Well, now, we can set out with no intentions of offending anyone. but it happens once in a while. My story in our Feb. 14 Business MondayÂ section about Johnson Bros. Furniture store closing upset the folks at Happy Sleeper in Duluth.
In the story, I noted that Lincoln Park was once the furniture hub of Duluth with seven (major) stores. But once Johnson Bros. furniture closes, there will only be two major furniture stores left in that business district: Anderson Furniture Co. and Robertâ€™s Home Furnishings. For when I drive down West Superior Street, those are the other large traditional, multi-floor furniture stores I readily notice.
That didnâ€™t sit well with John Fochs of Fochs & Associates who pointed out that Happy Sleeper Mattress and Furniture Store has been a Duluth tradition since 1905. In what I imagine was an anger-packed e-mail, he wrote:
â€œHow do you define MAJOR? Happy Sleeper has two floors of furniture, but, apparently, three are needed. When your point is diminished furniture selection, why note list all the furniture stores in the area, rather than splitting hairs? Treating all fairly isnâ€™t a bad idea.â€
I didnâ€™t list all the home furnishing stores, because that wasnâ€™t the point.Â I was referring to the big anchor-type stores that carry a wide range of home furniture. And I thought Happy Sleeper was a smaller niche store.
But, with Mr Fochsâ€™ words echoing in my head, I drove down West Superior Street again this week, this time slower than usual to note other home furnishing stores and home improvement businesses along the stretch from about 18th to 25th avenues west.
They include: Riverside Flooring, P&J Paint. Arrowhead Supply Co. (kitchens and baths) , a few used furniture and thrift stores, Simply Amish Wood Furniture (in Andersonâ€™s Furniture), Magic Carpetâ€¦ and of course, Happy Sleeper at 2010 W. Superior St.
I pulled up right in front and went in. A cheerful salesman greeted me and let me browse. Indeed, itâ€™s more than a niche mattress store, it also has living room furniture, bedroom furniture, lamps and other accessories on 1Â½ floors.
So on that point, I concede.