HOULTON, Maine — It’s the finish of an period in Houlton the place longtime household enterprise Furnishings and Flooring North will shut its doorways because the final furnishings retailer in a city that when supported three.
Proprietor Joe Fitzpatrick stated the choice to shut was not a simple one, given the numerous long-standing relationships he has developed with clients over his 33 years of operations.
The shop’s closing day will likely be Saturday.
“I constructed this firm on the motto of giving folks the very best service we presumably may,” Fitzpatrick stated. “Sadly, a lot of that [sales] has gone on-line. Enterprise has been good to us, proper up till the final couple of years.”
Modifications in how and the place folks buy furnishings, provide chain points and different trade modifications, in addition to a chance to promote his present constructing, have been among the many main causes Fitzpatrick gave for deciding it’s the proper time to say goodbye. He first tried promoting all the enterprise with the constructing, however after a pair years with no bites, determined to easily shut the enterprise and promote the property throughout what has been an actual property growth for Aroostook.
The constructing was bought by the newly fashioned Southern Aroostook Emergency Medical Service and will likely be renovated into that firm’s base of operations.The ambulance service will serve a number of southern Aroostook cities.
“We went a very long time with none bites in any respect,” stated Kelly Fitzpatrick, Joe’s daughter and basic supervisor of the corporate. “This previous summer time, issues picked up and we had a number of [people] within the constructing. So it’s time.”
The furnishings enterprise has been a lifestyle for Fitzpatrick for so long as he can keep in mind. For a number of years, he labored for McGillicuddy Furnishings, previously situated on Water Road in Houlton, earlier than deciding to start out his personal enterprise.
It was a call he appears to be like again upon fondly.
“I used to be very assured it could work,” he stated. “I had a reasonably good marketing strategy. Once we first began, each nickel I made we slapped again into the shop. There was no query in my thoughts it was going to work.”
He first opened Furnishings and Flooring North at 60 North St., the present web site of Tang’s Chinese language Restaurant, and spent 15 years there earlier than shifting to its 45 Entry Rd.location.
Modifications in client’s habits over time was one other driving power in his resolution to shut. He cited on-line companies for taking a giant chunk out of the native retail market, as evidenced by the truth that as soon as he closes, Houlton will now not have a domestically owned furnishings retailer, when there was once three.
An incapability to get merchandise shipped to his storefront as a result of producers can not make chairs, sofas and different furnishings quick sufficient to fulfill the demand has been one other main hurdle for the previous few years.
“At the moment, I in all probability have much less furnishings within the retailer than I did after I first opened up again in 1988,” he stated. “Plenty of it has to do with firms merely not having the ability to get merchandise to us. What was once 18-30 days is now wherever from eight months to 18 months to get merchandise.”
Fitzpatrick stated he had merchandise that has been ordered and paid for by clients that won’t be arriving till after they shut. A lot of these orders needed to be canceled.
“I’ll actually miss the folks,” he stated. “We have now so many longtime, loyal clients. A lot of these folks I picked the telephone up and referred to as them myself. They have been greater than clients. They have been buddies.”