B y Krystle S. Morey

After nearly 15 years in Granville, LaFlamme’s will close its doors.
“It’s sad, but kind of bittersweet,” said owner Christopher LaFlamme.
He said the decision to close the store comes from a national trend facing a lot of retailers.
“The small store model in a small community doesn’t work anymore,” he said.
People want a larger selection, he said, especially when they are picking out a piece of furniture they are going to use every day.
“It used to be that people didn’t mind having a smaller selection…because it was just five minutes from home,” LaFlamme said. “But now, people don’t mind traveling to Glens Falls or Rutland for a bigger selection.”
He added: “People will travel for a 50,000-square-foot store.”
The store has been hosting its consolidation sale since the beginning of October and is set to embark on a closing sale. In the next couple of weeks, LaFlamme said, the prices will be slashed even lower.
LaFlamme said he is not sure when the store’s doors will close because the company has several warehouses full of merchandise it needs to sell.
“The store will be chock full,” he said.
The company’s larger stores in Rutland and Bennington will remain open. Both Vermont stores are much larger than the Granville location. The four Granville employees will transfer and work at the company’s Rutland and Bennington branches.
With more than $2 million in merchandise that must be sold before the store closes, LaFlamme said: “Out of the Granville store, we are giving it away.”
He said the goal is to rid the warehouses of discontinued, new and scratch-and-dent items.
“When you sell $800 couches for $300, you don’t end up with a lot left,” LaFlamme said.
LaFlamme’s started off in Granville on the Route 22 bypass in 2002, selling everything from furniture to construction equipment and electronics.
Five years later, it moved into the village, near Dollar General and Label Shopper.
“We wanted to get a little bigger,” LaFlamme said of the space he rented in the village.
It was during this move that he said the business decided to hone in on its strong suit: furniture sales.
“Big Lots moved in selling furniture, so we moved downtown to get a bigger footprint,” LaFlamme said.
The company’s Route 22 building, which now houses six apartments, is for sale.
The closing of the Granville location is similar to that of the company’s Cambridge and Whitehall liquidations. In each case, the smaller stores were consolidated into larger stores.
“Every time we closed a location, we never really pulled out of a community,” LaFlamme said.
When asked why the company just doesn’t build a large store in Granville, he replied: “I don’t think a store that large in Granville would work. There are not enough people.”
LaFlamme said customers from Granville and Pawlet, Vermont, are already traveling to the Rutland store because of the larger selection.
“I am selling as much out of my Rutland store to people from Granville as I am out of the Granville store,” he said.
Laflamme and his family will remain in the Granville area, as one of his children is still in high school.
“We can service the community as well, if not better, from our Rutland store,” he said.

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