Home Furniture, which has been serving customers for nearly 60 years, has celebrated its last Christmas. The Patzner family, which has operated the store since its inception in Appleton in 1949, will begin the total liquidation of its only store at 1169 Valley Road in The Town of Menasha beginning Thursday, December 28.
"My father Henry Patzner signed the papers incorporating the store on November 11, 1949," said his son Gene Patzner, current owner of Home Furniture. "It is both ironic and symbolic that I filed our going-out-of-business papers with the city on November 11, 2007. Our family and the store have been such active and important members of the community for six decades, that both the Town Clerk and I had to hold back the tears."
Home Furniture will keep its 17,000 square-foot showroom open until all merchandise is sold. The store sells such lines as La-Z-Boy, Cochrane, King Koil, Vaughan-Bassett and Peters-Revington Furniture at its single location. Home Furniture also has another 6,500 square feet of warehouse facilities on the same site.
All manufacturers' warranties will remain in effect (except on items sold "as is"). In appreciation for the decades of support, Home Furniture will say "thank you" to the community by selling the remaining merchandise in its multi-million dollar inventory at price reductions of up to 75% off.
Home Furniture is one of the best known retail names in the Menasha area. The store originally was located in a 5,000 square foot storefront on College Avenue in Appleton. Initially, the store carried appliances and floor coverings when it first opened. Home Furniture discontinued selling appliances in 1956 and then pulled out its carpet inventory in 1968.
"Dad and a partner had owned a furniture store in Winona, Minn. right after the war (WWII) which burned down. He then came to Appleton where he worked in the furniture and appliance department at Montgomery Ward," said Patzner. "However, dad knew if he could sell for Ward's, he could do it better on his own.
"In 1951, dad wanted more space and better value. He found the property where we are located today, buying it economically. Even so, he invested everything he had into the property, and we lived in a trailer in the back.
"It was a great ride and a lot of fun, but now it is time to get on to other things," added Patzner.
Home Furniture has undergone three major expansions since it first opened in Menasha in 1951. The senior Patzner oversaw the first one. Gene Patzner, who bought the business from his father in 1986, directed the second and third expansions.
"This was a very, very tough decision," said Patzner. "We are completely woven into the fabric of the community."
Home Furniture was the Town of Menasha's first "Business of the Year" in 1994. The store and the Patzner family are also highly regarded for their contributions and efforts benefiting the Wisconsin chapter of the Arthritis Fund. Additionally, Home Furniture is the longest running sponsor of Menasha's Palisades Little League Team.
The departure of Home Furniture from the community leaves the Big Box stores a very large pair of spikes to fill.
"I would not be surprised if most homes in the Menasha area have a special item purchased from Home Furniture," said Patzner. "But I am equally as thrilled that we have made such a positive impact on the community.
"We thank the community, too, for years of loyalty and support," Patzner added.
The closing of Home Furniture in Menasha does not impact stores also known as Home Furniture in Madison, Wisconsin Rapids and Plover, Wis.
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