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Business

Topeka-based Discovery Furniture plans to open store on Lawrence’s South Iowa Street

Furniture center proposed for Food-4-Less site

January 27, 2010

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Topeka-based furniture store plans to open location on Lawrence's South Iowa Street

A major Topeka-based furniture retailer plans to open a large store in the former Food-4-Less building on South Iowa Street by this summer. Enlarge video

A major Topeka-based furniture retailer plans to open a large store in the former Food-4-Less building on South Iowa Street by this summer.

Jeff Winter — an owner of Discovery Furniture and Roommakers Furniture — confirmed Wednesday that he’s in the process of applying for necessary city permits to open a 48,000-square-foot furniture center in the old grocery store building.

“We really believe Lawrence consumers need more choices and options to buy furniture,” Winter said. “Pretty much to get nice furniture, people have to leave town.”

Winter said the former grocery building will house three separate stores that his company will operate. One end of the building will house a Discovery Furniture store, which will feature several lines of furniture and also will offer special orders. On the other end of the building will be a Roommakers Furniture store that primarily will carry the Ashley line of furniture. In between the two stores will be a mattress store, as yet unnamed.

Winter’s family operates both a Discovery and Roommakers store in Topeka on Wanamaker Road, in addition to an Ashley Furniture HomeStore in Salina. He said he’s seen the number of Lawrence furniture stores steadily decline since Nebraska Furniture Mart opened its mega store in western Wyandotte County in 2003.

“But the reason we’re in the furniture business is because we think we can do it better,” said Winter, whose family has been in the business since the 1930s when it started a store in Emporia. “We’re all here local and it is just what we do, and we really like building relationships.”

Winter estimated the new store — which will be managed by his brother Jamie Winter — would employ about 30 people once it opens.

Comments

Bassetlover 5 years, 6 months ago

Love it, love it, love it! We have made many trips over to their Topeka location to purchase furniture. Great selections, prices, and customer service. This is great news for Lawrence and it is greatly needed here!

tomatogrower 5 years, 6 months ago

Great news. That store won't be empty. Hopefully they won't sell the disposable college furniture like the business that will remain unnamed, but has a really annoying flashing light, that they repair, because it really bothers some people and they are flipping their noses at citizens of Lawrence if you know who I mean. I'm just sayin'.

Stuart Evans 5 years, 6 months ago

I bet that Ashley retailer at the Westlake strip mall doesn't care for this idea at all.

Steve Jacob 5 years, 6 months ago

I would hope this place got a good rent deal. I hope it does well.

GmaD321 5 years, 6 months ago

Right now when it is tax refund time, the really annoying ads are on too. They are about 50X louder than whatever program was on. That should be illegal along with their flashing lights and stupid looking dressed up idiots. Losers.

BigPrune 5 years, 6 months ago

cheeseburger, the flashing light question was a sound-off question years ago. It is compliant because it is located inside the store. It is annoying for sure, but not as bad as one of their streetside displays - like a helium inflated love doll tied to a recliner or whatever they do over there...those are always more annoying.

PebblesFlintstone 5 years, 6 months ago

I'm going to be buying furniture soon and was dreading the thought of having to shop out of town and then figure out how to get it all back to Lawrence, so this is good news. Or is it "Sofa King Great" news?

eotw33 5 years, 6 months ago

You guys might as well say Payless Furniture Outlet, we do have freedom of speech in this country and your not saying anything that's not true. My only question is when can I apply for a sales spot? Payless wouldn't hire me because I have a wife and kids (I'm pretty sure that's illegal btw, if the owners are reading this) Not only that, but when I applied and called the number I spoke with some guy, he told me to go talk to his wife at the store, she didn't even know they were hiring. I hope this place takes them out of business forever!

Danielle Brunin 5 years, 6 months ago

When I was driving by the other day, there was an accident right in front of the waving fool on the street. You could tell somebody wasn't paying attention and ran right into the car in front of them. He looked awfully embarrassed and I kind of felt sorry for him because you know he's only doing it because there isn't anything better.

I hope this place does well. I'm in the market for a new recliner.

RoeDapple 5 years, 6 months ago

Hot dang, just in time for a new LazyBoy!

labmonkey 5 years, 6 months ago

Anything that takes business from NFM and Warren Buffet is a good thing in my book. Go Discovery Furniture!!!

ferrislives 5 years, 6 months ago

I'm SO happy to see a business move into that long-empty spot. I've been waiting for this day. And I agree, it's great to have a large furniture store in town, especially one that might possibly knock off its ever-annoying neighbor on Iowa.

orioledw 5 years, 6 months ago

Hope they do well I've been in their stores in Topeka and the employees were professional and friendly.

tomatogrower 5 years, 6 months ago

eotw33 (Anonymous) says… You guys might as well say Payless Furniture Outlet, we do have freedom of speech in this country and your not saying anything that's not true. My only question is when can I apply for a sales spot? Payless wouldn't hire me because I have a wife and kids (I'm pretty sure that's illegal btw, if the owners are reading this) Not only that, but when I applied and called the number I spoke with some guy, he told me to go talk to his wife at the store, she didn't even know they were hiring. I hope this place takes them out of business forever!

And keep your kids away from working there. Those people they hire to do stupid stuff outside are told they will get paid 11.00/hour, then another person comes in and says, sorry, you were told wrong. You only get 6.00/hour. And they always do it to young kids who don't know to get the original offer in writing. Rip off artists.

LogicMan 5 years, 6 months ago

Excellent news, and a good fit for the building and community. And just in time for a redecorating push at the LogicMan cave.

I only hope that the parking lot will be repaved as part of the deal. Office Depot and Tuesday Morning will also be pleased if so.

onerockinmom 5 years, 6 months ago

I love Discovery Furniture! I hate going to NFM, I always have horrible customer service. Cannot wait to spend my hard earned money in Lawrence for a change!

BigPrune 5 years, 6 months ago

Does anyone sell furniture for larger people? I have a buddy who is larger than most that sat in my recliner and now it sits cockeyed. It was only a year old.

With the widespread obesity problem, affordable furniture that won't break everytime a big person sits in it could be a large seller.

labmonkey 5 years, 6 months ago

Prune-

The place I used to work had a plumbing warehouse in the same building and they had a toilet there for obese people. I could not even sit on the seat or I would have fallen through.

sherbert 5 years, 6 months ago

I love Discovery Furniture store, they have nice stuff for reasonable prices, I think it's great!!

Kelly Johnson 5 years, 6 months ago

I'm glad to hear this store is moving to Lawrence! I can't afford to buy new stuff so some of y'all holla at me when you need to sell your used stuff, k?

I refuse to buy anything from Payless Furniture specifically because of the flashing light. Occasionally I have stopped there to get a price comparison and I let my kids climb all over the furniture! Ha!

7texdude 5 years, 6 months ago

If you guys are serious about buying local and keeping money and jobs in Lawrence, then go take a look when it opens. Best of luck to Discovery Furniture!

TopJayhawk 5 years, 6 months ago

Not only that, but I have to change the channel for payless ads. This is a good company. I have shopped there several times.

leedavid 5 years, 6 months ago

This is a good company TopJayhawk. I also have shopped them several times. It is a family owned business and they do a great job. We are lucky to have them

laangelitalokita 5 years, 6 months ago

I'm not sure why everyone is hating on Payless furniture. The prices are reasonable and the staff doesn't follow you through the store harassing you like in other places I've been to. So they have a flashing light, is it really cause to boycott? And the ads are cheesy, low budget commercials usally are...

Lee Eldridge 5 years, 6 months ago

We bought our couch over there (Discovery Furniture) several years ago. Got a great deal on a really nice couch. I think this is a great idea.

purplesage 5 years, 6 months ago

RoeDapple - You won't get a Lazy Boy from this outfit. As mentioned, they sell Ashley. Stuff looks nice but from personal experience, isn't very durable.

grammaddy 5 years, 6 months ago

Glad to see that SOMETHING is going in the old food-4-less building.

LogicMan 5 years, 6 months ago

"So they have a flashing light, is it really cause to boycott?"

Yes, and count me in too. It's obnoxious and a significant safety hazard at eye level, which is why flashing lights aren't allowed outside without a permit, etc. There are exceptions of course such as holiday lights.

alm77 5 years, 6 months ago

I have never, ever, ever seen so much consensus on a LJW article before. YES!! This is good news indeed!! Can't wait to check it out!! It's local, it's locally owned and it's huge!!

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