Brown’s Home Furnishings opened its doors on March 1 in downtown Albion. According to store manager Melinnie Gibson, new and used furniture is delivered every week to their business just across the street from the Ludington Center and Lopez Taco House.
With many storefronts in Albion closing in years past, Brown’s Home Furnishings gives Albion residents a place to shop for affordable new and used furniture. Because they don’t have a sign on their storefront, Gibson says many people walk in not knowing who they are; however, after seeing some of their prices, they’re quickly interested.
“We can get up to $150 for a used box-spring mattress. The new pillow top with memory foam is $299 for a queen size bed that’s still brand new and in the plastic,” said Gibson.
Before Brown’s, Albion was home to Lawrence Used and New Furniture, just south of Brown’s location on Superior Street. Lawrence Brown, owner of Brown’s Home Furnishings, and his parents were in business for 32 years before his mother passed away in September. Brown’s father decided he would close down his store, but Brown wanted to fill the void in Albion and bring a store like his parents’ back.
Although Brown’s has mostly new furniture, they also sell old furniture which they buy at auctions and estate sales. Some people come in and say they have furniture to sell, and Brown’s will buy it from them, turn around and resell it. If people want to look through catalogs while shopping, Gibson says that’s a possibility also.
“If someone decides they want something [from a catalog], we ask for at least 20 percent down, so when we order it, it doesn’t just sit around,” Gibson explained. “But if we order by Tuesday afternoon, we can have it by Friday, which is pretty cool. And we also offer layaways.”
There’s also a Brown’s Home Furnishings store in Marshall, Michigan, which sells much of the same types of furniture. Gibson says she posts photos of new products from both stores regularly on their Facebook pages. Because they don’t have a website, they do most of their networking via Facebook and over the phone. On days with bad weather, Gibson says many people will call in with questions about products they’ve seen on the stores’ Facebook pages.
Gibson went on to explain that people have made assumptions that they’re overpriced, and this can go back to not yet having a sign outside of their Albion location.
“We’ve had a lot of people come through the door saying it’s like Art Van’s Furniture. We want people to walk around before they make assumptions, [and they walk through] and say, ‘I saw the same thing at Art Van that was double the price.’”
After really looking into their products, it seems people were impressed with the quality and prices they have to offer. According to Gibson, if someone were to visit the store every three days, it would be stocked with completely different furniture. In a community looking to bounce back from the recession, they’re trying to give people an opportunity to purchase affordable, high-quality furniture.
“We’re not trying to get rich; we’re just trying to help people out,” said Gibson.
You can reach the Brown’s Home Furnishings Facebook page for their Albion location here. For the Marshall location, click here.