Janosik family breaks ground for new superstore


Photos: Delaware State News/Marc Clery

CAMDEN — It would have been understandable if one of the shovels had been left unmanned at the ceremonial groundbreaking for the Johnny Janosik World of Furniture store on Friday morning.

After all, Johnny Janosik, the business’ namesake, died at age 90 on July 1 at the Nanticoke Memorial Hospital in Seaford. His funeral took place Thursday in Seaford.

However, Lori Janosik Morrison, president and co-owner of the company, said the occasion marked a time to march forward with her late father’s vision by setting the wheels in motion on a sparkling new 60,000-square-foot furniture store at 4719 S. DuPont Highway.

Ms. Janosik Morrison, her son Ross Lugasi and her sister Christine Janosik Palmer were on hand for the groundbreaking event.

“He had plans to build here years ago, so it’s just continuing on with what his wishes were,” Ms. Janosik Morrison said, of her father. “Expansion … he always had something different going on.”

The new Johnny Janosik superstore in Camden, scheduled to open in December or possibly early 2017 due to the rainy spring, will replace Janosik’s two current Dover locations at 2230 and 2231 S. DuPont Highway. Employees from both stores will move to the new location once it’s complete and the company plans to add another 10 to 15 employees.

“They’re much older buildings and they don’t represent our brand to where it’s grown today,” said Dave Koehler, chairman and co-owner of Janosik. “We need a new building, a nice new facility that’s comfortable to shop and more state-of-the-art for us.

“We’ll (eventually) close the other two and this will become one unit.”

The new store is being developed by Salisbury, Maryland-based Devreco, which is working in partnership with Gillis Gikerson, another business out of Salisbury.

“With the passing of Johnny this becomes more and more a part of his legacy, so I think we’re just glad to be a small part of that,” said Brad Gillis, Devrico’s principal. “For us, we’ve been working on [the new store] for a little longer than 18 months already through the planning process and negotiations with Janosik.

“We’re just very excited to be a very small part of the legacy of Johnny Janosik and we think this store is going to be that much more of a showpiece for what Johnny Janosik stands for.”

The new store will feature an In-Home Design Center, an expansive Lazy Boy Comfort Studio, a large Southern Motion Comfort Zone and separate entrance to the store’s extensive mattress department.

“The selection is going to be unparalleled,” Mr. Koehler said. “With a wide cross section of brands, styles and price points, there will be something for everyone.”

Ms. Janosik Morrison was in awe of the renderings that have been developed for the site.

“Isn’t it cool? I love it!,” she said. “It’s going to be so unique and different. I just think that it’s beautiful.”

The Janosik family business was started in Laurel by Mary Louise and Johnny Janosik in 1953 and has grown to include four locations with more than 225 employees. The Johnny Janosik World of Furniture off Trussum Pond Road in Laurel is 180,000 square feet and has long been known as “the longest store on the shore with the shortest prices.”

The current Camden project had been on hold for the last decade or so.

“The (Janosik) family has owned the land for a number of years and the project was originally slated to come in here back in 2004 or ’05,” Mr. Koehler said. “But then the economy turned down in ’07 and it was put on hold until now.

“Now that things are starting to come back a little bit it was time to move forward with the project. We’re ready to go and we’re excited about the Dover market and continuing to be part of the Dover market here in Delaware.

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