Furniture retailer Dearden’s, one of Southern California’s oldest businesses, said Thursday that it will close its eight stores and wind down operations over the coming weeks.
Founded in 1909, the Los Angeles-based chain sold furniture, appliances and other home goods to a predominantly lower-income Latino clientele.
“This was an extremely difficult decision that we tried to prevent but in reality was many years in the making,” Dearden’s Chief Executive Ronny Bensimon said in a statement.
Dearden’s stores are in Anaheim, Chino, Commerce, Huntington Park, La Puente, downtown Los Angeles, Santa Ana, and Van Nuys. It also has a warehouse in Rancho Cucamonga.
Dearden’s will fill all open customer orders and help its 420 employees find other work, Bensimon said.
The chain saw its best year in 2006 when sales topped $100 million, Bensimon told The Times in 2009. When the last recession hit, though, revenue “completely fell off the table,” he said.
Dearden’s endeavored to be more than a furniture outlet, selling perfume, watches and cookware and services such as check cashing, travel planning and bill paying.
Tastes and market forces continued to shift away from Dearden’s, however.
“Like other retailers, we fell victim to changing consumer trends and although we tried to fight it, closing our business became our only recourse,” Bensimon said.
The closing comes as many traditional retailers are grappling with an increasing number of shoppers buying more and more goods online.
Meanwhile, e-commerce juggernaut Amazon.com is reportedly preparing an aggressive push into the furniture business.