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New distribution center keeps La-Z-Boy busy

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries of Albuquerque is planning to open a 40,000-square-foot distribution center in the Jefferson corridor this fall.

The facility will service La-Z-Boy’s two fine furnishings and decor stores in Albuquerque, said Jeff Mauldin, owner of the company.

The building at 5801 Jefferson NE was purchased by Mauldin, who said he’s spending $400,000 to $500,000 in tenant improvements to bring the space up to snuff.

The La-Z-Boy dealer started the business 43 years ago with his dad and said both stores have been selling furniture at a brisk clip, which made the current leased warehouse spaces obsolete.

Like the famous dad chair that put La-Z-Boy on the retail map, the new distribution center brings that extra stretching room to keep pace with a growing clientele. “Our sales volume has steadily increased as the economy improves,” Mauldin said.

While recliners are still popular, but in sleeker and more stylish shapes, the business also features La-Z-Boy’s Urban Attitudes collection, which offers contemporary pieces in smaller living footprints, and design consultations. The West Side store also features a bedroom and dining room gallery, Mauldin said.

The Jefferson location, which previously was occupied by Sandia Paper, will be the new hub for furniture deliveries, customer pickups and a full-service repair department. “Hopefully, as we grow into the space, we’ll also be adding more jobs,” Mauldin said.

Some of the major renovations include a new concrete slab, LED lighting and a state of-the-art furniture racking system. There will also be shared space with a tenant who is yet to be determined. Erick Johnson of Johnson Commercial Real Estate was the broker on the transaction. General contractor Richard Sainz of Protek Inc. will oversee the renovations.

Two milestones to celebrate

Marking 90-year milestones this month is one of Albuquerque’s foremost retail families. Seen (from left to right) are Mike Butterfield, Theresa Butterfield-Maxey, Bernie Butterfield, Anne Butterfield and Bill Maxey. The family launched its jewelry business in 1928, the same year Bernie was born. In-store events Friday and Saturday will celebrate both events. (Roberto E. Rosales/Albuquerque Journal )

Since opening their first jewelry store in 1928, three generations of the Butterfield family have worked in the retail trade. Founder Ernest Butterfield moved the business to Albuquerque from Illinois in 1945, and the tradition continues with the current crop of Butterfield family members at the store, at 2411 San Pedro NE. What’s exceptional is that current owner Bernie Butterfield Jr. also turns 90 at the same time.

The veteran merchant, when he isn’t playing golf or attending Rotary, still works the sales floor alongside his wife, Anne, his son, Mike, and daughter, Theresa, at the full-line jewelry and watch store. The Butterfields are looking forward to hosting longtime customers, friends and well-wishers at in-store celebrations on Aug. 24 and 25, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The family requests no gifts but won’t mind swapping stories and sharing memories over cake.

Now the countdown begins for 100 years.

Speaking of countdowns …

A sign touts the imminent opening of New Mexico’s first Floor & Decor store. (Steve Sinovic/Albuquerque Journal)

Floor & Decor, a leading specialty retailer of hard-surface flooring, is planning to open right after Labor Day weekend in a brand-new 75,000-square-foot store, a representative for the company said.

On a five-acre parcel at McLeod Road and Pan American NE, the retail store and design center, the first for the Atlanta-based company in New Mexico, opens with a team of about 40 employees led by Matt Averill, the new store’s chief executive merchant.

According to information gleaned from its website, Floor & Decor was founded in 2000 and caters to both DIYers and contractors. Its warehouse-style stores feature tile, wood, laminate and natural stone flooring, along with decor and accessories. The stores are stocked with rows of hard floor products, but no carpeting.

Closed Toys R Us revamp

Another budget gym operator is muscling into Albuquerque with plans to give a failed big-box location in Winrock Town Center a new lease on life.

California-based Chuze Fitness said it will open in the former Toys R Us store at 7400 Indian School NE but didn’t provide an exact date or any other details. The company’s website said it focuses on a low-cost, high-value gym model with exceptional customer service and cleanliness, and membership fees starting at $9.99 month.

The company, a family-owned business founded in Carlsbad, Calif., in 2008, is developing the 44,800-square-foot space.

Earlier this month, another chain, Crunch Fitness, opened a 20,000-square-foot gym in a space at Juan Tabo and Lomas NE that was formerly occupied by Hastings Entertainment.

Retail roundup

My mailbag brings news of the following:

• Twisted Stitches Needlepoint will mark its grand opening today at 1011 Juan Tabo NE (next door to Amish Connection). The new business is owned by Susan Newnam of Tijeras, a Navy veteran who has lived in the Albuquerque area since 2001, and Debbie Tennis, who has been an Albuquerque-area resident since 1995. The business will be carrying threads, ribbons and silks from a variety of vendors. The owners say this is the place to check out for those interested in learning needlepoint from basics to advanced techniques. Business hours are Mondays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and until 7 p.m. on Thursdays.

• U.S. Nails will open up shop in the North Towne Plaza, 5901 Wyoming NE, in the fourth quarter of this year, according to the commercial real estate team that brokered the deal.

The company’s services will include manicures, pedicures, facials and a variety of spa packages. The new business joins a tenant lineup that includes Whole Foods, HomeGoods, Chico’s, Loft, Starbucks and many other national and local retailers.

Steve Sinovic covers the retail beat for The Journal. He can be reached at ssinovic@abqjournal.com or by calling 505-823-3919.

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