Jay Schottenstein is Chairman of American Signature Inc., parent company of Value City Furniture, American Signature Furniture and Designer Looks. He previously served as Value City Furniture’s president and chief executive officer.
An experienced leader with an extraordinary history of success in the retail space, Jay and his family are intricately linked to our company history. Value City Furniture was conceived in the 1930s when Jay’s grandfather, Ephraim Schottenstein, began selling living room and kitchen sets out of the basement of his Columbus-based department stores. In the decades that followed, Jay’s father, Jerome Schottenstein, led the expansion of furniture sales as a separate business.
Following his graduation from Indiana University Bloomington in 1976 Jay joined Value City Furniture and became president in the 1980s. He was one of the first to import furniture to deliver increased value to home furnishings shoppers. By the time Jay assumed his father’s role as chief executive officer in the 1990s, Value City Furniture stores were located in 13 different states across the U.S.
In 1995, American Signature Furniture was created. With the addition of this new proprietary brand, Jay knew it was time to offer designer-quality furnishings and a more upscale experience for a fraction of the price customers would expect to pay elsewhere. American Signature Inc. was established in 2002, becoming the parent company of Value City Furniture, American Signature Furniture, and Kroehler Furniture, our furniture manufacturing facility in North Carolina. Our total number of stores doubled by 2006.
Under Jay’s leadership, the American Signature and Value City Furniture brands have thrived. In 2009, Jay’s son, Jonathan, assumed leadership of the family’s furniture operations. Jay continues to help guide the company from his position as Chairman. Currently, we have more than 120 stores and 4,000 team members across the country.
In addition to being an integral part of American Signature Inc., Jay holds leadership positions at several of America’s most recognizable retailers. He is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of American Eagle Outfitters, Inc. (NYSE:AEO), Executive Chairman of Designer Brands, Inc. (NYSE:DBI), Chairman of Schottenstein Property Group and Chairman of Schottenstein Stores Corporation.
In 2007, he was honored by his alma mater, Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business for his transformative impact on the retail industry.
The Schottenstein family has always believed in the importance of giving back, and Jay dedicates a generous amount of time and money to philanthropic endeavors. He and his wife, Jeanie, are involved with many organizations in their community and around the world, supporting social services, arts and culture, cardiovascular science and research, mental health, education, and other causes. Among his honors, in 2010, Jay and Jeanie were recognized by the American Red Cross of Central Ohio for their outstanding charitable work in the community.