END OF AN ERA: Shannon Kenny, Abby Carman, Debi Carman and Diane Clarke at Struthers Furniture Mackay.
END OF AN ERA: Shannon Kenny, Abby Carman, Debi Carman and Diane Clarke at Struthers Furniture Mackay. Rainee Shepperson

Respected business closes after 74 years

GENERATIONS of Mackay families have shopped at Struthers Furniture Court. Whether they were purchasing items for their first home, buying their child's first study desk or upgrading the family sofa, the shop has a sentimental place in the hearts of many.

But after 74 years, current owners Terry and Debi Carman have decided to close the shop doors and enjoy a well-earned retirement.

Mr Carman said it would be sad to say goodbye to the shop and, in particular, the loyal customers.

"As soon as we announced the closure we had customers ringing up and coming in telling us how much they would miss the shop," he said.

"For many people, their entire family has shopped here over the years, so it's quite special to them."

Struthers Furniture was founded in 1945 by Bob and Minnie Struthers.

Mr Struthers had a stall showcasing his handmade furniture and wooden toys at the Mackay Show. Union Bank manager Reg Simm was impressed with the furniture and took a particular interest in the stall. He offered Mr Struthers an empty shop at 51 Sydney Street to start a business. The first three months of rent was already taken care of.

Mr and Mrs Struthers ran a successful business until 1983 when Paul and Lyn Maguire purchased the shop and took over the reins.

Fast-forward another 23 years and Struthers changed hands again, this time sold in 2006 to the Carman family who were in the market for a retail business.

Mr Carman said there has been many highs and lows over the years.

"We have experienced many changes, but so has every other business," he said.

"We've gone through the GFC and a downturn in the Mackay region and witnessed online shopping grow and grow in popularity.

"All businesses face challenges but it's about being swift on your feet and coping with them. I'm very proud of the past 13 years of business."

Mr Carman said Struthers was well-known for its good quality, long-lasting furniture. He said the three families who had run the business over the years had ensured the Struthers name was well-respected.

"Customers know that we stock good quality furniture," he said.

"I also think our range appeals to the taste of locals, I've noticed the Mackay marketplace is pretty unique."

Struthers Furniture will close by June 30 and all stock must go before that date. Mr Carman encouraged people to take advantage of the massive sales.

"This is a closing down sale so there is no better time to buy quality furniture at an affordable price," he said.

The shop is located at 145 Sydney Street, Mackay.