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Spencer Furniture to close after 58 years

BY Grant Welker

9/5/2018
Photo/Google
Photo/Google
Spencer Furniture, located in a sprawling building just off Route 9 west of the Spencer town center, will begin a going-out-of-business sale Sept. 12 with no exact end date yet scheduled.

Spencer Furniture has thrived in an era when mom-and-pop stores have to increasingly fight against not just brick-and-mortar giants but also online competitors.
But when Raoul Chalifoux decided, at age 62, he wanted to retire, he found he simply couldn't find anyone interested in continuing to run the business.
"No one wants it," Chalifoux said Wednesday with a laugh. "They see how much work it takes. I think they're afraid, you know?"
Spencer Furniture, located in a sprawling building just off Route 9 west of the Spencer town center, will begin a going-out-of-business sale Sept. 12 with no exact end date yet scheduled. The company, which has 17 employees, will still take special orders, Chalifoux said, which could keep the business running well into next year.
Chalifoux's parents, Ray and Janet, started selling used furniture in 1960 and Raoul, one of their four children, got involved after graduating from St. John's High School in Shrewsbury in 1974. Within about a decade, Raoul took over for his parents.
"I worked here part-time throughout my life, really, even when I was a young kid," Chalifoux said, recalling assembling kitchen sets as a youngster.
The business has done well enough in recent years Chalifoux said he sees Spencer Furniture as going out on top, on its own terms.
"Furniture is different," he said of the store's ability to do well with online and big-box options. "People want to sit and feel and touch. Not everything is about price. It's about quality and trust.
"The reality is, I want to retire," Chalifoux added. "That's the only reason why we're closing."