Pioneer Times Photo/Dave Bates
LAUDED — Dunn Furniture Company in Houlton was recently recognized by La-Z-Boy Inc for outstanding sales in 2014. Taking part in the award presentation are, from left, Kate Watt, Dave Brown, Lynne McNinch and Mary Williamson of Dunn Furniture and Dave Luce of La-Z-Boy.
HOULTON — Dunn Furniture in Houlton was recently recognized by La-Z-Boy, Inc for outstanding sales performance in 2014 in the northeastern United States.
“Anyone familiar with northern Maine would attest that it is extremely difficult to find success stories in business especially in rural areas that have been so deeply affected by the changing economic climate,” said David Luce, account executive for La-Z-Boy in Sudbury, Mass. “For that reason I am taking an extra minute to point out an extremely hard working and dedicated team.”
Founded in 1908 by Frank Dunn, the small furniture, appliance and funeral business located under the local silent movie house. The business grew and was moved to a four story building on Main Street where it grew under the management of Frank’s son, Donald, to become the dominant furniture business in northern Maine.
In 1939, the funeral business was moved to its own building and separately incorporated. Donald had three sons. The oldest took over the funeral business in early 1950 and Donald continued to run the furniture store, which had grown to over 20,000 square feet of display.
In 1960, Frank Dunn returned from five years in the Air Force and joined the staff. The company benefited greatly from the opening of Loring Air Force Base about 40 miles north of the store. Frank Dunn took over the management of the furniture store in 1970. He closed the downtown operation and moved to the wayside location at the entrance of the new interstate highway. There the furniture store grew to a 30,000 square foot showroom with a 26,000 square foot warehouse.
In 1990 Loring AFB closed causing a mass exodus from northern Maine. The downsizing began. Sales decreased by more than 60 percent. Staff was reduced from 42 to nine. Parts of the building and warehouse were leased to other stores.
Today the store is a bright, well-decorated furniture store of 12,000 square feet, with an 8,000 square foot warehouse. Connie Post updated the showroom in 2008. Dunn Furniture sold La-Z-Boy products since the late 1950’s, and became a La-Z-Boy Comfort Studio in 2010.
David Brown has been the manager of the business for more than 30 years and has done a tremendous job merchandising, marketing and keeping the store fresh. Over the years Dunn’s has managed to keep the feel of a family-run store and keeps their trusted reputation for exceptional customer service. They continue to treat their customers like family.