Wednesday, Dec 11, 2013
Another West Frankfort Furniture Store to Close
WEST FRANKFORT -- The town known as the furniture capital of southern Illinois is losing another big store.
Coleman-Rhoads Furniture announced it's closing after more than three decades in West Frankfort. It's the second furniture store in town to close in three months after BFJ Interiors shut down in August. It could mean bad news for the city's reputation as a furniture-buying destination and its bottom line.
Owners at Coleman Rhoads insist the economy is not a factor in the closing, they're just ready to retire. But West Frankfort leaders are worried about the shut down's impact on the community.
Furniture stores used to be on every block in downtown West Frankfort. Now, they're few and far between as another family-owned business closes its doors.
"It has been a pleasure to be in the furniture business," said Brent Coleman. "But I'm 72 now, and so it's time to retire."
Coleman has owned the store with Steve Rhoads for 33 years. During that time, he's seen a tremendous decline in the business, but his store seems to have gone untouched.
"It's more difficult to capitalize a store, the inventory, the expenses involved, etc. So that's why I think a lot of people have gotten out of the furniture business," he explained. "Now, we on the other hand have grown."
Coleman says he can't complain about business, it's just that time. Although, he hates to see it go.
"I hope someone will come in and buy BFJ's building and our building and open new furniture stores. There's an opportunity here," he said.
The closing of Coleman-Rhoads leaves just two in the group that turned West Frankfort into the furniture capital of southern Illinois.
"That's probably a title that will go to someone else now. That's sad," said Mayor Tom Jordan.
Jordan explains how the closures will mean a big hit in the city's tax revenue. "You sell a loaf of bread, it's not very much but if you sell a couch, it's quite a bit of sales tax so, we'll notice it," he said.
It won't be easy, but Jordan sees the closed doors as an incentive for city leaders to work harder on developing their downtown.
"It's going to be hard for West Frankfort. We're going to miss them. We miss BFJ already and we're going to miss Coleman-Rhoads," Jordan insisted.
The Coleman-Rhoads going out of business sale will start next Friday. No word on an official last day.
Wind: 9 MPH
Humidity: 74 %