Clyde Sparks founded Thatcher Appliance in 1946 as a household appliance sales and service business. He ran his business on what some may call old-fashioned ideals like honesty, service, hometown friendliness and the golden rule: “Always treating others the way he wanted to be treated.” He loved people, and people clearly liked him because the Sparks story now spans three generations of growth and success.
Clyde was very energetic and had a sharp mind for business. He was always thinking of creative and fun ideas for events and sales, and he was committed to making his business work. He was so determined that during tough times he would load up a truck of merchandise and drive it to a neighboring community. There he would sell it to customers out of the back of the truck, or to other businesses in the area.
The original store was located across from Eastern Arizona College. In the mid 1950’s we purchased the building next door (a variety store) and cut arches to connect the two buildings. A few years later the adjoining lot was also purchased and an additional building was built, making 14,400 square feet of total showroom space.
In the mid 1960’s we began carrying furniture as well, and so changed our name to Sparks of Eastern Arizona. Then in 1975 Clyde passed away, and the name was changed again to Val’s Furniture & Appliance, after Clyde’s oldest son who began running the business along with his younger brother Ron.
Name Changes Over The Years
1946 - Thatcher Appliance
1960s - Sparks of Eastern Arizona
1975 - Val’s Furniture & Appliance
2008 - Sparks HomeStore
On October 18, 1976 the Thatcher store burned to the ground. We were not able to save any merchandise just a few records. That was a tough but growing time for the Sparks Family. We still remember the great outpouring of support from the community. We opened for business across the street the very next day- selling directly from our warehouse which was not affected by the fire and began the task of rebuilding on the original site. We completed the new store in February of 1977.
In 1995 we purchased the property to the north of the store from the Town of Thatcher and added an additional 10,000 square feet, making the total building about 25,000 square feet.
In 2001 we purchased 3 acres outside of town and built 2 warehouses side by side totaling 15,000 square feet. This allows us to buy merchandise in volume at a discounted rate and stock many more items.
In 2003 we started a new store in Cottonwood, Arizona under the name of Home Furnishings Direct. This location features a 20,000 square foot store and a 10,000 square foot warehouse.
In April of 2008 we opened a new store in Thatcher.
After more than half a century on the same block, we made the bold move to an exciting new facility. We have added on to and rebuilt our old building many times and couldn’t grow anymore so it was time to move on.
Our newest location is 62,000 square feet and gives us the opportunity to show a large variety of brands, styles and product types which insures you will be able to find the best furniture that meets your lifestyle. You will see more furniture than ever and all our our furniture is warehoused on site, allowing us to serve you more efficiently.
Today Sparks HomeStore is still owned and operated by the Sparks family. Ron and his son Alan manage the business today and enjoy working together, making three generations of ownership spanning more than 60 years, with hopefully many more to come.
Val’s has come a long way; from a 3,000 square foot store to two locations with over 90,000 square feet of combined showroom space. We are now able to leverage our buying power with volume discounts and bulk purchasing through full truckloads and ocean freight containers. This has been a key to Sparks' continued success in recent years, allowing us to keep our prices competitive and many times lower than the big box stores in Phoenix and the surrounding area.