- VHS Enthusiast/Youtube
- The furniture business can be tough.
- Changing tastes and economic downturns can prove toxic to unlucky furniture retailers.
- From Levitz Furniture to Heilig-Meyers, here are a few familiar names that you won’t see on store signs anymore.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Pull up a chair, an ottoman, or a loveseat – it’s time to take a trip down memory lane with some furniture retailers of old.
It’s easy to be an armchair critic, but running a furniture business is no easy task. Keeping up with changing tastes is hard enough, but you’ve also got to contend with intense competition and economic dips that dampen consumer spending.
So it’s no surprise that the annals of retail history are filled with the names of now-defunct furniture outlets. Certain outlets, like Linens ‘N Things and the Bombay Company, still exist online. But others were unfortunately sent to the scrap heap.
Here’s a look at a few furniture stores that aren’t around anymore:
Richard Levitz founded the first Levitz Furniture store in Pennsylvania in 1910. The company expanded throughout the US, but didn’t quite survive for 100 years. The struggling retailer liquidated for good in 2008, felled by what the Washington Post described as “competitors and heavy debt.”
First launched by a pair of Lithuanian immigrants to the US in 1913, Heilig-Meyers was once a dominant figure in the furniture business. Despite thriving for much of the 20th century, Heilig-Meyers filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2000.
Source: The Baltimore Sun
Richard Levitz’s grandson Gary forged his own route in the furniture business, launching the Room Store in 1992 in Texas. The company dodged liquidation in 2000 when its parent company Heilig-Meyers filed for bankruptcy. But the business did end up filing for Chapter 11 in 2011, and its remaining stores closed the following year.
Founded in 1971 in Minnesota, Wickes Furniture spread from the Midwest to the West Coast over the years. The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2008 and closed for good that same year.
Source: The Record Gazette
Railroad worker Amos Rhodes founded his furniture store in 1879 in Atlanta. This begat a chain of Rhodes Furniture stores that continued to expand in the following century. Heilig-Meyers snapped up the business in 1996, only to sell it three years later. Rhodes closed for good in 2005.
- Analog Indulgence/Youtube
Brooklynite Julius Seaman launched his namesake store in 1933. The company dominated the furniture scene in the northeast for years, but ultimately filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 1992. Seaman’s brand faded after its merger with Levitz in 2005.
- Linx Com/Youtube
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