport in Austin, Texas. So only time will tell if fate leads them back to the family business that has served Saline County with quality products, exceptional customer service and unsurpassed service after the sale for more than 70 years.