VOL. 133 | NO. 151 | Wednesday, August 1, 2018
Scan Interiors Going Out of Business, Ending Three Decades of Operation
The Daily News
Scan Interiors, a source in Memphis for modern, contemporary and international furniture for three decades, will close Sept. 25. The business at 1826 Sycamore View mailed “thank you’’ cards this week to customers who have purchased its home and office furniture over the years.
“This was not an easy decision as we’ve loved being a part of the Memphis community,’’ the card states.
A going-out-of-business sale discounts all stock at least 30 percent and some items at half-price.
“No. 1 was location,’’ John Moller, the 27-year-old son of owner Jorgen Moller, said in explaining why the store is closing.
The 52,598-square-foot masonry store is relatively isolated, set back behind the northeast corner of Sycamore View and Summer Avenue on 5.6 acres.
Scan Interiors is challenged to sell high-end furniture in a sometimes gritty Northeast Memphis commercial district that lacks the affluence of the Poplar Corridor, Germantown Parkway or upscale centers like Saddle Creek in Germantown.
“Unfortunately, it’s not turning over the amount of inventory we had hoped,’’ Moller said. “People do love our furniture in here. There are higher price points of course. It just didn’t turn over the way we wanted it to...
“Over time, location wise, this location hasn’t been the best area for us,’’ he said. “We wish it would have turned out to be because the building was purchased.
“This is a destination location. Customers come to us. It is a little hard to get to. The visibility from the highway isn’t as great.’’
The opening in Memphis 21 months ago of IKEA, which sells similarly styled but less expensive furniture, did not negatively affect Scan Interiors, Moller said.
Scan Interiors employee Judy Tomlinson (right) shows Mike Cabe how a retractable table extension works at the East Memphis furniture store on Thursday, Aug 2. (Daily News/Jim Weber)
The business started in June 1988 in an 8,000-square-foot space.
The Shelby County Tax Assessor’s Office appraises the Sycamore View property at $1.875 million.
About a half-dozen employees will be affected by the closing.
Jorgen Moller, 70, also owns International Design Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. That store comprises about 75,000 square feet. And Moller owns a Denmark operation that makes dining chairs.
Memphians did not take to the Scandinavian style of furniture as much as the Mollers had hoped. In response, the store added other European and contemporary lines of furniture, John Moller said.
The store sent out its going-out-of-business mailing on Monday, and on Tuesday “hundreds of people’’ came to walk through the store.
“And the phones are off the hook,’’ Moller said.
Jorgen Moller started the Memphis store in a colorful way more than 30 years ago. He took the wrong plane, landing in Memphis instead of Spokane, Washington. Since he had to wait two days for a direct flight to Spokane, he rented a car and drove around Memphis.
“He realized you didn’t have an outlet for Scandinavian furniture, contemporary and modern,’’ Moller said. So his father opened a store here.