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Browning on Business: City's oldest family-owned furniture store to close


William Browning

William Browning



William Browning



Langford Furniture, which opened for business in Columbus while President Dwight D. Eisenhower was in office, is closing. 


The business has been at the corner of Military and Bluecutt roads since January 1956. It's original owners were Jack Langford Sr. and Nelson Myers. In the late 1960s, Langford bought Myers' share and it has been in the Langford family ever since. It is one of the last "mom and pop" furniture stores in town. 


This spring, after the current merchandise has been sold, the doors will close. 


"We've got to do something else," Jack Langford Jr. said. 


He and his brother, Larry Langford, are co-owners. Running the furniture store is all they've ever done. 


"All our lives," Jack Jr. said Wednesday. 


But the brothers are both in their mid- to late-60s and there are grandchildren to spend time with. It's time to retire, Jack Jr. said. 


The business sits on a 1.1-acre lot at 2012 Military Rd. There is a 7,200 square foot building that houses the furniture and directly behind it there is a 5,000 square foot warehouse. It is all for sale, Jack Jr. said. 


Leigh Mall is working on making room for Hobby Lobby, the retail chain of arts and crafts stores slated to open inside the Highway 45 North mall late this year. The store will occupy roughly 50,963 square feet along the mall's southern end, according to the plans submitted to Kenny Wiegel, director of the city's building department. 


Sears Home Store currently occupies almost 8,100 square feet on the mall's southern end, however. 


Leigh Mall property manager Gail Culpepper said discussions are underway to possibly lease the old Sears automotive building to Sears Home Store. The mall owns the old automotive store, which sits empty in the southwest corner of the mall's parking lot. Some construction is taking place inside of the building, according to Wiegel. No lease has been finalized yet, though, so the move is not set in stone. 


Hobby Lobby will begin construction inside the mall in late April. 


Lastly, some interesting tidbits culled from a 2013 retail marketplace profile of the city of Columbus, where the population is 23,459. 


There are a total of 368 retailers in town. Sixty-eight of those are food and drink establishments. There are 36 clothing stores, 16 electronic and appliance stores, 15 sporting goods, hobby, music and book stores, 12 gas stations, eight liquor stores, six florists and five shoe stores (though that number is about to be four now that Coggins Shoe Shop is set to close).


William Browning was managing editor for The Dispatch until June 2016.



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