I’m David Schweig, owner of Sunnyland Patio Furniture, and for the past forty years I’ve had the privilege to work in an industry whose primary purpose is to improve the quality of life of customers by providing them with comfort and relaxation.
My main focus for the past 4 decades has been to make sure the customer has an exceptional shopping experience. My approach to retail has been very simple; how would I want my wife or myself to feel if we were receiving the same experience? I can spend the night at a Motel 6 or a Ritz Carlton or I can shop at a Walmart or a Neiman Marcus. Both provide a service or a product, but which one is going all out to make it an exceptional, positive and memorable experience?
When I’m shopping or traveling, I always take notes and photos when I see something that stands out (positive or negative) and always try to implement fun and innovative things into the shopping experience.
Back in the 1980’s, Sunnyland was one of the first patio stores in the country to create lifestyle vignettes and in 2003, Sunnyland almost doubled its showroom space from 21,000 to 35,000 square feet. Sunnyland also connected with outside partners including a pool builder, a landscape architect, a deck builder, a stamped floor décor company and a putting green company to create true synergy with realistic outdoor rooms and vignettes.
Sunnyland allowed the partners to design and showcase their products and services in a way that best reflected their company. This was the beginning of Sunnyland being recognized by the casual furniture industry as being one of the best stores in the United States for our use of realistic, creative and innovative product displays.
Sunnyland has borrowed a word from a fellow retailer called “shopper-tainment” that truly conveys our message. Our goal is to wow our customers from the time they first walk in the door until they take possession of their purchase. Anyone can shop at a big-box retailer or another patio store and buy a product, or they can come to Sunnyland and get the Sunnyland experience.
A feature that can only be found at Sunnyland is our library of catalogs from our manufacturers, going back over 30 years. It is constantly used to help identify products our customers have purchased or acquired from years past when they need to purchase replacement slings or cushions.
At Sunnyland, it’s a team effort where everyone is on the same page. The employees are empowered to make customer-related decisions and management supports them
We take care of our staff and treat them like family. We are very fortunate Sunnyland has an extremely low turn-over rate. Over 50 percent of our team has been with us for more than 10 years, 25 percent for 5-10 years, and the rest of the team is on their way to becoming a part of those groups.
I believe our foundation, business model, core values, business ethics and integrity are the foundation that enables Sunnyland to continue to be successful.
Three generations of the Klausner/Schweig family have been in the patio furniture business in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex.
In 1946, the Wallenstein family started Sunnyland Furniture on Lower Greenville Avenue in Dallas. Sunnyland moved in the early 1960's to North Dallas at Coit Rd and Central Expressway just north of Forest Lane. Freed Furniture Co. purchased Sunnyland from the Wallenstein family in 1970.
Sunnyland became Freed's outlet center and was operated by Aaron Klausner and Pearl Freed Klausner. With Aaron's guidance, Freed's Sunnyland entered into a new concept with a store devoted to quality patio furniture. In late 1977, Aaron purchased Sunnyland from Freed’s.
In early 1977, David Schweig married Debbie Klausner (Aaron and Pearl's 3rd daughter). Prior to this, David had worked in the fine jewelry business including managing and operating retail stores. David and Debbie's goal was to create a company that offered the best value in the Dallas/ Fort Worth metroplex on quality outdoor furnishings and accessories. Their primary focus for the company has been to offer stylish merchandise at discounted prices along with exceptional and superior customer service. David & Debbie Schweig purchased Sunnyland Furniture from Aaron and Pearl Klausner in 1989.
Reconstruction of Central Expressway took away most of the Sunnyland parking and the store frontage at its original location. Aaron Klausner purchased the old Spring Valley Shopping Center and Sunnyland relocated to its current location in March, 1991. In the early 1990s, Sunnyland acquired an oversized Brown Jordan Tamiami chair which has become a local tourist attraction as the unofficial World’s Largest Patio Chair.
In 2002, in conjunction with an expansion and renovation of the shopping center, Sunnyland began a major transformation and expansion of its showroom, including a 10,000 sq. ft. design showroom addition, new courtyard, and expanded clearance center. It also moved its warehouse on-site, creating a 65,000 sq ft showroom and distribution center. Sunnyland celebrated its grand re-opening in 2003 and has been the leading, innovative single showroom store in the USA ever since.
Today, Sunnyland continues to enjoy steady growth, due to its well-earned reputation for providing only high-quality patio furniture and accessories, competitively priced. This reflects the dedication, hard work and commitment to customer satisfaction from our most valued asset, our employees.