The owners of two companies sharing the former Plotkin’s Furniture in Keene say business has been strong since they opened last week.
Manny’s Appliances and Andy’s Oak Shoppe — both Massachusetts-based retailers — agreed last year to occupy approximately half each of the 93 Park Ave. store, which housed Plotkin’s Furniture from 1955 until its closure in early 2020.
The venture is a return to the Elm City for Manny’s Appliances: The company, which has nine locations around New England, including in Claremont, was in the Riverside Plaza on Winchester Street for about three years before moving to Spofford in 2014, according to owner Eric Kosciusko.
Kosciusko said Manny’s “totally outgrew the store” on Route 9, however, so he began searching for a larger location in Keene.
“We’d already been in the Keene area and already have a huge customer base in Keene,” he said.
The company purchased the former Plotkin’s store in October for $350,000, according to property records. Kosciusko then approached one of the co-owners of Andy’s Oak Shoppe — a furniture store in Greenfield, Mass., where Manny’s also has a location — about sharing the 17,500-square-foot space in Keene.
“I thought it was a perfect marriage between appliance home goods and furniture,” he said. “We’ve turned it into kind of a one-stop-shop for anything you need for your home decor.”
Founded in 1981, Andy’s Oak Shoppe sells a wide variety of indoor and outdoor furniture, according to third-generation owner Kate Finn. Demand for its products has been particularly strong during the pandemic, she explained, attributing that trend to how much time people are spending at home.
Finn said partnering with Manny’s Appliances “just made sense” and added that Andy’s hired some former Plotkin’s employees to continue working at the store.
In addition to its normal range of appliances — which include laundry machines, ovens and refrigerators — Kosciusko said Manny’s in Keene will also house a “scratch and dent” clearance section with slightly damaged appliances from across the company’s nine locations.
The businesses opened their joint venture on Jan. 1, though a grand opening in February is likely, according to Kosciusko.
“With the new marriage between the two companies, we wanted to see how things were going,” he said. “Things have already jumped out and exceeded our expectations.”