After 6 decades and 3 years of hot streak, Colorado furniture dealer is at the forefront

Larrabee’s Furniture & Design in Littleton, Colorado, is closing as its owners retire this year.

LITTLETON, Colorado. When Larrabee’s Furniture & Design closes its doors for the last time later this year, its owners believe the impact they’ve made over the years will continue to be felt for years.

“What comes to my mind first is that I want people to think positively of us and have good memories of their shopping experiences,” said Scott Larrabee, who owns the company with his wife Caroline. “That’s what people tell me when they come in. We want to leave this business as stylish as we’ve been running it for 60 years.”

Scott and Caroline Larrabee will retire this year and close the business. They proceeded to exit the sale of the business earlier this month and gave themselves until the end of 2022 to finish things off, although Scott said he would like to have things finished by the end of September.

“For Scott and I, we set the standard a year ago and it’s 50 years together. I like to say he has sawdust in his veins, and I partially have it in my veins because of that. It was an amazing time in the industry. We know everyone,” said Caroline Larrabee. in the industry,” Scott followed by noting that over the years, he’s met everyone mentioned in Beth Macy’s book Factory Man with one exception.

Scott Larrabee followed in the footsteps of his father, a longtime furniture retailer, and at the end of this era, two of his three adult sons, Erin and Matt, work for the family business. And the third, Heather, is an out-of-industry marketing executive who has provided advertising and marketing guidance to family businesses over the years.

Heather Larrabee, left, Caroline Larrabee, Scott Larrabee, Erin Larrabee and Matt Larrabee.

Larrabee started in Boulder in 1962 and eventually established stores in Fort Collins and Greeley over the years. Over time, Fort Collins evolved into the flagship before the family closed it and operated out of Littleton for the past decade or so. Even with the change in location, the store, which was previously a post-Top 100 retailer, has developed a loyal following of Coloradans. This was seen in a pre-sale for Larrabee email members.

“We have really built a loyal following of clients. Some of them come to us when we had our main location in Fort Collins 20 years ago and many of them are new to this geographic area,” said Erin Larrabee, executive vice president of the company. Our electronic blasting list, and they have exclusive access to things before informing the public. For the past 10 days, they got exclusive access to see everything in front of the public. We hit as much volume in five days as we did in the best month for the company.”

Scott Larrabee added, “Every day has been Black Friday since we started. Day one has been like three Black Fridays. It has been incredibly successful so far.”

And while there was this kind of bonding with the community, Scott Larrabee said the relationships with employees, both current and former, mean a lot, too.

“One of the things I am incredibly proud of is when we closed our Fort Collins store, which has been open from 33 to 34 years, all of our employees found work immediately, and half of them started their own businesses. I am so proud that every single one of them was successful, “He said. “One of the advantages of working in a family business, especially if you are open with your employees, is that they learn how to run a business. They learn accounting, sales and purchasing. At the end of my career, if I look back and be proud of something, that would be top of the list.

“We are competing with a couple of our former employees at the moment and I am glad they are doing well in their business. We must have done something right to teach them a little bit,” he continued.

So what’s next? “Mostly, my wife said we would spend time with our grandchildren and travel. Our first trip was to take our youngest granddaughter to Disneyland,” said Scott Larrabee. “We talked to the kids and had different ideas. We only close three days a year and it’s hard for us to take that long. Two weeks off gone. There are a few places we’d like to see that would take three to four weeks to do or go. To Arizona for the winter. These are all things to look forward to.”

While Erin and Matt played a key role in running the business when Scott had health concerns a few years ago, Erin said she’ll take some time with the family – she has a young daughter – before taking her next step. She did not rule out a return to the furniture industry.

“I’m going to pause. It’s been 10 big years. I’ve been fortunate to have a daughter I’ve been told I can’t have. I feel like I want to focus on being her mother and seeing what comes to the surface. If opportunities come my way, I’ll see what happens,” she said. .

“I want to get her into kindergarten and see what happens next. They approached me about taking this on my own. The retail hours and schedule are tough with so little in the house. I had to make the right call to my family but you never know once you get older.”

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