Manor furniture store ends 53-year chapter
MANOR — After more than a half-century of doing business in the area, a local furniture and flooring store is selling all its inventory as it readies to close up shop by the end of the year.
Andrea Solomon-Eller, owner of Furniture World Carpet One, announced the impending closure of her two stores — located at 13584 Route 422 in Manor and at 2420 Philadelphia St., in Indiana — citing economic pressures from the recession as one of the leading factors for closing down.
“It was a really tough decision,” she said. “We're sad to leave.”
Solomon-Eller had been leasing the Manor Township building from Janet Rupp.
“We lost the lease. It was a very good lease, and we couldn't afford to buy it,” she said.
During these last days of business, a steady stream of cars and trucks have been packing the parking lot, and customers have been cashing in on close-out deals while trading memories with the staff.
“Our customers have been wonderful,” Solomon-Eller said.
She said her father, Sandy Cooperman, started the business at a Ford City location in 1960 as a Mr. Tile store. He passed away in 2009, having devoted much of his time mentoring area youth. He was a volunteer with the Junior Achievement program and for 12 years taught a weekly economics class at Ford City High School.
According to a news release, Furniture World Carpet One sponsored youth and athletic teams and supported organizations including The Breast Cancer Research Foundation, Pet Partners and Kittanning Workshop.
While talking about those early days, Solomon-Eller laughed as she recalled a donkey named Senior Tile, which her father gave away during the grand opening of the store.
She remembers the loud clacking of the adding machine in her childhood home as her father went over the store's expenses.
“My dad was a fun guy,” she said, adding that “he always liked to see people succeed.”
Gary Klingensmith is one of those success stories.
He started working for Cooperman when he was just 17 and after 41 years, is the CEO of both stores.
“I started working on the truck,” Klingensmith said. “I didn't realize I had a gift for numbers. He (Cooperman) saw that in me and asked me to go with him to furniture markets.”
Klingensmith said Cooperman treated him like a son.
“This is like a death in the family,” he said of the impending store closures.
“It's a great loss to the community,” he said, adding that the number of employees has decreased by half, from about 60 to 30.
But Klingensmith remains hopeful that a potential buyer will assume the furniture and flooring business under a new name and that there will be employment opportunities in the area for current staff members.
Otherwise, he said, it's unclear what the next step will be.
More information about the store and its sale can be found at www.furnitureworldcarpetone.com
Brigid Beatty is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-543-1303.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Kittanning thrift shop giving away coats Sunday
- Armstrong County keeps commissioner raises tied to non-union employees’ pay
- Ford City postpones town hall meeting about police, finances
- Kittanning, Ford City parades feature school bands for last time
- Preliminary hearing postponed again for Ford City man accused of wiretapping
- Kittanning gets $3 million grant for downtown improvements
- Lawsuit against Armstrong County ‘voluntarily dismissed’
- Grant awarded to fund Armstrong locks summer operations
- Feds investigating theft of Dayton mail by contracted truck driver
- Program bridges several disciplines for Kittanning students
- Allegheny locks agreement talks begin in Armstrong