Modern Furniture Becomes Latest Middletown Business Casualty
While several businesses in Middletown have fallen on hard times recently, the successes and expansions of other local retailers has been seen in recent months.
In an economy that's shaky at best with unemployment still at record high levels here in Rhode Island, another local business in Middletown is closing its doors.
Big brightly colored “Going Out of Business Sale” signs fill the windows at the Modern Furniture store, located at 785 West Main Road.
According to the salesman at the location, the store will remain open until all the floor samples have been sold off. They will not order any other new items to the store, he said.
"There were many reasons for the closing. We can blame the economy. That's true. The truth is it's time for a change," said Stephen Horvitz, owner of Modern Furniture, which will reportedly continue to operate another recently renovated store in Fall River, MA.
After Modern Furniture closes, Ben's Furniture on Thames Street in Newport will be the last full service furniture store standing on Aquidneck Island.
Middletown's retail business community has experienced its share of ups and downs in recent months, with three national chains closing down their Middletown locations, including the 7-Eleven on West Main Road and, on East Main Road, Tim Horton's coffee shop and the FYE music and video retail store. Plus, earlier this month, three businesses in the Best Buy-anchored retail center on West Main Road had to close temporarily to clean up after the Tuesday Morning Closeouts fire.
On the up side, Cardi's Furniture Mattresses recently opened on West Main Road, a Town Fair Tire plans to open by March directly across from Modern Furniture property, Finer Consigner recently announced its intent to purchase an Aquidneck Avenue building due to its continued success, and new retail shopping center plans are currently under review by the town to set up shop at the former Auto Mall on West Main Road.
In Middletown, shoppers will still have a number of other stores to look for specific home and office furnishings, such as BJ's Wholesale Club, the Finer Consigner, the Christmas Tree Shops, Staples, Cardi's Furniture Mattresses and Sleepy's, as well as Tuesday Morning Closeouts once they've reopened.
Modern Furniture bought the Middletown building about fifteen years ago, according to one of the three employees there.
The store's 18,355-square foot building is listed on the market for $1.38 million. A Kirby Real Estate sign is posted out front. This is the second furniture store at that location following Newport Furniture's departure more than 15 years ago.
Modern Furniture also has another location at 99 Jefferson Street, Fall River, MA, which recently was renovated.