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Bittersweet goodbye: Longtime business to close its doors

 

Parker Furniture was founded, in 1947, by the late Floyd W. Parker Sr. Howard Robertson, pictured in the downtown Columbus store, joined Parker Furniture in 1953 The store s closing after more than six decades in business.

Parker Furniture was founded, in 1947, by the late Floyd W. Parker Sr. Howard Robertson, pictured in the downtown Columbus store, joined Parker Furniture in 1953 The store s closing after more than six decades in business. Photo by: Kelly Tippett

 

Parker Furniture ad from 1954

 

Parker Furniture ad from 1954

 

 

Kristin Mamrack

 

After more than 60 years in business, Parker Furniture, located in downtown Columbus, permanently will close its doors. 

 

"Business got so bad in mid 2008, we almost did it then," manager Howard Robertson, said of closing the business. "Anyway, it just got hard to make it work anymore. Every aspect of the retail business is down, but the furniture business is hard hit." 

 

Parker Furniture was founded, in 1947, by the late Floyd W. Parker Sr., Robertson, who joined Parker Furniture in 1953, said, noting the store initially only sold appliances. 

 

"During World War II, people couldn''t buy anything," Robertson recalled. "We first did service work. Anything it took to make a sale, we did it. If it took plumbing for a washer or electrical wiring for a stove, we did it." 

 

Robertson became manager of the store in 1996. 

 

"I need to retire," he laughed. "I needed to retire about 10 years ago. I''ll miss going up there every day, but I''m going to enjoy my free time now." 

 

In addition to riding his motorcycle and traveling, he intends to spend more time with his wife, Jean, who has worked at Parker Furniture since 1980, his children -- Doug and Wayne -- grandchildren -- Taylor, Steven, Kyle, Zach, and Carley -- and a 6-month-old great-grandchild, Anna Madison. 

 

"I couldn''t find anything better to do," he joked, when asked why he stayed for so long at Parker Furniture. 

 

"It became a second home and I worked for some of the finest people in the world," he added, also praising the high-quality employees with whom he worked. (The owners) have been very good to me and my wife and the employees." 

 

A closing sale at Parker Furniture started Thursday with an invitation-only event; the sale opens to the general public today. 

 

The store currently is owned by Dr. Wade Parker and Anna Buchanan. 

 

Robertson expects the store to close in about three months, after the inventory is depleted.

 

 

 

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