Red Deer’s retail furniture sector is undergoing a bit of a shake-up, with one store moving and another shutting down.
Hudson Madison is relocating its operations from Southpointe Common Phase 2 to another site that has yet to be determined, said Patrick Malkin, the store’s general manager and a partner in the business.
“We’ll be reopening again, hopefully sometime this spring,” he said.
Malkin confirmed the store closed earlier this week, and that customers have been notified. He said he couldn’t elaborate on the circumstances surrounding the decision to move, or on the premises being sought.
Hudson Madison opened at Gaetz Avenue Crossing in 2002, and moved to its much larger Southpointe Common site three years later. The company also has stores in Abbotsford and Nanaimo, B.C., and local customers will be able to order products online and arrange for delivery to Red Deer, said Malkin.
Meanwhile, Prestige Solid Wood Superstore is working toward a late February closure of its 7429 Gaetz Ave. store.
Guy Chalmers, who owns the business with his brother Kevin and looks after the Red Deer store, said he wants to retire.
“I always swore that I would not work past 60,” said Guy, who will turn 59 this August.
He and Kevin launched Prestige in Burnaby, B.C., in 1991. Prior to that, they helped their father with his New Westminster, B.C. antique store.
“I’ve worked in the business now for 39 years,” said Guy.
Prestige has other stores in Calgary and Coquitlam, B.C., which Kevin — who is seven years younger than Guy — will continue to operate with his brother’s help.
“Not that I expect to be working in them, but I will probably cover to some degree,” said Guy.
He said all of the stock in the Red Deer store, which has operated for about 17 years, will be liquidated. Several vehicles with rooftop signs have been driving around the city to promote the sale, and the company has also arranged for individuals with promotional signs to stand along busy streets.
Guy said local customers will still be able to order furniture from Prestige. It will be trucked to them at local delivery rates.
“We’ll be looking at it as if we have a store in Red Deer.”
Guy said the economic downturn and slowdown in the housing market has made it difficult for furniture retailers.
“The last year or two it has been certainly tougher, business-wise.”
Reflecting back on his decades in the industry, he said a big change has been a shift in consumer taste from oak to maple — a development that prompted the company to stop using its original name, Prestige Solid Oak Superstore.
“Nowadays we’re probably selling more maple than oak.”