|2733 Shirley Street • Eugene, OR 97404
Phone: (541) 343-0107
Fax: (541) 343-2462
Toll Free: (855) 797-4266
Tue - Fri Noon - 6:00
Sat Noon - 5:00
Closed Sunday & Monday
(Other hours gladly by appointment)
ABOUT THE COMPANY
Don Thumel, owner of NW Piano Gallery, started studying organ and piano at
the age of 4 and started teaching by age 12. In addition to spending years
touring in a jazz duo, he also served as an assistant music director at
Disneyland, a pianist for the Don Ellis Big Band, a concert organist for
Hammond and Conn Organ Corporation, a composer and arranger.
Don's first store, known as Keyboard Associates, was originally located
inside the Oakway Mall. When the Mall went through a large renovation, the
store moved to Delta Oaks shopping center (next to Rodda Paint).
The next incarnation for Don came when he purchased a building near Autzen
Stadium. Because his store had started offering more than just keyboard
products (guitars, amps, recording gear, etc.), that, combined with the
increased floor space, generated a new name for the business - Musician's
After about 10 years operating as Musician's Depot, Don harnessed an
opportunity to acquire inventory from several major piano manufacturers that
consisted primarily of pianos that the manufacturer had supplied for movie and
television props, convention demo models, factory cosmetic blems and,
sometimes, a piano that had been used by someone famous in concert.
Seeking to market these pianos independently, Don opened the first Piano
Liquidators in The Woodburn Company Stores in Woodburn, OR. Success
there allowed expansion into the Salem market a year later.
Seeking to refocus on Don's root business - pianos and keyboards, he decided
to downsize the footprint of the store and moved to the corner of 7th and
Washington in Eugene. The Eugene store then also change from Musician's
Depot to Piano Liquidators.
Over the ensuing 10 years, a lot changed in the music products market. Much
of the change was based on the Internet's impact on retail, but availability of
the special manufacturer's inventory had become slim to the point that you
could not maintain the same business model and, due to fewer and fewer
people continuing or learning to play, more quality used pianos were hitting the
When the market changes, you change as well. So, with fewer and fewer
people continuing or learning to play, combined with an upward trend for many
people to move to smaller homes and/or go into retirement living, this created
an opportunity to selectively acquire and offer high-quality used instruments.
Another observation was that customers were more interested in quality at a
great price vis-a-vis beautiful showrooms. This is witnessed by the fact that
Steinway & Sons had closed virtually all of their Steinway Halls (they called
them "palaces") and, in reality, over half the pianos exchanged every year are
by private parties - typically in a home setting.
With that information in mind, Don decided to close his downtown Eugene
Piano Liquidators location and relocate in a residential area of Santa Clara,
renaming it NW Piano Gallery.
As it turned out, this was a good move on several levels. First, while the store
location is no longer a residence (i.e., no one is living there as it's filled to the
brim with pianos), in addition to reducing overhead, thus reducing the prices of
pianos to the customer, the location allows for buyers to actually hear the
piano in a setting that will more closely resemble their own home's acoustics
rather than in a 4000+ square foot showroom with 16' foot ceilings.
NW Piano Gallery is no longer the multi-location, 20+ employee, chain that it
once was . . . but it is still operated by its original founder, Don Thumel, who
remains in the business for the love of pianos. When you stop by, don't expect
grandiose displays or high pressure sales people. Just expect to find some
great pianos to audition and someone who is eager to find the right one for you!
|2733 Shirley St., Eugene, OR Phone: (541) 343-0107 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org