Sweep Success: North Shore Vacuum Nears 90th Anniversary

Wayne Simonelli’s well-known business, North Shore Vaccum, located on Market Street in Lynn is really floor-ishing. Yes, that’s a pun and not a very good one, at that.

But the flourishing part is very true as North Shore Vacuum is approaching its 90th anniversary in the city, a testament to the professionalism and expertise of the family that has been rewarded by the loyalty of its multi-generational customers.

Wayne Simonelli stands outside his North Shore Vacuum store located at 30 Market in Lynn.

And it should be noted that Simonelli actually has two stores that sell vacuum cleaners and other floor-care related products. He has also owned North Shore Vacuum on South Main Street (Route 114) in Middleton for 15 years. Jillian Dunn, Wayne’s daughter, directs the Middleton store’s operations. Wayne also has two sons, Adam and Eric, who like Jillian, were frequent visitors to the store during their childhood.

Simonelli is in his 33rd year as the leader of North Shore Vacuum. Wayne’s uncle  preceded him as the owner and prior to that, Wayne’s great-uncle started it all in 1934.

Also Worked for the MBTA

Wayne Simonelli grew up in Chelsea and graduated Chelsea High in 1970. He then studied computers and electronics at GTE Sylvania Technical School.

“I got a job working for the MBTA,” said Simonelli. “I fixed trains on the Green Line. I worked on the second shift, so I used to come to the store during the day and go there at night.”

 The Ingredients to Success

Wayne was in the distributive education program at Chelsea High, which was similar in its mission to the co-operative education program at Northeastern.

“I started working at Thom McAn [shoe store] and became the manager,” recalled Simonelli. “That’s where I got a lot of knowledge about retail sales and dealing with customers. I use a lot of the methods, such as bookkeeping, that I learned with Thom McAn.”

The secrets to North Shore Vacuum’s continuing success?

“I think it’s good customer service, having great products, and a wide selection,” said Simonelli. “We sell about a dozen to two dozen brands of vacuum cleaners.”

Which brand is best in Wayne’s opinion?

“It’s Miele. They are high-end machines that cost $1,200-$1,300. We sell a lot of those.”

Simonelli said modern technology has resulted in superior and more efficient vacuum cleaners.

“Vacuum cleaners are much better today,” said Simonelli. “We also do central vacuum installation and sales. A lot of the new houses have central vacuums.”

Simonelli, who works out daily with weights, said he’s not ready to step away from the vacuum business.

“I have a lot of pride in my business,” said Simonelli. “I’m excited that the business will stay in the family and that my daughter is well-versed in this industry. She’s knowledgeable. She’s very sympathetic to people’s needs.”

One of Wayne’s biggest supporters is George Markos, who owns Brother’s Deli, which is located directly across the street. The two men have become close through Wayne’s many visits to the restaurant.

“Wayne is one of the best businesspersons in our neighborhood,” said Markos. “He has an incredible knowledge of his products. There’s a lot of competition, but Wayne has stood strong, and he runs a great business.”

With 90 years of service, customers certainly agree.

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