Wednesday, December 4, 2002
An Odell furniture store has moved to Hood River, closer to its sister business.
Murray’s Clearance Center, 1105 Tucker Rd., opened last week in the building previously occupied by Sears, which moved to Hood River Shopping Center.
Murray’s Trading Post in Odell closed last month, after 30 years in its downtown Odell location.
The new location has many pluses for the Murray family, but the move is bittersweet, said Greg Murray.
“We do have mixed feelings about leaving the Odell store. It was a great place to do business out of. We really enjoyed being part of the Odell community for 30 years,” he said. At 16,000 square feet, the Clearance Center is the same size as the Trading Post, but all on one level. The open floor plan is different than the “vignette” layout at Murray Furniture, the Murray family’s other business, just up the road in Hood River.
To create the Clearance Center, the Murrays removed the walls that bisected the building. The result is one well-lit, airy showroom with sofas, chairs, tables, and lamps, dining and bedroom sets, home office furniture, and accessories.
“With the opening of the Clearance Center, it will give us a combined total of 30,000 square feet of display on Tucker Road,” Murray said. Murray’s Furniture will carry Broyhill, Sealy, Lazy Boy, and other furniture lines, while the Clearance Center sells a combination of new, budget priced furniture, including close-out and overstock merchandise, “and whatever used furniture of good quality we can find,” Murray said.
“We want to get all the used merchandise we can find,” he said.
The Clearance Center will have updated displays, more accessibility and better lighting, Murray said.
“Besides the location, which is handier for customers, one of our objectives was to have the two stores closer together, from a logistics standpoint of sharing employees and coordinating deliveries,” Murray said. “It’s a huge improvement. It makes better coordination of the whole operation. At peak times we can be really flexible.” The two stores employ nine people.
The Murrays started in the family business 45 years ago, based at its warehouse location on West Belmont. Murray’s Furniture Store opened 18 years ago at 981 Tucker Rd.
The Clearance Center building was previously home to Save-Mor Hardware, Prairie Market, and other businesses, along with Sears and El Rio dance club most recently. Murray said the family is on a short-term lease with plans to purchase the building from Steve Wesche of Ashland, whose family used to own Hood River Coast To Coast.
“It’s a great building — very soundly constructed,” Murray said. The Murrays are planning to advertise the sale of the Odell store within the next two weeks. Murray said the family hopes to hold a grand opening sometime before Christmas.
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Lawnmower torches Arbor Vitae on Portland Drive
The riding lawn mower driven by Norma Cannon overheated and made contact with dry arbor vitae owned by Lee and Norma Curtis, sending more than a dozen of the tightly-packed trees up in flames. The mower, visible at far right, was totaled. No one was injured; neighbors first kept the fire at bay with garden hoses and Westside and Hood River Fire Departments responded and doused the fire before it reached any structures. Westside Fire chief Jim Trammell, in blue shirt, directs firefighters. The video was taken by Capt. Dave Smith of Hood River Fire Department. Enlarge