Since 1938, Doerr Furniture has served retail furniture customers throughout the Greater New Orleans area from its current location at the corner of Elysian Fields & Burgundy, in the Faubourg Marigny. Originally a wholesale business that sold rocking chairs, the 78-year-old fourth generation family business was founded by Charles L. Doerr, and this is their story.
In the 1950’s, Doerr’s daughter, Marilyn, married Lloyd Mutter, who would eventually run the company. He and Marilyn’s five children, Julian, Gary, David, Randy and Melanie all started as teenagers working at Doerr and would later become officers and managers of Doerr and its mattress subsidiary, Bedding Plus.
Charles Doerr passed down his work ethic and love of the business to his family members, along with pride at offering well-made furniture at bargain prices. Today, the Mutter Family still believes that the focus is on you, the customer, and strives to provide unparalleled customer service. From the first greeting at the store to the delivery of your new furniture, our aim is treat you like Charles Doerr himself would.
Focus on Value
In the 1940’s and ’50’s, Doerr switched its business model from wholesale to retail. The little store had at first tried to compete with the local dealers of the time, such as Max Barnett Furniture co., Dixie Furniture Co., and the new department stores. But with little floor-space in the Elysian Fields store, the Mutters had to find a way to survive in a competitive market where cheap particle board and inferior products were selling quickly and in great quantities. Instead of taking on other stores, the Family decided to focus on “value” furniture: durable and beautiful high quality solid wood tables, dressers, and armoires. The Family re-learned a valuable lesson: it was worthwhile taking more time with the customer and offering higher quality goods. Customers who didn’t want to be rushed into buying disposable furniture came to Doerr, and they’re still coming, looking for design and durability at a fair price.
In the 1980’s and 1990’s, Doerr built relationships with furniture manufacturers, such as Durham Furniture; renowned for its solid wood furniture; Flexsteel, recognized as a leader in upholstered seating; and Stickley, known for its detailed wood workmanship, and quality construction. By adding these and other manufacturers Doerr remained committed to its core values of providing quality furniture at affordable pricing and serving the customer well.
Now in its fourth generation, Doerr continues Charles Doerr’s tradition. The store has expanded to include Covington on the Northshore and a chain of 12 Bedding Plus mattress stores and a comprehensive in home custom design service.
One Foot Rooted in History, One Foot Forward
Shane Mutter, now president and chief executive officer of Doerr, wants to lead the company to the next level of its growth and development while continuing to embrace and uphold its core values. His vision is to bring in more locally made furniture as well as mid-century modern and contemporary designs and to embrace Doerr’s traditions while also remaining current and relevant to the changing furniture market.
Shane Mutter is accompanied in his leadership of the company by Julian Mutter, President Emeritus; David Mutter, Vice President of Marketing; Brett Mutter, Operations Manager; Jamie Mutter, Director of Design Services; Randy Mutter Warehouse Manager; Melanie Giglio, Accounting; Helene Rightor, Sales Director; and Amy Freese, Senior Director of Merchandising.