By Lena Mitchell/NEMS Daily Journal
BOONEVILE – A downtown furniture store that has served generations of shoppers is soon to close after 67 years in business.
Dickerson Furniture began its store closing sale this week.
“When we started we thought it would be two to three months, but on the first day we sold more than half our inventory, so it looks like it will be weeks instead of months,” said Marshall Dickerson, who bought the store from his father 34 years ago.
Hugh Dickerson opened the store in 1945, originally selling furniture and appliances. However, the store has offered only furniture since the 1950s.
“We used to be more full range with all types of furniture, but the past 10 to 12 years so much of the wood furniture was made in the east it became too costly for the size of our store,” Dickerson said. “More recently it’s been mostly upholstered furniture, and we’ve been a La-Z-Boy Comfort Studio dealer, along with bedding, things that have to be replaced.”
Those products have carried the business through the past four years’ slow economy, but that has come to an end.
“Our last really good year was 2007,” Dickerson said. “Furniture is one of those discretionary items that people can put off if it’s something they don’t have to have. In a better economy I probably would have stayed in three or four more years.”
At age 62, Dickerson isn’t quite ready for retirement. He’ll continue serving on the board of Renasant Bank, chairman of the Booneville School District Board of Education and in numerous other roles in the community and his church. The Ole Miss graduate might even move into other employment.
As he prepares to close the business, Dickerson is also offering his two downtown buildings for sale. One is the single-story building that houses the furniture store on the south side of West College Street. Another four-story building is across West College Street and has elevator access in the rear.
“Since we announced the closing we’ve had people coming in and crying as they spoke of coming in here with their grandparents,” Dickerson said. “We’re grateful to a community that has supported two generations of our family through all these years.”