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Winans closing Minden store

by Linda Hiller

Winans Furniture, the largest retail furniture store in the Carson Valley, announced plans Tuesday to close the Minden store, with a close-out sale beginning June 24.

“Customers have been telling us through their recent buying trends that they would rather shop in the Carson store which has a greater selection,” said Andrew Winans, store vice-president and third-generation furniture dealer. “It has continued to surprise us to see Minden and Gardnerville customers drive past our Minden store only to purchase in our Carson store.”

Winans “future plan for growth,” which includes a “consolidation of the Minden and Carson City stores to better serve customers in the future,” was announced to company employees Monday. All six Minden employees were offered positions at the Carson City location, Winans said.

“We just heard about it yesterday, and we’re sad,” said former manager Mary Lew Olsen, who has been with the company since the opening of the Ironwood Center store eight years ago. “We’re all going to the Carson City store, though, so that’s good.”

– Company’s history. Charlie Winans opened the first Winans in Fallon in 1965 and expanded to Minden in 1987, at a small location across from Beacon Gas on Highway 395.

Andrew Winans had just graduated from college at that time and came to Gardnerville to open the store with his grandfather and Andrew’s wife, Cathy.

“I have some fond memories of being here with my grandfather and Doris, my grandmother,” he said. “My dad, Jim, came here sometimes, too. I think I was around 21 at the time, and the CVI had prime rib for $3.95, so we must have hit that dinner every night for a week.”

The current Ironwood Center location, 1770 Highway 395, opened in June 1991, and in 1995, Winans merged with Carson Furniture in Carson City. The Winans’ bought out the Carson Furniture store owners, the Robertsons, about a year-and-a-half later. The Carson City store, 3777 N. Carson St., is now the company headquarters.

Kathy McClintock, Winans general manager, said the decision to close the Minden store was a difficult one.

“The whole operation down there is gorgeous,” she said. “They have an excellent crew, and the store is beautiful. I go down there a few times a week and I look forward to it.

Andrew, 34, said company personnel have been looking at customer shopping trends for the last 12 months, and noticed a trend toward more Carson City purchases.

The Minden showroom is 20,000 square feet and the Carson City showroom has about 5,000 more square feet.

McClintock said Winans could possible expand the Carson City store if business warranted it.

– Taxes OK. Although Winans Furniture is one of the largest collectors of sales tax in Douglas County, that stream of revenue will not be significantly affected by the store’s closure because sales tax is collected based on where the customer takes possession. Since most furniture customers take delivery at their home, sales tax will still be collected for Douglas County when furniture is delivered here, Andrew said.

James Winans, who owns the building in Ironwood Center, plans to “find a suitable tenant pursuant to the completion of the close-out sale,” according to a release issued Tuesday.

The close-out sale will continue until all the merchandise is sold, or at least until August, Andrew said.

Winans plans to expand into the Reno market, he said, perhaps as early as September.

“We’re in final negotiations there,” he said.

Andrew and his brother Scott, 38, who is the controller for the family business, both live in the Carson Valley and plan to remain here since many of the seven children they have between them are in school here.

“It was hard to decide to close the Minden store, because I love the Carson Valley, and have four kids in school there,” Andrew said. “We have no plans to leave. We tried everything we could to keep the store down there open, but the numbers didn’t add up.”

Winans will be open for business as usual – from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.