Retailing

Furniture stores get new start

Staff WriterMarch 25, 2011 

Late last year, North Carolina lost five Ashley Furniture Home Store shops when their owners filed for bankruptcy and subsequently liquidated the stores.

Now the businessmen behind those stores are opening Chloe's Furniture in four of those five vacated spots.

The new chain will offer a wider range of furniture, manufacturers and price points than the Ashley stores offered.

The stores at 6401 Town Center Blvd. in Raleigh, 9257 U.S. 70 Business in Clayton, and in Goldsboro and Fayetteville open this week.

Deshon Hodge, Chloe's Furniture CEO, said the new stores mark a new start for him, business partner Fred Hudson and Hudson's Frede Enterprises. Court records show that a bankruptcy judge approved Frede's proposed reorganization plan in January.

When the Ashley stores closed, some customers complained about the handling of items they had on layaway, but Hodge said all such customers were mailed a notification with instructions.

Since 2009, the state Attorney General's Office has received 27 complaints about Ashley Furniture Home Stores statewide, said Department of Justice spokeswoman Jennifer Canada. The company was generally responsive to complaints, and only one of those came after the stores started their liquidations, she added.

Hodge said the company did not want any former Ashley customers to feel mistreated.

"If we've got something that comes up we need to take care of, we're certainly going to do that," he said.

In Raleigh:

PieBird, a shop for savory and sweet pies in the works for more than a year, will open at 618 N. Person St. on Tuesday.

The Meat House butcher shop will open at 5045 Falls of Neuse Road on March 31.

The Olde Raleigh American & Chinese Buffet that took over the former Hideaway Barbecue space at 2210 Capital Blvd. is open.

The Dunkin' Donuts/Baskin-Robbins at 3209 S. Wilmington St. has reopened after a major renovation.

Last week, I mentioned that sandwich chain Which Wich is expanding to North Hills. A location also is under way at Brier Creek, which will open early this summer.

In Smithfield a new farmers market will start April 8 beside Town Hall on Market Street. It will operate 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. each Friday through October.

At Northgate Mall in Durham, Express Yourself will open in mid-April near Hibbett Sports, selling handcrafted jewelry and accessories; Endivo salon opened in the old Laila's Salon; and fashion retailer Glamour Setters is open next to Pretzel Twister.

O2 Fitness is experimenting with express gyms. Unlike a traditional O2 gym, the express gyms - at 7510 Ramble Way in Raleigh and 14460 New Falls of Neuse Road in Wakefield Commons - are smaller, with reduced rates and 24-hour access.

sue.stock@newsobserver.com, 919-829-4649 or takingstock.newsobserver.com

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