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.