The History of Automatic Appliance
On September 27th, 1961, Bernard Lombardi, with his two friends and fellow veterans Phillip Lishnoff and Rubin Kantor, opened Automatic Washing Machine Supply Company on St. Nicholas Avenue in Manhattan. The company focused on the commercial laundry business with independent laundromat owners as their largest customers. The business prospered and soon expanded into the domestic laundry parts market.
Sadly, Rubin passed away in 1969. The following year Bernard’s son John joined the company after serving in Vietnam. In 1981, after graduating from Fordham University, Bernard J. Lombardi also joined the business. Phillip decided to retire and sold his share of the business to Bernard in 1982. In 1987 Bernard retired after transferring ownership to his two sons John and Bernie. On February 3rd, 1992 the name of the company was changed to Automatic Appliance Parts, Inc.
Over the next 20 years, Automatic Appliance Parts continued to prosper and opened several more locations throughout the Hudson Valley including what later became the main headquarters in Fishkill New York. The continued advance of technology in the appliance industry drastically reduced the number of mechanical parts in appliances. At the same time foreign manufacturers were changing the American market with less expensive machines. With low interest rates and inexpensive appliances, it became more cost effective to purchase new, rather than repair older machines.
Over the next few years John and Bernie decided to concentrate on one location and consolidated all the stores into the Fishkill building. Due to historically low interest rates the housing market was booming and Automatic Appliance Parts decided to enter into the HVAC market, concentrating on builders and contractors. HVAC sales climbed steadily until the housing market collapse in 2007 and 2008. Although, like many other small businesses across the states, Automatic Appliance Parts struggled, they weathered the storm.
After several years of research, John and Bernie decided to focus on appliances. They applied for membership to Appliance Dealers Cooperation, also known as ADC. ADC is a major regional appliance cooperative and a member of NECO, the largest appliance coop in the United States. ADC runs two locations, one in New Jersey and one in Pennsylvania maintaining an average of $35 million in inventory.
On March 18th, 2013, Automatic Appliance Parts was accepted as a member of the Appliance Dealers Coop. Joining ADC enabled Automatic Appliance Parts to transition from a wholesale distributor of major appliance parts to a local appliance dealer serving Dutchess, Putnam, Orange and Ulster counties. To reflect this transition, Automatic Appliance Parts began doing business as Automatic Appliance. The relationship with ADC enhanced Automatic Appliance Parts’ ability to compete with the big box stores like Best Buy, Lowes, Home Depot, and Sears. As a member of NECO, we now carry the top brand appliances: Maytag, Whirlpool, Amana, GE, Frigidaire, LG, Speed Queen and Samsung. For property management needs we have Summit, Danby, Premier, Avanti and Speed Queen.
Automatic Appliance, the company that customers have known for parts for more than fifty years, is now known for appliances. To this day the Lombardi family strives for 100% customer satisfaction.
Major brand appliance solutions for homeowner, property managers, contractors and builders