New furniture shop opens inside video rental store
Those driving through New Richmond this week may have noticed a new business sign replace the Mr. Movies sign that has stood for years at 1027 N. Knowles Ave.
While Mr. Movies remains open at the location, Mattress and More has carved out a portion of its space to sell furniture in the store — and it’s a family venture.
Dan Johnson, son of Mr. Movies owner Gay Johnson and retired New Richmond Golf Club superintendent Gary Johnson, is still in the process of stocking the shop with merchandise.
“I’ve got mostly mattresses in the store,” Johnson said. “I’ll have some furniture on display, but I’m going to tell most of my customers looking for sofas and things like that to go to Ashley Furniture, pick it out, get a price and I’ll beat it.”
Right now, Mattress and More takes up the north half of the shop, while his mom’s movie rental business takes up the south half. Also located in the building is A Little Piece of Mind, a quilt shop that opened last summer.
“I just don’t have the room for all the furniture in dining and bedroom and groups,” Dan said. “So, I’m going to have a bunk bed and a dining set and a few things in here, and I’ll have catalogs for Ashley. Mostly the display will be just mattresses for the most part.”
Dan has been in the furniture business for the past seven years working at stores all around the country in places such as Washington, D.C.; Illinois; Oregon and Missouri.
“I’ve been all over the place,” Dan said. “I just moved back over Christmas and started getting the paperwork going.”
Dan said part of the motivation for moving back was family-oriented. He said he hopes to help Gay’s business bridge the gap between now and a few years in the future when she can retire.
“The movie rental industry is dying,” Dan said. “Everyone is still surprised that it’s still open. Obviously, they’re not profiting like they should, so with me coming in to split the rent with them, they can stay in business longer.”
After high school, Dan’s journey took him to a golf resort in Florida that he said was a lot of fun, but didn’t pay the bills. Soon he found himself in the furniture business with a company that sent him all over the country.
“I worked for a performance management firm. We went into struggling stores and helped them out,” Dan said. “I’d bounce around all over, so I didn’t really have a home base. I did live in Virginia for a couple years, and I did live in Chicago for two years, and ran furniture stores there. Other than that, it was just travelling around.”
Though Mattress and More had a soft opening in mid-March and its sign went up outside the shop on April 2, he is still planning a grand opening and advertising campaign.