After almost 50 years in the business, Len Morse knows his way around vacuum cleaners. The store he owns and operates at 5902 Riverdale Ave. is crowded with them — new, old and even ancient.
“We have all makes of both household and industrial vacuums,” he said, explaining the variety of brands and vintages, “We not only sell them, but we service them too.”
Seventy five years ago, when Vacuum World first opened its doors at Fordham Road and Webster Avenue, cleaning machines like the Electrolux and Hoover were given futuristic designs. They were the height of modernity, since some areas of the country had just discovered the benefits of electricity thanks to the New Deal.
The original store, where Len first started working, was five times the size of the current location, he recalled. It had to be in order to accomodate large appliances and a bustling sewing machine repair business.
The Riverdale Avenue location was added in 1980, and its clientele gradually outgrew the central Bronx store. The Fordham Road store closed three years ago.
Len said there is no secret to his ability to compete with electronics chain stores and online retailers — he and his staff can offer the kind of know-how and service that cannot be found at larger venues.
“We are professionals in our field and can offer a very specialized service. I think we’ve been successful because of the way we treat our customers. We are friendly, make quick and timely repairs and we are courteous,” Len said.
Today’s vacuum cleaners are lighter, more compact and more powerful than in the past, Len said. “They’re designed for a wider variety of tasks — from hardwood floors in homes to carpeted offices.
His store carries several leading brands — along with all of their accessories and supplies — but he particulary likes the highly rated German-made Miele vacuums.
Visitors to the store are likely to see all kinds of older vacuum models because, Len said, Vacuum World is one of the few places that can still repair them — with a basement full of hard-to-find, varied parts.
Of course, he said, it is best not to need repairs in the first place so, “I recommend customers buy only vacuum cleaners that have bags,” he said. “It keeps the dust out of the moving parts.”
Vacuum World also repairs lamps and cleans carpets in-house.
With 50 years in business under his belt, Len is surprisingly youthful in appearance. He credits that to his enthusiasm for martial arts. He has produced six training videos.
For more information visit www.vacuumworldny.com or call 718-884-4600.