Factory Direct expansion to double store’s size

By Tony Parra

Store representatives said customers will have a better idea of what their house will look like once more showrooms are added to the Factory Direct furniture store in Portales.

June Merrick, co-owner of Factory Direct furniture, said she is hopeful for having expansion complete at the furniture store by Jan. 2. Merrick said at that time the new building addition to the north part of the furniture store will be open to customers. In the meantime they’re open now during the construction

“The expansion will give us the opportunity to show the customer every room for their home,” Merrick said. “We will have a dining room, living room and bedroom with the same design so the customer can visualize what their home will look like.”

Merrick said the increased building space will bring new showrooms to the furniture store. Carol Milner, a Factory Direct manager who has been working for the furniture store for nine years, said she is anxious for the opening of the additional space.

“It is going to be very nice,” Milner said. “One of the main advantages will be that it will open up the space for more floor items. It will allow us to accessorize more. It’ll be easier for customers to imagine their homes with the showrooms.”

Milner said store sales people will have more options for the customer, including different styles and different woods.
“Today’s customer doesn’t want to go from store to store picking out furniture that matches,” said Merrick. “It (the expansion) will save shopping time.”

Merrick said construction is still ongoing on the new addition, along with remodeling work to the current Factory Direct space. According to Merrick, the size of the store will be doubled from 11,000 square-feet to 22,000 square feet.
Merrick said the store has been open since 1993 and she’s been helping manage it since 1996. She said she and her husband wanted to do something with the property. They kicked ideas around such as a mini-mall before settling on a furniture store.

Merrick’s husband, Max, knows all about a business going through expansion. Merrick is the owner of Trader Horn’s True Value at University Drive and Avenue D. Merrick changed location of the store from the previous location, where one of the Dollar Generals is currently located. The current True Value building is 50,000 square-feet and the previous building was 30,000 square-feet.

The furniture store has 11 employees and is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Milner said they are looking at changing store hours to better accommodate customers wanting to shop later in the day and on the weekends.

“Interior designers will design a floor plan,” Milner added. “The showrooms will be heavily accessorized.”