Spokane Journal of Business

Downtown Bon remodels, expands furniture gallery

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The Bon Marche is remodeling the basement of its downtown Spokane store to provide a larger area for its furniture showroom.

Store Manager Beth Lewis says the new furniture gallery, which is expected to open by the end of September, will offer additional lines of furniture.

Anything you can find in Seattle, well have here, she says.

Lewis expects four new employees will be hired in the department as a result of the expansion. The stores furniture department currently employs seven people and is located on the fourth floor.

Lewis says Seattle-based Bon Marche, which is a division of Federated Department Stores Inc., chose to expand the furniture offerings because the stores current furniture department has done well and because no other department store in downtown Spokane sells furniture. The Bons furniture department currently occupies about 16,000 square feet of space, she says. After the remodeling project, about 26,000 square feet of space on two levels will be dedicated to furniture, including 21,000 square feet in the basement for the main furniture gallery and 5,000 square feet on the fourth floor for rugs and mattresses.

The stores childrens department moved from the basement to the fourth floor in January, and a leased operation, called Toytropolis, that had sold toys in the stores basement level, closed several months ago, Lewis says.

A building permit issued by the city of Spokane estimates the value of the remodeling project at $300,000. The project will include gutting the interior of the basement level, and remodeling it with new lighting, tile, and paint, Lewis says. When the work is complete, the fourth floor also will get a face-lift.

Mauer Construction Inc., of Spokane, started site-preparation work, which includes asbestos removal, last week, says Gerry Riddle, superintendent of the Bon Marche building here. Bids for the rest of the remodeling project are scheduled to be opened this week, and Riddle hopes to start that work early next week.

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