MANCHESTER — A well-known furniture store is closing its doors after more than a quarter century in the Queen City.
Mark Hughes and Randy Beliveau, co-owners of Purely Wood Furniture, announced Tuesday the Elm Street furniture store will close after 26 years.
Hughes and Beliveau were two young entrepreneurs who opened Purely Wood Furniture in February 1993 on 2nd Street in Manchester after being let go from their positions at Unfinished Furniture House.
“Today’s small businesses have many different challenges facing them now then what we faced when first starting out,” said Hughes. “The way people shop for goods nowadays is a big factor in the success or failure of many small businesses. Learning to adapt to these changes has been the challenge.”
“The smaller businesses are being pushed out and replaced by vast online companies that promise everything for much less, making it difficult to compete,” said Beliveau.
Both men say they appreciate the relationships they’ve developed within the community over these past several years, and are looking forward to new opportunities.
Long-time customer Nancy Bruno, a Manchester resident, said the “honesty and superior level of service” she received at Purely Wood Furniture “was unlike any other furniture retail store in the entire area.”
The store’s Facebook page features a growing number of well wishes and expressions of sadness upon learning the store is closing.
Last fall the store celebrated its 25th anniversary. At the time, Hughes told a New Hampshire Union Leader reporter he had seen a lot of changes in the furniture business.
“A lot of the generational furniture makers have disappeared from the U.S.,” Hughes said. “There aren’t as many people coming in to examine the quality of a piece of furniture. People look at a picture online, click, and hope when it shows up it’s what it looks like. But the people who come in our store, we try to establish a connection with that customer. That’s the difference a small business can make.”
Purely Wood Furniture, located at 293 Elm St., is currently offering a store closing sale. Call 641-9663 for more information.