New Richmond furniture store ready for transformationDon’t be fooled by the bright orange signs outside Beebe’s Furniture and Mattress Center, the store is not going out of business — it’s undergoing a transformation.
By: By Jackie Grumish, New Richmond News
Don’t be fooled by the bright orange signs outside Beebe’s Furniture and Mattress Center, the store is not going out of business — it’s undergoing a transformation.
Brian Young and Jodie Bakken Young plan to sell off the store’s current inventory and start fresh.
The plan, Bakken Young said, is to give the store a new name, new logo, new furniture line and do some remodeling.
“In this economy furniture is a luxury,” she said. “We didn’t want to close the store. We didn’t want New Richmond to lose another downtown business so we’re trying to reinvent it.”
The change ends more than 100 years of the Beebe family’s association with the furniture store. Jim Beebe, the previous owner of Beebe’s Furniture Store and Funeral Home, was the third generation to run the family business. He and his wife, Sharon, sold the business to Young and Bakken Young in 2008.
Walter Beebe, Jim’s grandfather, constructed the building on its present site in 1899, after the cyclone wiped out downtown New Richmond. He previously had started a pharmacy business in downtown New Richmond in 1893.
Back then, furniture stores and funeral homes in rural Wisconsin were often paired together because furniture makers were also often casket makers in a community.
Young and Bakken-Young own five funeral homes in western Wisconsin — Baldwin, Hudson, Maiden Rock, New Richmond and River Falls.
They purchased the first four homes in 1999, after becoming licensed funeral home directors in 1997.
Both University of Minnesota graduates, Young and Bakken Young met while working together at a Twin Cities funeral home.
Bakken Young said the new and improved furniture store will open in mid-July, probably the same weekend as Fun Fest. Until then, signs will block the windows of the store to prevent anyone from getting a sneak peek into the building.
“It’s going to be a total surprise,” Bakken Young said.
When the doors re-open in July, the new business will carry a few well known brands like Ashley Furniture, Charles Schneider, Best Craft and Spring Air mattresses, along with a few others.
“We wanted to offer a few vendors rather than a little bit of everything,” she said.
Bakken Young said she and Young have spoken to the Beebes about the change and the family was understanding.
“We sat down with them and talked about it,” she said.
The store’s liquidation sale, which will be handled by an outside promoter, will begin Thursday, May 5, and last through July 4, Bakken Young said.