Bruno's Home Furnishings store is closing after a half-century of
Frank and Xochitl Bruno opened the store at NW 36 and Western Avenue in 1958. It grew to encompass six adjoining buildings with 35,000 square feet of floor space.
"It's a sad feeling," Frank Bruno said of the closing. "It's been really tough for us."
He said the store profited every year until about two years ago. Furniture stores in Oklahoma City have been hit hard by economic woes, and shoppers have quit making big purchases, he said.
Bruno, 85, has been a daily presence at the store. His daughter Gina Bruno-Dunn is president and buyer. His wife died five years ago.
Bruno-Dunn said the family fought to keep the store open this long.
"Toward the end, we thought if we could just get a little boost of cash," she said. "But no banks would touch us because we had two years of a loss."
Her dad is understandably distraught about the loss of the family business.
"He feels like he failed," Bruno-Dunn said. "In my eyes he didn't fail. Sixty years is a win. That's a huge accomplishment."
The store also battled the perception that it was high-end only. Bruno-Dunn said they focused on selling high-quality furniture but at competitive prices.
She doesn't know whether the family will sell or lease the building, which occupies a high-traffic corner. The property also includes some apartments above the store and a warehouse.
"We are going to look at all the options," she said. "The most important thing is to make sure my dad is taken care of."
The store employs about 30 workers. It will close in about three months after inventory is sold at discount prices.
"We have great deals," Bruno-Dunn said. "Everything is negotiable."
Laura Lighthill, of Oklahoma City, said she bought her dining room furniture at Bruno's.
"We have had many happy family dinners at that table and someday this furniture will be a family heirloom," she said. "Bruno's is truly a one-of-a-kind store and there are probably not many like it still in business."