EXCLUSIVE: A major Coffs Harbour store is closing down
AFTER 18 years the heartbreaking decision has been made to close the doors at Freedom Furniture.
Staff were informed of the closure of the homewares store at Park Beach HomeBase on Monday by the owner Leanne Watson.
Recalling the moment brings tears to her eyes.
"Although Freedom is a corporate name, this was a family owned and run business. Eighteen years is a long time but I can still remember our first staff interviews, our opening weekend and setting up for every Christmas.
"When we opened it was so exciting and it gave Coffs a real boost. There weren't many home ware stores like it in town at the time," Leanne said.
Approximately nine staff will be out of work when the store closes its doors for the last time on July 16 - that's if the stock lasts until then.
"Lots of our staff are long-termers. The majority have been here for over ten years."
Leanne even claims the warehouse developed special powers over the years.
"I call it the fertility cave - there's been a lot of pregnancies around here over the years."
There are massive bargains on offer right now on their entire range and customers are snapping them up and coming in to bid farewell to the staff.
"You really do develop strong connections with your customers over the years."
Leanne says a combination of factors contributed to the decision to finally close the doors.
"It was a really hard decision and it's hard to pinpoint the reasons. It's a combination of factors and the retail environment has changed."
With so many memories to share (and wacky Christmas party outfits to wear) there are plans for one mighty farewell party when all the stock is sold and the doors are closed for good.
To say goodbye and grab a bargain head down to the store at Park Beach HomeBase Shop 19, 20/252. Monday to Friday trading hours are 9am to 5.30pm; Saturday 9am to 4pm; and Sunday from 10am to 3pm.