CNJ staff photo: Tony Bullocks Don Krauss, owner of Clovis Furniture Center, walks down the aisle of the store Monday. Krauss is having an retirement sale after 33 years as owner of the store.
By Gabriel Monte: CNJ staff writer
Maria Flores didn’t think she’d be employed long at Clovis Furniture when she first started eight years ago.
Don Kraus, the store owner, would threaten retirement and closing his store now and then, she said.
But this time, it looks like it’s for real as signs at the store promote a going out of business sale.
“It’s pretty sad if he does close,” Flores said.
Kraus, 83, said it’s time to call it quits.
“I started it and I’m trying to finish it,” said Kraus who opened the store in 1976 with his wife, Ora, who died in 2004.
It was a cattle deal that brought Kraus from Kansas to Clovis in 1972. But he stayed in Clovis and opened a furniture store because he liked it here.
“It made me a pretty good life,” he said.
His employees said Kraus always made sure that everyone who entered his store needing furniture got what they needed regardless of their income.
“He’s never turned anybody down,” Flores said. “You always had credit with him.”
Bobby Jones, who has worked at the store for two and a half years, said on occasion Kraus would cut prices to help those in need.
Kraus said his motto that everyone needs furniture has earned many repeat customers over the years.
“I’ve picked up a lot of good customers, and some sorry ones,” he said.
Over the years the furniture business became a lot tougher, Kraus said, with a notable drop in the quality of merchandise he could offer.
“We’re having a lot of trouble with it,” he said. “It’s just time to get out.”
He said he hasn’t any idea what he plans to do after retirement. He still has a cattle business and farmland in Kansas he has to take care of.
Like Kraus, Flores said she hasn’t thought of what her next move is once the store closes.
“I’ll think about it when we sweep the last piece of trash here,” she said. “We’re really going to miss this place.”