2017-09-13 / Front Page

Rupp Furniture Sold To King’s Sleep Shop & Home Furnishings

by David Pugh
Buckeye Staff Writer


Members of the Rupp family took a moment for a photo Monday, the day before final paperwork for the sale of Rupp Furniture was scheduled to take place. Front row, from left: Carla Rupp, wife of Tony Rupp, and Melinda Rupp, wife of the late Bill Rupp, who was senior partner in the business. Back row: Tony Rupp, Tim Rupp, and Phil Rupp.– photo by David Pugh Members of the Rupp family took a moment for a photo Monday, the day before final paperwork for the sale of Rupp Furniture was scheduled to take place. Front row, from left: Carla Rupp, wife of Tony Rupp, and Melinda Rupp, wife of the late Bill Rupp, who was senior partner in the business. Back row: Tony Rupp, Tim Rupp, and Phil Rupp.– photo by David Pugh Rupp Furniture & Carpet Co., operated by the Rupp family for 109 years, has been sold.

Final paperwork was to be concluded yesterday, Tuesday, transferring ownership of the inventory, buildings, and business name to King’s Sleep Shop & Home Furnishings, a business owned by Jason and Carrie King.

Jason King said he could not disclose the selling price.

“The Rupp name will stay on the building. It’s still Rupp Furniture; we’re just taking over ownership from the previous owners,” he said.

“We’re going to keep everybody. The goal is to retain the staff; obviously they’ve been there longer than we have.”

In addition to the mattress and home furnishings store in West Unity, the Kings also own a second store selling bedding and furniture in Fremont, Ind., in the northeast corner of the state.

The Kings also operate four Holly Jolly Christmas Shops– in Swanton, West Unity, Fremont, Ind., and Jonesville, Mich.

Biggest Change

Jason said the biggest change the public will see is the opening of the fifth Holly Jolly Christmas Shop in the Rupp Furniture building on the southwest corner of Stryker and North Defiance streets.

Locally, the building has often been referred to as the “old Vernier-Probeck building.”

Jason said the Christmas store will open Saturday, Oct. 7, and close Christmas Eve.

“Once it’s over, we’ll replenish the space with furniture,” he said.

There also are plans to update the showrooms.

Jason said they will incorporate their style, while still keeping some of the old.

“We’re moving in with some of the newer ideas and things we have that we bring to the table,” he said.

Phil Rupp, a partner in Rupp Furniture, will help the Kings for about a year.

Tony Rupp, another partner, explained the Kings have not previously sold floor coverings. Phil will remain to teach them the floor covering business.

Reasons

Tony and Tim Rupp, also a partner, said they are getting older, and, “we just thought it was time to get new blood; new, younger ideas; more energy.”

“We’re only going to work so long. I’m 71 already,” Tim said.

“There are no siblings who are interested in running the business,” Tony said.

Also, members of the next generation of the family aren’t interested, as they have developed their own careers.

Jason told the Rupps they want to run Rupp Furniture for a long time.

“They are not changing the name to King’s. They purchased the (Rupp Furniture) name, which is exciting for us,” Tony said. In a way, the Rupp legacy lives on, he said.

The Deal

Tony said he approached the Kings with an offer to sell the business about five years ago.

At that time Jason said no, “because they had just opened Fremont,” Tony said.

“We weren’t quite ready. We had too many irons in the fire at the time,” Jason said.

“Then Jason called me, probably about four months ago,” Tony said.

“The timing seemed to work,” Jason said.

Another factor in the mix was the closure of the Rupp Furniture store in Bryan.

That, Tony said, was part of the plan to downsize the business to get ready for a potential sale.

With “the Bryan location being closed, it seemed like it made more sense for us now,” Jason said.

The Kings were attracted to Rupp Furniture because they needed “a new challenge,” Jason said.

“We haven’t opened a new store in a couple years, so we needed another new challenge.

“It’s scary, but it’s good, and they had a good business for many years in Archbold. They have a good reputation. We can try to grow on that and make it even better.”

Good For Archbold

Tony said the sale will be good for the village.

“We are happy for the community of Archbold that Rupp Furniture is going to remain downtown,” Tony said.

“It would be a disaster (if the buildings were vacant,) so we’re very excited with the Kings’ enthusiasm and are happy for the village.”

After a lifetime in the business, will it be tough to step away?

“Some bitter, some sweet,” Tony said, adding, “I don’t know what else to say.”

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