GARDNER — As the years went by, having two 50,000-square-foot furniture stores within a mile of one another did not make economic sense for the Rome family.
So on Friday, they began a 60-day closing sale of Factory Coop, which has been operating for 33 years.
“It is just the economic reality,” said Bruce Rome, whose father, Joe, opened the store in the spring of 1983. “It’s hard to support two stores when they are within a mile of each other, especially with the dwindling number of people going into Gardner.”
The Romes will still operate the Rome Furniture Store, which has been in business for 71 years in Gardner. Bruce Rome said the Rome Furniture Store will feature some of what the Factory Coop was most known for, such as true, Amish furniture.
He would not specify which other furniture lines from the Factory Coop will be featured at the Main Street store, but he said some of the furniture styles will make the move.
Arthur Rome, Bruce’s cousin and co-owner, said in a release that, “It has been a privilege and an honor to serve all of our loyal customers at The Factory Coop for the past three-and-a-half decades.”
Bruce Rome said lower sales numbers forced the family to make the decision. He said people aren’t traveling from all over Massachusetts to get top-tier furniture like they did in the past.
“It’s going to be different,” Bruce Rome said. “My father started this store. Times change. It is just the reality. It is a sad thing, but it was necessary under these circumstances.
Bruce said the store prided itself on its “fine selection of American-made living-room, office, bedroom, kitchen and dining furniture.”
During the 60-day sale, there will be a huge selection of product, including high-end Amish furniture and a large display of items, including grandfather clocks, with discounts up to 80 percent, according to a release.
“We look forward to seeing many old friends during the sale,” he said.
As the closure continues, Bruce said the family’s focus will be to continue to improve the Rome Furniture Store for local residents.
“We are going to continue to make it better,” he said. “We will be adding more designer furniture with additional lines. We are going to continue to grow and get better at what we do.”