The Jensen family, which until mid-November operated two of Juneau's largest furniture stores, is now the owner of one home-furnishing superstore in the Mendenhall Valley.
The former Jensen's Home Furnishings, which had been in the Nugget Mall, and Lyle's Home Furnishings opened as one store called Jensen's and Lyle's Home Furnishings on Nov. 24. The store is in the Lyle's site on Jordan Avenue.
It will carry a larger variety of home furnishings, from budget to luxury, said Scott Jensen, who opened Jensen's Home Furnishings 13 years ago.
"We're saying that we have furniture for every lifestyle and every budget," Jensen said. "If you want a $499 sofa, we have it. And if you want the best you can get, we have it. By merging the two stores, you get the best of both worlds."
The new store is owned by Scott Jensen's parents, Ray and Martie Jensen, and Scott and his wife, Shirlene Jensen. Lyle's Home Furnishings, which the family bought 6 1/2 years ago, was a more fashion- and quality oriented store, whereas Jensen's was focused on value, Scott Jensen said.
Chris Jensen, Scott's brother, left the family business three years ago to start his own store, Southeast Furniture Warehouse.
The new store's design center will allow customers to get the exact look they want, no matter the budget, Scott Jensen said.
"Jensen's always had a design center, but it wasn't the same size as at Lyle's," he said. Design staff can help customers choose fabrics and colors for products.
The store is making room for more inventory by converting its warehouse into storage space. A new storage building may be built next spring, but until then the store is renting warehouse space. About 500 square feet of showroom space was lost when the two stores merged, Jensen said.
The new store should bring lower prices to the home furnishing market, he said.
"We've always been the price leader," said Jensen. "Prices will come down a little bit with this merger."
Jensen said he will not be undersold by any store in the United States, or by retailers on the Internet.
"People really have a desire to buy locally, they just don't want to pay more to do it," he said.
Business at the two stores had slowed in the months before the legislative-move vote and with the weakened economy, but Jensen said the merger was more a matter of offering convenience to customers. The store will lay off a few employees in the merger, he said.
The Nugget Mall plans to fill the space vacated by Jensen's Home Furnishings with Jo-Ann Fabrics, a nationwide chain, said Jennifer Clark, marketing director at the mall. The fabric store plans to open in March.
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