Longstanding stores have a way of becoming an integral part of the local landscape. Whether it’s from hearing their jingles on regional commercials or being able to go someplace where you know the people working behind the counter, they play an important role in the community fabric. But as businesses age, so do customers’ tastes and the way we shop—not to mention the people running the operations themselves. And after decades of serving clientele, more iconic shops are calling it quits. Read on to see which beloved furniture stores are closing after decades in business.
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Longstanding businesses are closing across the U.S. for many reasons.
The business world is no stranger to change, and many operations fight to keep their numbers in the black even during the best times. But recent shifts in the retail world are ushering in a new era of shopping affecting both longstanding iconic stores like Sears and smaller family-run businesses that don’t have the same kinds of safety nets in place to protect them over time.
One such shop is Suzanne’s Fashion Corner in Staten Island, New York’s West Brighton neighborhood. In a Sept. 29 Facebook post, the 71-year-old business announced that it was holding a storewide liquidation sale and shutting down on Oct. 27. Current owner Suzanne Berelson—whose mother, Irene Berliner, founded the shop before handing it down—was disappointed that the current climate made her shuttering inevitable. “It’s been wonderful. I don’t want to close, but there really is no other choice,” she told SILive.com.
Another store with about seven decades of service will also close its doors in the coming months. Wright’s Hardware in Livonia, Michigan, is beginning to wind down operations after current owners Joe and Jeri Dorr announced they had sold the building and have planned to retire, Hometownlife.com reports. According to Jeri, competition from online retailers and a decrease in demand for snow products due to drier recent winters have taken a toll on the business’s bottom line. The couple called the move “bittersweet” but told the outlet they were also looking forward to retirement.
Now, other local businesses have announced they’re following suit.
An “iconic” furniture store is shutting down after more than 60 years in business.
Rotmans Furniture has built itself up to become a fixture of the local retail community in Worcester, Massachusetts, since it opened its doors in 1956. But after more than six decades in business, the store announced on Oct. 11 that it would be closing its doors before the year ends, The Boston Globe reports.
“We’ve had the honor of serving countless families in this region for over 60 years,” Steve Rotman, the store’s CEO, said in a statement. “I’m proud of earning their loyalty based on providing the best products, service, and value overall, which continues until the last piece of merchandise leaves our store.”
Rotman inherited the business from his parents, Murray and Ida Rotman, and helped build the store from a 10,000-square-foot shop into a more than 200,000-square-foot showroom billed as “one of the largest furniture stores in New England” on the store’s website. The store says it will be closed for two days to prepare for the beginnings of its going-out-of-business sale that starts on Oct. 14, The Globe reports.
The current CEO says he’s closing down so he can finally retire.
The longstanding institution has managed to maintain relevance over the years and was even acquired by local manufacturer Vystar Corp. in 2019 in a deal that totaled more than $2 million, per The Globe. But according to Barbara Kane, the store’s sales manager, Rotman ultimately made the decision to shut down because “he didn’t have any next generation that were able to take over the business.”
“Steve thought that the best thing he could do would be to go out well,” Kane said in a phone interview with The Globe. “It’s very bittersweet. We are so grateful for all the customers—now it’s three generations of customers [who] have purchased from us. We feel like we’re a big part of this community, so it was a very hard decision.”
Elsewhere, another locally beloved furniture store is shutting down in the coming weeks.
Residents in Nescopeck, Pennsylvania, will also lose a local retail institution when Homestead Furniture closes its doors in the coming weeks. The store has been operating since 1982 when current owner Mike Vogt set up shop.
“When I got out of the Army, I took a job delivering furniture, and then pretty soon, I was selling it. Then pretty soon, I was running a store, and then at the age of 25, an opportunity came up to own my own store,” Vogt told local ABC affiliate WNEP.
No official closing date has been set, but the store says it will continue to run a going-out-of-business sale for roughly another month before it shutters for good. And while he says he’s sad to say goodbye to his 41-year-old business, Vogt said he’s happy to have impacted the local community.
“I’ve had a lot of people come in and say, ‘You know, we’ve shopped here for generations. Where are we going to get our stuff now?’ And I had one woman who is 91 walk up and ask if she could give me a hug. I told her she made my entire day,” he told the news outlet.