Sad news for people who sit

Our blog is generally about the state of media and our efforts to launch a new media product. That product will eventually cover goings-on great and small in our fair burg. In the meantime we’ll start occasionally dropping in tidbits in the blog as we run across them.

In our search for cheap value-priced office furniture today, we went to one of our favorite spots, the Gabberts Outlet Store, only to learn that it is closing in the next 60-90 days. There weren’t any going out of business signs yet — the folks working the floor alerted us. They didn’t have m(any) details save that the store would close Tuesday-Wednesday next week and then open in closeout mode on Thursday.

The press release
is a little more illuminating:

“We made the decision to close our Furniture
Outlet based on customer trends,” said Jim Gabbert, chief executive
officer, Gabberts Furniture and Design Studio. “Research is telling us
that many of our current Outlet customers are also customers of our
retail showrooms. That means we’re actually transferring merchandise
from our showrooms to a second location only to have it bought by
essentially the same customer. That doesn’t make sense from a business
or customer service standpoint.”

That may be, but for a lot of younger families, like us, who want to start furnishing a home with nice pieces of fine furniture without going into hock, the Gabberts Outlet was a godsend. I’d reckon half or more of the furniture in our home came from there.

An outlet-like area, called
Gabberts Odds & Ends, will be incorporated into the Dallas retail
showroom, located at 13342 Midway Road, just two blocks south of the
Outlet store. “We’ve had very strong customer response to this concept
in Minnesota, and we expect it to be well received in the Metroplex,”
Gabbert said.

The Odds & Ends area in the Minnesota store
is approximately 2,500 square feet or about 1.5 percent of the total
retail floor space. Floor plans are still in development for the Dallas

Hard to tell exactly, because the building has multiple tenants, but by my math that’s easily less than 10% the size of the current outlet, which was generally packed tight with overstock inventory.

UPDATE: An industry rag says the store was "unprofitable" and was 45,000 square feet.

Mike Orren is the Chief Product Officer of The Dallas Morning News; President of Belo Business Intelligence; husband to Crystal Orren; and a Mungarian at Munger Place Church in Dallas, TX. All opinions herein are mine alone.