WILKES-BARRE TOWNSHIP — After more than 100 years in business, another iconic store in the Wilkes-Barre area is shutting its doors for good. Kaplan’s Furniture on Mundy Street is going out of business.
The store has been David Mayers’ life for the past 37 years.
“I think I remember when he was a little boy,” Mayers told a customer.
He’s one of the co-owners of Kaplan’s Furniture near Wilkes-Barre, but now, he said he’s ready to take a break.
“At this point, we have no one really that wants to take over the business, and I’m retiring and reaching retirement age at 62, and I’m ready to get out,” said David Mayers.
So after three generations and more than 100 years in business, Kaplan’s on Mundy Street is closing.
“The old places are just vanishing. It’s a bloody shame that we have to lose them all, but it’s happening and there’s nothing we can do,” said Joe Barkovitz, of Wilkes-Barre.
Mayers’ said the economy also played a part in his decision to close. He said manufacturer’s prices are rising, but he can’t raise store prices because of the nearby competition.
“This is the furniture capital of Wilkes-Barre, this area, so we’ve always had a lot of competition,” said Mayers.
Now he’s giving nearby Ashley’s and Laz-E-Boy a run for their money by offering a going out of business sale.
Some people were shopping at the store for the first time on Thursday because of the going out of business sale. Others were shopping there because they’ve bought furniture there for decades.
The customers include Judy Morgan from Mountain Top. She’s looking for chairs for her mom and her Aunt Maggie, who bought her bedroom set here.
“Her bedroom set, 64 years old, and she still has it,” said Morgan.
As a local business owner herself, Morgan said she’s sad to see Kaplan’s go.
“Big business could be good, but small business is really good,” said Morgan.
Mayers said Kaplan’s will be open until everything is sold. He expects the store to close sometime in March. That would be just a month after the expected closing of Bartikowsky Jewelers in downtown Wilkes-Barre.