Freeman Used Furniture going out of business after 40 years

An east Lawrence furniture shop is going out of business later this month after nearly 40 years in operation.

December 4, 2008


After nearly 40 years of buying and selling used furnishings and appliances, Freeman Used Furniture is going out of business.

The store, 1145 Pa., is closing Dec. 13, the victim of economic circumstances that show few signs of improving next year, co-owner Sheree Nairn said.

The shop typically would generate at least half of its sales from consumer purchases of used appliances, she said. But in recent months, the supply of such appliances — washers, refrigerators etc. — has evaporated along with everyone’s confidence in investing for retirement, retaining jobs or paying bills.

“People are holding onto what they have and not making changes unless they have to,” Nairn said. “It’s not a problem with selling the things, especially appliances. It’s that our purchasing numbers are down.

“We used to have four rows of appliances, six to eight of each — that’s 25 to 30 appliances at a time — on the sales floor. Now we have three: a washer and a dryer that came in yesterday, and a freezer. … It’s just an economics thing.”

Nairn’s parents, Loren and Marjorie Freeman, opened the store May 20, 1969. They sold the place in 1988 to their daughter and her husband, Doug Nairn. Now the Nairns are selling the shop, which previously had been an auctioneer’s hub for selling used furnishings and, as early as 1901, had been a neighborhood grocery store.

Sheree Nairn is taking a job as a receptionist for Roark & Associates, an accounting firm in northwest Lawrence. Both Doug Nairn and the shop’s lone employee have not settled on future employment.


madameX 9 years, 6 months ago

What! I just bought a couch there, they're super nice and very reasonably priced. I also live in the neighborhood--it's sad that we're losing such a good little local business.

CLARKKENT 9 years, 6 months ago


AttaGirl 9 years, 6 months ago

I bought my washer and dryer there this year and couldn't have had better service. The owners were so very nice and helpful and even delivered them to me as promised in Lecompton on a terrible snowy slick day. I'm sorry to see them leave us.

misseve 9 years, 6 months ago

WOW... that is so sad to hear. I have bought from them when I needed things and could not afford new.

bevy 9 years, 6 months ago

What a terrible loss to Lawrence! I have been to Freeman's MANY times and have always received excellent customer service - and great deals! Good luck to all of you in your future employment.

denak 9 years, 6 months ago

This is terrible! I have purchased quite a few items from them over the years and have always been very happy with the service and the merchandise.Dena

jnixon 9 years, 6 months ago

I'm really sorry to hear this. I have purchased several pieces of furniture from them. Now my kids have some of these pieces in their own homes. We just don't have many more places to buy good used furniture in this town. They have all closed up. Good Luck to the three of you! You're Good People! And to 'Defender'... maybe it was YOU that was having the bad day.

KansasPerson 9 years, 6 months ago

Freeman Used Furniture people -- I hope you are reading these comments so you can see how much you've been appreciated all these years.I bought many a bookcase from you over the years -- I think I still have all of them! I've sold some things to you and you've also accepted some things in trade even though at least one of the items ended up being kind of hard for you to sell (sorry about that!)You've always been fantastic about pickup and delivery.And we are still very proud of the nearly-new blue recliners that we bought a year or two ago.You've always been kind and professional, and I'll miss you!!!(I won't miss that spiral staircase though. It always makes me dizzy!)

LogicMan 9 years, 6 months ago

High scrap prices for steel, etc. is another reason for the lack of used machines.

Lori Tapahonso 9 years, 6 months ago

that's sad! i'll miss freemans. i've bought and sold to them in the past and they were always so nice. i referred many new college students to them knowing that they'd get what they want at a fair price!

aha 9 years, 6 months ago

This sucks! I go there at least once a year for something. In fact, I had planned to make a trip down there soon for a couch or futon for our basement.The people are always friendly to me, and I always appreciate the delivery service. Sheree and Doug, please know that you will be missed!

Frank A Janzen 9 years, 6 months ago

I once bought a chest of drawers at Freeman's and later sold it back when I left town. A few years later, I was again looking for another one at Freeman's and discovered the exact same one, which I bought again. I fact, this chest of drawers had been made by someone using used materials -- under one of the drawers you could see the printing from a military ammunition crate, and a written note, something like, "Daddy, I love you." I also attended many of the Freeman's auctions. Wonderful people. A Lawrence tradition. Too bad for the ailing economy.

bearded_gnome 9 years, 6 months ago

Sheree doug and bruce, you guys are the best. we've bought and sold too. in my house are several items from your store this moment. you guys have always been classy and just the best for business. very sad. maybe the government should bailout Freeman's instead of GM. good luck with all you do.

sustainabilitysister 9 years, 6 months ago

This is soo sad! My family and myself have always bought furniture and appliances from them. They are all such nice people! Sad Sad Sad. Buy local and stay away from big business. Let's take care of our community!

TheStig 9 years, 6 months ago

sustainabilitysister (Anonymous) says…"Buy local and stay away from big business. Let's take care of our community!"Yeah don't buy used from the Big Box stores! Except of course the Big Box stores don't sell used furniture and Freeman's got their used inventory from people who just bought new from a Big Box store and sold their old stuff to help pay for it.Still, best of luck to all.

alm77 9 years, 6 months ago

How have I lived here for four years and have never heard of this place? Tomorrow is payday. I'm going to Freeman's!!

jasb71 9 years, 6 months ago

This is really sad I have bought from and on 4 occasions sold to them, they are really nice people. I am sorry Lawrence is losing another local business.

wysiwyg69 9 years, 6 months ago

defnder" maybee they treated you for wht you are! and try coming up with a new line your "crap" is getting old

Ralph Reed 9 years, 6 months ago

I've known the Freeman's for years. Absolutely great people.Freeman's Used Furniture is (was) a tremendous local business and I will miss them.

SMe 9 years, 6 months ago

Now this is a store I hate to see go. Always nice and fair. It's a shame.

Richard Heckler 9 years, 6 months ago

"very sad. maybe the government should bailout Freeman's instead of GM." (over,over and over)Absolutely. That's putting tax dollars back into the economy.

mom_of_three 9 years, 6 months ago

I always checked out Freeman's when I was looking for furniture, and bought from them a couple of times. the store will be missed.

trinity 9 years, 6 months ago

hmmm i'm going to be in lawrence today, may have to swing by this store before it is gone for good. a whole passel of positive comments-and one snarky mean one. ah, but the source. no wonder. ~eye roll~

yellowhouse 9 years, 6 months ago

We have always enjoyed the friendly competition of having Freemans in town! Its fun to hear the comments as customer bounce back & forth between the two businesses, and choose who they want to deal with!I am really going to miss that! There has always been room in this town for both of us!

zzgoeb 9 years, 6 months ago

defender-What a classy, nice obviously are out of line, and apparently the ONLY one with that story...check your ego and then apologize!

bearded_gnome 9 years, 6 months ago

What a classy, nice post…you obviously are out of line, and apparently the ONLY one with that story…check your ego and then apologize!problem: assumes capabilities which Deadender so obviously lacks. his experience with the very good people at Freemans says volumes about Deadender. ***actually bought something from them today. at about the same time I read this article yesterday, microwave died. bought theirs today. they are the best. sad day for lawrence.

TheStig 9 years, 6 months ago

“very sad. maybe the government should bailout Freeman's instead of GM.” (over,over and over)merrill (Anonymous) says… "Absolutely. That's putting tax dollars back into the economy."Explain please how giving money to a company that can't get used furniture inventory, because people aren't buying new furniture, going to help? The money you give them is simply taken from us in taxes without anyone buying new or used furniture. If taxes were reduced people would buy more new furniture and then have used to Freeman's.

greenworld 9 years, 6 months ago

I have done business with them and they always made we feel quite welcome unlike Arensbergs. Let's blame this on good ole Bush.

angeleyes 9 years, 6 months ago

i like freemans , they have wonderful quality of furniture when i first moved here. i bought several dressers ect. from them. including lamps. i will miss them. i go in once in while to look around , but i will not miss the narrow spiral staircase. that was always making me feel like i was going to pass out on it lol. byt he way the comment of steel prices are up . no they are not up iam a person who recycles lots matter of fact like i took in 70 pounds of steel and got like 18 cents get real how is that for economy i wasted more gas then any thing. even the cans have went down too no longer 50 cent a pound. so come on this hit every one the economy .

KansasPerson 9 years, 6 months ago

Angeleyes -- we're on the same page about that spiral staircase. Shudder.Defender, most of the folks here did say that they've bought furniture and/or appliances there, some several times over the years. We made a major purchase there just last summer. How are we not voting with our money? How did we just "stand by" while they sank? How many times a year do you figure people buy furniture anyway?

Jenni Allen 9 years, 6 months ago

I will miss freemans I have bought furniture from them for many years, never had any problems with them they werealways very helpful and friendly. Very sorry to see ya go

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