georgian.jpg

Georgian Furnishing at 5400 Jefferson Highway is closing after 47 years in business.?

A New Orleans family who has run a furniture business for 47 years will permanently close their stores in Jefferson Parish and Mandeville and kick off a liquidation sale this week.?

Advocate Photo by MISSIE NOEL (showhouse) Jay and Amy Berger wi

Sylvia and Walter Berger in 2016

The Berger family is closing Georgian Furnishing at 5400 Jefferson Highway in Elmwood, and Bergerhome at 1828 N. Causeway Blvd., in Mandeville. The buildings will be put up for sale.?

Walter Berger opened the first store in 1977 with his wife Sylvia, who brought "an extensive background in interior design" to help guide customers, a news release said. Their son, Jay, is vice president of the company.?

“It has been a pleasure to help furnish the homes of so many unique individuals and families,” Jay Berger said. “Our family takes great pride in the personalized customer service we provide, and we are grateful to our excellent staff for their loyalty and dedication.”

Sales Manager Les Diehl said it's a bittersweet announcement, and the family's decision to close is both personal and because of increasing competition from online businesses.?

"A lot of online purchasing of goods has hurt the brick and mortar stores... especially the upper end of the industry," he said.

The couple thought customers would always want pieces to pass the "tush test" or "sleep test" but that doesn't seem to be the case anymore, Diehl said. Websites like Wayfair offer lower prices?but aren't profitable.?

The going-out-of-business sale starts April 4 with furniture and mattresses available across 40,000 square feet of showroom space, and home accessories discounted up to 50% off.?

Diehl said there are many unique and one-of-a-kind pieces, and the inventory is nearly 50 years in the making.?

Brand names include?American Leather, Century, Bernhardt, Canadel, Sherrill, Hekman, Hancock & Moore, Hooker, Hickory White, Lexington, Rowe, Howard Miller and Robin Bruce.

Email Lauren Walck at Lauren.Walck@TheAdvocate.com.