HARKER HEIGHTS — Local furniture businesses began to take notice in January when the city issued a building permit for a new 38,000-square-foot furniture store to be built at the corner of East Central Texas Expressway and Helms Road.
Now, with construction progressing on the glass-fronted building along U.S. Highway 190, and Rooms To Go set to open its doors this fall, area competitors weighed in on what the competition could mean for their businesses.
“We’re paying attention,” said Sandra Davis, owner of Ashley Furniture HomeStore in Killeen and Furniture Zone & Sleep Shop in Killeen and Copperas Cove. “We welcome the competition, however, because we feel confident in our customer service, fair prices and our good products.”
Longtime furniture store owner
Davis’ family has owned furniture stores in Killeen since 1964. Through the years, many competitors have come and gone while their stores have remained. Davis urges residents to patronize locally owned businesses rather than chain stores.
“Buy local — that is something that we try to reinforce and do ourselves,” she said.
With 150 stores nationwide, Rooms To Go is one of the largest furniture retailers in the country. The Harker Heights store will be the 46th in Texas and the first in the Fort Hood region.
Like his mother, Chad Davis, manager of Furniture Zone & Sleep Shop, welcomes the competition, but is a bit more cautious.
“We’re definitely concerned,” he said. “They are a real big player nationwide and offer a lot of cool things. But with that being said, we know this town. We were born and raised here. … There are a lot of good things that we do that have kept us around for this long.”
While cautious, Chad Davis seemed confident that his family business could potentially grow with the presence of another furniture store. He said Rooms To Go could actually be good for the local furniture business and drive the market up.
“They are going to be advertising and could create a lot of people shopping between stores, so in that regard, it could be a good thing for us.”
Stores don’t feel threatened
Other mom-and-pop furniture stores, such as Ledger Furniture in Copperas Cove, acknowledge the newest addition to the market but are not feeling threatened by the competition.
“Personally, there is no competition,” said a Ledger Furniture saleswoman who asked to remain anonymous. “We have been here over 60 years … this isn’t a big deal.”
Attempts to contact Rooms To Go’s corporate headquarters for comment were unsuccessful.