Conlin’s Furniture, based in South Dakota, bought the huge store and celebrates with a grand opening this week. Kathy Tiger writes new prices for furniture after Behars was purchased by Conlins on Thursday, Aug. 24, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald) EVERETT — Kathy Geiger, a longtime salesperson at Behar’s Furniture in Everett, wasn’t sure she would have a job this fall. Earlier this year, Geiger and her coworkers learned the enormous furniture and home goods store at 2105 Broadway, would be closing. After 60 years in business, the firm’s second-generation owner Jay Behar was stepping away from the retail side. Behar planned to stay in the furniture business as a member of the Pacific Furniture Dealers Buying Group, a collection of independent Northwest furniture retailers. He hoped to find a buyer, but there were no guarantees. Workers and community members worried the 40,000-square-foot building stretching a full city block might remain empty. For months, there were no takers — until the last day of the spring liquidation sale, when a furniture chain based in Sioux Falls, South Dakota purchased the business. “Conlin’s Furniture signed the agreement that day,” Geiger said. All of the employees were retained, district manager Kelly Gunville said. Geiger and her fellow workers — all five — kept their jobs. “We’re really fortunate and excited that they took us on,” Geiger said.
“We’re blessed, actually.” Tanner Mock begins unwrapping new furniture that has been delivered on Thursday, Aug. 24, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald) Purchase Photo Conlin’s Furniture kicks off a grand opening this week. The chain carries sofas, chairs, bedroom and dining room sets, along with mattresses and accessories. “We offer furniture at several price points,” Gunville said. Conlin’s carries Stanton Furniture, made in Oregon, and other domestic brands. “We use a lot of local or Pacific Northwest manufacturers,” Gunville said. The Great Plains-based retailer operates 17 stores in South Dakota, North Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Minnesota, Modesto, California, and now Washington. A semi-truck waits to deliver more furniture on Thursday, Aug.
24, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald) Purchase Photo The family-owned chain was founded in 1937 in Williston, North Dakota. “This year, we’re doing the expansion into Everett,” Gunville said. Gunville’s father, Paul Gunville, is the chain’s owner. The new owners spent the summer revamping the building inside and out, tearing out walls, painting, adding new lights and landscaping. “We’re going for an open floor concept,” Gunville said. In the process, they uncovered layers of paint and wall paper and a shiplap cedar wall, which was restored and refinished.
New ADA-compliant restrooms were installed. The Conlin’s banners are up, but the permanent signs are still on order, Gunville said: “The city permits took a while.” Furniture with liquidator price tags is illuminated by a Seahawks sign on Thursday, Aug. 24, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald) Purchase Photo The overhaul isn’t yet finished. It’s been a huge undertaking, said the store’s new manager, Bryan Hutcheson. Thirty gallons of white paint were needed “just to repaint the interior trim,” Hutcheson said. “You’re basically painting an entire city block,” he said of both the interior and exterior, now painted dove gray. The showroom and warehouse is really several buildings in one.
One section is a former grocery store; another, a former tire shop. From the warehouse entrance on 22nd Street to the north showroom entrance on 21st Street, it’s a good quarter mile. “They’ve created a whole new look in such a short time,” Geiger said. “It’s amazing,” A worker begins remodeling parts of the Behars furniture building on Thursday, Aug.
24, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald) Purchase Photo Tiffany Osburn, the store’s design consulant, seconds the motion. Like Geiger, she’ll be keeping her job. “I’m thrilled with the changes,” Osburn said. “I get to stay at the store and be part of a successful family business.” Conlin’s Furniture is open 10 a.m.
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