PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — DFW Furniture Warehouse may be the latest, but it’s hardly alone with recently announced closings at Colonial Modern, Stickley Audi, Furniture World and Surroundings after earlier closings at Roomful Express.

Rose Lenchner, co-owner of Surroundings with her husband, has been in the furniture business for 28 years, but now they’re going out of business.

“The furniture business is a very tough business, and it’s very hard to compete price-wise with all the big box stores,” Lencher told KDKA money editor Jon Delano.

While Lenchner says her store is closing because she wants to retire, she says today’s customer is not interested in better quality furniture.

“It seems like customers want to go lower end. They don’t really care about quality as much anymore. There’s a lot of Chinese imports now, and they’re just going for price, not necessarily quality or assortment.”

Cheaper furniture from overseas often substitutes particle board for real wood and comes unassembled without the craftsmanship earlier generations expected.

“There’s a lot of concealed damage because they’ve been put on freighters, so it’s not the quality it used to be,” Lencher added.

What’s bad news for the furniture stores could be good news — at least in the short term — for consumers.

A five-piece, high-quality Bassett dining set normally might retail for over $4,000, but now is on sale for $2,000. And the best news of all — it’s made in the U.S.A.

But that, too, could become a thing of the past, as surviving furniture stores switch to cheaper foreign made furniture with problems hard for furniture store owners to resolve.

“We’re not making money like we used to. It’s just not worth the aggravation anymore, so we’re closing,” said Lenchner.

DFW Furniture Files For Chapter 11 Bankruptcy (11/15/13)
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