With information from a report published by CoStar.
Metropolitan Furniture has weathered economic recessions in Houston for more than 70 years, but it is closing up shop amid the rise of e-commerce and placing its flagship location on the market.
The 60,000-square-foot furniture warehouse and store at 7400 North Freeway will begin a liquidation sale in preparation for ceasing operations. Metropolitan Furniture was started by the Abramson family in Houston in 1946 and the company opened the location at 7400 North Freeway in 1978, according to the store's website. It is the company's only remaining store.
New York-based Tiger Capital Group is selling the property on behalf of the owner, AAA Investments, which is affiliated with the Abramson family, according to records filed with the Texas Secretary of State. The asking price for 7400 North Freeway is $5.2MM. The building was appraised at $2.3MM as of Jan. 1, according to the Harris County Appraisal District.
Metropolitan Furniture will close when its liquidation sale finishes, a spokesperson for Tiger Capital Group said in an email, but an exact date was not disclosed. The closure comes as "disruption in the industry continues to take its toll on local furniture retailers," said Mark Bannon, director of furniture solutions for Tiger Capital Group, in a statement.
Big-box retailers such as Toys R Us, Babies R Us and Payless Shoe Source have closed stores in recent years after filing for bankruptcy because of fierce competition from e-commerce businesses and the rise of online shopping. Roughly 75% of retail stores that closed around the United States in 2018 were big-box retail stores, according to CoStar - the commercial real estate data giant that we subscribe to.
“This underscores a broader trend we’re following in the retail space,” Drew Myers, senior consultant with CoStar’s advisory services business in Boston, said in CoStar’s 2018 Q4 Retail State of the Market report . “The suburban big-box model has been a primary victim of the rise of e-commerce, particularly in areas with weaker population and income growth.”
Metropolitan Furniture is just around two miles down the road from Gallery Furniture, one of the nation’s largest independent furniture retailers. Gallery Furniture’s founder, Jim McIngvale is known widely as “Mattress Mack” and has become one of Houston’s most recognizable public figures.
In 2017, Gallery Furniture garnered national attention when it turned its 160,000-square-foot showroom into an official shelter for victims in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. The store and Mcingvale have gained a following in large part due to Mcingvale’s continued philanthropy.