A bust.

S and I got a flyer in the mail yesterday about a "customer appreciation sale" at Routzahn's Home Furnishings in nearby Frederick, MD. Perfect timing! Routzahn's has been around forever (since 1954) and is kind of a landmark in Frederick, so we hopped in the car after work yesterday and went to check out the selection.


When we got there, the overly eager salesperson told us that the bank had foreclosed on the building and that they were trying to liquidate all their merchandise because they didn't know if the building's new buyer would lease them the space--a less romantic scenario than a customer appreciation sale. But whatever--a deal's a deal.

Now I don't mean to sound rude by saying this, but as soon as we walked in the door we understood why they hadn't been able to pay the mortgage. There were hundreds of sofas, but the selection was so bad -- 90% were painfully overstuffed brown leather. The other 10% were a mix of multi-colored leather, red microsuede or cheap hotel lobby-looking upholstery. We did not see a single piece of furniture in the whole building that we thought anyone we knew would want in their home, even at a complete steal. (We heard the phrase "leather-look" several times.) Even my grandmother, who hasn't bought new furniture since 1976, would have left emptyhanded.

Here is a sample of their fine furnishings, taken from their website:

Egads - those pillows! I had two questions. 1) Who is their buyer? and 2) How have they been in business for over 50 years? Frederick is a commuter town for DC -- there are some pretty stylish people living there. There are also some very good restaurants and boutiques. I was so surprised that the city's landmark furniture store did not match this profile. But I guess that explains why they are scrambling.

So our sofa hunt continues, and now I am carrying with me a hint of sadness for this family business that has hit hard times. Good luck, Routzahn's. If this all pans out for you, it may be time to make some changes.


  1. Not really, but if you watch "My name is Earl" you can see the first couch I bought in 1978 sitting in Joy's singlewide. It looked better in my apartment.

  2. I have seen pictures of your house, Mel! You do not have that plethora of ugly printed cushions on your couch!


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