Barney’s Furniture has reopened as of June 1, but only long enough to have a going-out-of-business sale. However, owner Barry Seidman said the pandemic is not to blame.
“This was actually planned before any of the shutdown occurred,” he said, explaining that the closure due to COVID-19 simply delayed the ability to liquidate the remaining inventory and begin the process of converting the location to an Ashley Outlet Store.
The Seidman family already owns the Ashley HomeStore locations in Springfield, Jacksonville and Quincy, but he said the outlet store is a different concept. “It’s a new concept developed about three years ago. I wasn’t ready to do it then because it was a brand-new concept and I wanted to see how it was working,” Seidman said, noting that there are now around 35 Ashley Outlet Stores nationwide.
“It fills a niche for an entry-level price point,” he said. “The outlet concept is for people who want to buy a single piece, or ready-to-assemble furniture similar to an IKEA. At a traditional Ashley HomeStore, everything is displayed in a beautiful setting and people come in and select a room of coordinated furniture. This will appeal more to the customer who is just starting out.”
Once the remaining inventory is sold, Barney’s Furniture will close and it will take 6-8 weeks to transition the space to an Ashley Outlet Store. The majority of the current staff will remain at the location, according to Seidman.
Barney’s Furniture was founded by Seidman’s grandfather in 1939 and was located on South Grand Avenue East for more than four decades before moving to its current location at 1987 Wabash Ave. in 2016. Seidman has been involved in the business since 1981.
“Even though our stores are now part of the Ashley family, we are still a third-generation family-owned business. Nothing has changed in that respect,” he said.