Brick-and-mortar furniture stores are becoming more and more difficult to come by, with the rise of online retailers and the ability to shop for big-ticket items from home. Still, there’s something to be said for going into a physical store and testing out a chair or couch before committing to the investment. Unfortunately, you’ll no longer be able to do this at one major furniture retailer, which is going out of business and closing all stores. Read on to find out about the latest closure.
READ THIS NEXT: Jo-Ann Fabrics Is Closing Stores, Starting Jan. 22.
Several closures are on the docket for furniture stores, including small businesses and regional chains.
In October, Rotmans Furniture, a staple in Worcester, Massachusetts, announced that it is shutting down after 60 years in business. The store is set to close officially by early 2023, and CEO Steve Rotman is planning to license the locations to smaller retailers, Spectrum News 1 reported.
Another retailer, Homestead Furniture in Nescopeck, Pennsylvania, is also set to close, and Huffman Koos, a beloved chain in New York and New Jersey, also confirmed on Facebook that it’ll be closing three of its six stores.
Now, yet another furniture chain announced that it will be going out of business entirely.
According to trade journal Furniture Today, Weekends Only Furniture & Mattress, a St. Louis-based retailer, is going out of business. The news was first announced on Nov. 15, the outlet reported, and will result in all eight of the chain’s stores closing.
Currently, Weekends Only has five stores in Missouri—in Bridgeton, South County, St. Peters, West County, and Springfield. It also operates two stores in Indiana, in Castleton and Greenwood, and one store in Fairview Heights, Illinois.
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As the name suggests, the company has a unique business model, as stores are only open on the weekends. The retailer calls Friday, Saturday, and Sunday “the best days of the week,” and says that Monday through Thursday, Weekends Only team members are out looking for “the best deals.”
Per the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, much of the retailer’s inventory is acquired from liquidations and closeouts, which allows Weekends Only to offer steep discounts.
The Phillips family, which owns the chain, has been involved with the St. Louis furniture market since 1937, when Phillips Mercantile opened in the downtown area. In 1997, the first Weekends Only store was opened, with the most recent location opening in Springfield in May 2021.
In 2013, Weekends Only also expanded its reach by introducing online sales—available all week long. The store generated approximately $74 million in revenue last year, but according to Furniture Today, profit isn’t at the heart of the issue: The chain is closing so that its current CEO, Tom Phillips, can retire.
“After 25 years of serving the St. Louis area, Indianapolis and Springfield, Mo., we are so grateful for the many team members who worked with us and the customers we have been fortunate to serve,” Phillips said, per Furniture Today. “There has been so much change in our industry over the past few years and given the storm of challenges retailers face, now is a right time to retire and celebrate the success and good fortune we’ve had in the business.”
A formal closing date hasn’t been announced, nor has a date for the closeout events. However, Furniture Today reported that shoppers can anticipate sales to begin in Jan. 2023. Weekends Only’s 400 employees, who were just informed of the closure on Nov. 11, per the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, will be kept on staff to run the liquidation sales.
As for the store locations themselves—which have showrooms between 40,000 and 50,000 square feet—demand is expected to be high, particularly for the five sites in the St. Louis area. Joe Ciapciak, retail broker for Pace Properties, owner of two Weekends Only store locations, told the St. Louis Business Journal that he sees big-box retailers as the best fit for new tenants, specifically “discount apparel retailers.”
“The market will tell us whether or not those tenants exist, but we are cautiously optimistic,” Ciapciak said. “They’re all what I consider very regional or super-regional retail locations, and they should be in fairly high demand.”