Houston's furniture landscape changing

March 18, 2009 5:47:19 PM PDT
One of the biggest names in furniture here in Houston is now out of the business. [SIGN UP: Get headlines and breaking news sent to you]

Finger's Furniture became Ashley furniture in August of last year. And now, Fingers and Ashley have ended their connection. That could actually be good news for many customers who've been waiting for their furniture to be delivered.

For the first time in 82 years, Finger Furniture is not a player in the Houston furniture market. New investors have purchased its assets and assumed its obligations.

Inside the 400,000 square foot distribution center in Sugar Land from which they're moving merchandise, Houston Furniture Partners CEO Gary Seals tells us his firm acquired the Houston Ashley furniture franchise on Saturday.

"We look at it as a great opportunity to kind of expand what we were doing," he said

There are six Ashley furniture home stores in the Houston area -- in Conroe, Katy, Pearland, Pasadena, Sugar Land and Humble.

Seals would not disclose the amount of the deal and wouldn't say ultimately what led Finger to want out.

"They were in financial difficulties and that's why the market became available to us," said Seals.

Finger opened its first Ashley store in 2007 and last year announced plans to convert all Fingers location to Ashley. CEO Rodney Finger reportedly said Ashley had a more profitable business model.

On Wednesday, Finger refused to respond to our calls for comment. One report indicates he has plans for other business ventures.

Seals says nearly 100 percent of Ashley employees will keep their jobs, that there's already plans to build as many as four more Ashley stores in the Houston area in the next year.

The investors behind Houston Furniture Partners own stores in Austin and San Antonio.

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