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Faced with possible closure, Flegel's asks for help from the community

Original post made on May 5, 2023

Flegel's furniture store has been an institution in Menlo Park's downtown for 69 years, but now it's facing possible closure and asking for the community for help to stay in business.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, May 5, 2023, 9:17 AM

Comments (12)

Posted by Miriam Palm
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 5, 2023 at 4:19 pm

Miriam Palm is a registered user.

We love all the pieces we have bought from Flegel's, and appreciated their advice and customer service when we reupholstered a number of items in 2019, before they shuttered the large and beautiful store on Santa Cruz. Very sorry to see them go, if that is what happens. Their fate mirrors other brick and mortar businesses we miss. Buying online is not the same.

Posted by Food4Thought
a resident of another community
on May 5, 2023 at 4:25 pm

Food4Thought is a registered user.

Flegals is a terrific furniture store along the lines of the former W.S. Sloane in Los Altos where Whole Foods is now situated.

Times have changed as many younger customers are opting for IKEA offerings.

Posted by Heckity
a resident of Barron Park
on May 5, 2023 at 7:05 pm

Heckity is a registered user.

A GoFundMe account? Seriously? There's a time and season for everything - Flegel's was never an inexpensive place, and sorry to say, their time appears to have come. It's insulting, IMO, for a retail outlet to prey on the concept of "family" and a GoFundMe plea to keep their business afloat. Actually, bordering on perverse.

Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 5, 2023 at 8:00 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

They never claimed to be cheap and quality beats the cheap "fast furniture" that falls apart in a few years. "Fast furniture" is a trade term I learned when reading about how it's become a major problem since the stuff's filling up landfills.

Posted by MyFeelz
a resident of another community
on May 6, 2023 at 2:55 pm

MyFeelz is a registered user.

I don't even know if I should really post this, but they applied for and got a PPP loan in 2020 for $200,000 and another PPP loan in 2021 for $200,000 and both loans were forgiven. I really love well-crafted furniture but asking for 350k is a pretty big ask when you already got $400k from the US Treasury. I like to use this link to check to see if somebody I know with a new expensive boat or a toy trailer got one. Web Link

Posted by Bill Bucy
a resident of Barron Park
on May 7, 2023 at 10:27 am

Bill Bucy is a registered user.

Private businesses asking for money and giving nothing in return? An interesting business model.

Posted by Heckity
a resident of Barron Park
on May 7, 2023 at 11:48 am

Heckity is a registered user.

MyFeelz, I'm very glad you did post this. There's something very wrong with a business that's in effect looking for 350K more when they received and were forgiven 400K.

My original comment about the place never being inexpensive, and the response that "they never claimed to be cheap" wasn't my point. My point was that the price to consumers provided them with strong enough margins to be able to sustain their business. I probably didn't explain it well though.

That said, I find it almost unbelievable that they'd set up a GoFundMe account and use the four generations of family as a way to manipulate people into shoring them up again. I get that Covid drastically affected businesses, but something is wrong with their business other than the pandemic.

Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 7, 2023 at 12:37 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

@Heckity, good points.

The only reason I knew about "fast furniture" was that during the pandemic we realized how "tired" looking our much-loved old couch -- decades old -- was and weighed the tradeoffs between reupholstering vs getting a new couch we couldn't sit on in a store/showroom in the limited range of fabrics online.

We went with custom reupholstering although we saw new couches from formerly quality brandsat a fraction of the cost of shoring up the old frame and reupholstering. The price difference was so dramatic I started researching to see if I'd made a dumb decision.

I also drifted into Flegel's and asked about tradeoffs of their redoing ours vs a getting a new one version of the same. The saleswoman was clearly pushing a more pricey new couch in another style and ignored expected shipping /production delays during the pandemic.

If you hadn't been in the market, you probably wouldn't have known about the changes in the market, how many brands have shifted manufacturing offshore etc. etc.

Posted by MM
a resident of another community
on May 7, 2023 at 8:50 pm

MM is a registered user.

I have a question that is loosely related to this article.

Would anyone be willing to share the search terms that yields the listings for Flegel's PPP loans / gifts? Today, I typed several permutations of their business name (e.g., Flegel's, Flegels, Flegel's Furniture, Flegel's Home Furnishings) via the Propublica link that another commenter provided, but to no avail. The dollar amounts the reader cited may be accurate and true. Still, I'd like to see the listings for myself.

Posted by Paly Grad
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on May 7, 2023 at 9:19 pm

Paly Grad is a registered user.


Search term is Flegel

Paly Grad

Posted by MM
a resident of another community
on May 7, 2023 at 11:53 pm

MM is a registered user.

Eureka! I've just found the records. I hadn't before thought to type just Flegel. (Duh me.) The apostrophe seems to trip up the Propublica search engine. Thank you, Paly Grad – much appreciated.

Posted by MyFeelz
a resident of another community
on May 8, 2023 at 9:31 pm

MyFeelz is a registered user.

@MM, I would never make such an assertion without having proof.

And that tool has shown me a lot about people and companies that, in many cases, were still operating during the pandemic. There are no loopholes and no oversight, just barrels and barrels of money with a sign that says "Git Ya Some!" Just for fun, type Palo Alto in the search box.

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