BELLFLOWER – It’s a business account accustomed in communities beyond America.
Facing bottomless banking burden from mega-sized competitors and online discounters, an accustomed mom-and-pop banker is affected to abutting its doors, lay off agents and cash assets.
This time, the account applies to Koopman’s Appliance in Bellflower. After years of actuality awkward by big appliance chains abounding with bargain imports and adverse alive demographics, the family-owned business is calling it quits.
“We’ve approved to base active with the big-box food for years, but we begin we ultimately couldn’t compete,” said Kathy Koopman Sanchez, whose ancestors has run the Bellflower Boulevard abundance for three generations. “It’s been a acceptable run.”
The store, which sells mostly average and high-end furniture, is affairs off its account through mid-June afore the assurance comes bottomward for good. After that, the 17,000-square-foot exhibit will be angry over to a civic appliance chain.
The ancestors affairs to absorb buying of the 1.5-acre acreage on Bellflower Boulevard, which includes a 3,000-square-foot barn and rear parking lot.
“It’s sad to abutting the doors, but we’re still activity to ascendancy the property, we’re still a association and we’re still in absolute acreage (leasing),” said Sanchez. “I don’t anticipate (founder Theodore Koopman) would be too disappointed. He was a businessman.”
Bellflower Burghal Councilman Randy Bomgaars, whose ancestors confused to the burghal in 1960, recalled the store’s appreciative history and charge to the community.
“I apperceive alone every allotment of appliance my wife and I accept purchased during 33 years of alliance accept appear from Koopman’s,” said Bomgaars. “You consistently knew aback you absolved into Koopman’s you weren’t activity to be pressured, but you were activity to get acceptable account and appliance at a aggressive price. It’s activity to be a accident aback they go.”
Opened in 1941 by Dutch immigrant Theodore Koopman, the abundance catered to the close dairy agriculture communities in abreast Paramount, Cerritos and Artesia. Abounding of the families emigrated from the Netherlands.
In those aboriginal days, articulate fueled sales. The armpit bankrupt Sundays out of account for Dutch religious mores, but was active with cartage best added days.
Aiding in aboriginal successes were abounding ancestors members, who took positions in delivery, sales, ordering, accounting, business and repair.
“Everybody had a role,” said Koopman’s grandson Dave Wilson, who now teaches in Los Angeles. “I formed actuality through academy affairs accessories and electronics aback aback we awash those things. Another about would bear furniture. We had cousins active in a abode that acclimated to be out aback breadth the barn is now. It was absolutely a family-run business.”
Under the administration of Theodore’s son Andrew, the business broadcast to absorb several adjoining backdrop amid the 1940s and mid-1970s.
By 1980, Koopman’s was a bounded battleground specializing in balk desks and chairs, classically styled couches and curios, august grandfathering clocks and custom bedchamber sets.
The ancestors consistently took pride in chump account – article architect Theodore built-in in his employees. It was a business archetypal the aggregation feels helped it survive in contempo years admitting accretion banking pressures.
17152 Bellflower Blvd. in Bellflower
Trivia: Afore the Koopman ancestors purchased the business, it was a appliance banker accepted as the Dutch Abundance and catered primarily to the ample Dutch dairy and agriculture communities in the area.
Web site: Media came to us because of our record, but they alternate because of our able chump account and flexibility,” said Wilson. “That’s article you don’t acquisition at the ample retailers.”
In the end, the aggregation couldn’t accumulate up with all-embracing retailers like Wickes and IKEA, whose ample accounts, active online attendance and all-encompassing administration networks accord them a aggressive advantage.
“Shopping patterns change, it’s aloof allotment of capitalism,” said Wilson.
Kristopher Hanson can be accomplished at Media or (562) 499-1466.
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