Last legs: Bassett store closing on Seminole

news-bassettAfter five years at its location on Seminole Trail, Bassett Home Furnishings will be closing shop.

With signs loudly proclaiming "All Must Go," the Bassett Home Furnishings store on Seminole Trail, opened just less than five years ago, will now be closing its doors.

An invitation-only sale that started July 16 opened to the public Monday, August 3, and the store has hired a liquidator to handle the closing. While no final date has been set for the closure, the store's owner Cort Kirkley said the store may remain open into early September for Labor Day weekend.

The stock for Bassett Furniture Industries, traded on the Nasdaq stock exchange as BSET, has seen substantial drops since trading around $16 in early 2007. The stock closed July 30 at a price of just $2.43.

"Since what has happened this past fall, it's been a tough time for the entire industry," says Kirkley, whose company, Longview Designs, owns four Bassett stores including the Seminole Trail location.

On July 10, Bassett Furniture Industries announced it would delay the filing of its second quarter report to the end of the month as a result of comments made by the SEC during the company's tri-annual accounting review. First quarter results from the company suggested that 10 to 12 licensed stores would be closed.

"This was a fairly recent decision," says Kirkley, noting that the Seminole Trail store's closure was not connected to any previous announcements.

Despite the loss of the store, which previously housed Ron Martin Appliance, Kirkley intends to keep his other three stores open, and he even says he feels some optimism.

"I do think over the next few months we'll see improvements in the industry," says Kirkley, adding that Charlottesville is a market that he remains interested in for the future.

"In the meantime," he says, "we hope people will come from Charlottesville to our Richmond stores."

The local furniture market has undergone a shakeup in the past few years, including the closure of Gilmore, Hamm & Snyder, the relocation to Waynesboro of Under the Roof, and the recent opening of antique purveyor Ryal’s.

With Bassett's departure, the major furniture players in Charlottesville include Grand Home Furnishings, Schewel's, Better Living, Kane, the Artful Lodger, and Classic Furniture.

–last updated 12:52pm, August 11


@Doug: Sure, why not. We've updated the story to mention Classic and Artful Lodger. Got any more?

you know come to think of it, I bet they still make money on this sale.

I got a letter in the mail that said I needed the letter to get in. kinda like a ticket. made me feel special. now I don't wanna go

BUYERS BEWARE!!!!! Avoid this sleezy going out of business sale! The prices listed on the furniture are marked up dramatically over list so that they can give you a big, fake, discount. A couch I looked at showed a price on it over $3000. I went to the Bassett website and it was listed for $1399. The model number is 3408-62 if you'd like to check it out for yourself. I found the same Bassett product on for $979 after a Google search with the model #.

If your thinking of going to this sale, don't! It's used car salemen brought in from other locations to rip you off. The sales person I talked to told me they were from Ashville, NC.

we designed and bought a couch through Basset. It doesn't surprise me that they are closing. The quality of the couch is not great. It arrived with a broken beam and they outsource their repairs. 6 weeks later the couch was repaired but they did not give us a loaner couch or give us any sort of deal to make us a repeat customer.

@Jack - Thanks for letting people know. I have no plans to shop there myself for other reasons, but I'm sure other people would be happy to know what's going on.

It reminds me of the women's clothing stores that do the same mark-up sales scheme. Claim they're having a sale, but when you look at the price tag it's been doubled or even tripled. So the "sale" price winds up being the same as the original pre-sale cost. Maybe even more, actually.

I guess there must be people out there who are either so math illiterate or oblivious that they don't even notice. They just pay the price and think they're getting some big discount. Shows the failure of the school system, and how dumb people gotten!



"and how dumb people HAVE gotten!" Typed so fast I skipped a word....

I don't think it's quite fair to pick and choose who the "major players" for furniture in Charlottesville are. What about Classic Furniture? What about Artful Lodger? If you're going to give everybody free press, do so evenly. And I hardly consider "Ryal's" to be anything shaking up the local furniture market. The store looks like a permanent yard sale and is filthy. Again, why not mention other antiques folks? You guys sure do seem to pick and choose...

travel lite, you are so correct. I stopped by the store during their so-called invitation only sale(I didn't have the letter in question) but, of course, they let me and my husband in anyway. I know that Bassett is a special order furniture company, but I had thought that since they were closing the store they would be selling of the "sample" furniture in the store. All the furniture had handwritten price tags with what appeared to be the MSRP times two. Then a pushy salesperson would whip out a calculator and give you a "super special store closing discount" but you still couldn't buy the item, it had to be ordered and delivered or picked up in Richmond. I then went home and looked up their website to find the chair was on sale for less than the super special store closing discount...If you can't buy the furniture that's in the store, I'm wondering what the "nothing held back" signs are supposed to mean. Ripoff, perhaps?

If you really want a story why not investigate the sleazy sales practice of not putting the sales price on the item. It seems to me that by making you ask for it you are forced to engage with a salesperson.. which is why nobody likes to shop for furniture in the first place.

Why not find out if the "sales" price is really a "sale" or not?

Chtty kathy has already done some of the work for you.

Shady business practices deserve at least as much press as the free advertising this store is getting from the article.

There are often reasons beyond a "bad economy" why SOME stores fail.