An almost century-old interior design and high-end furniture store in Omaha will downsize and move.
Allens Home, a family business owned by Susie and Stewart Smoler, will close its current 44,000-square-foot location at 7808 L St. The Smolers have identified a new potential site west of their current store, but they declined to share the exact location because they have yet to finalize a deal. The space measures about 10,000 square feet.
The Smolers recently received an offer for their current building, which was built in 1974, that Stewart said was “too good of an opportunity to turn down.”
“It happened somewhat quickly,” he said.
The Smolers declined to disclose the building’s sale price and buyer.
With the sale slated to close in late March, the Smolers started a clearance sale in late September that features discounts of up to 65% on certain items.
In the face of feedback from saddened customers, the Smolers, who are both 62, emphasized that the business will continue at a new location centered around a design showroom that will feature home products and interior designers to work with the customers.
“We have no desire to go away,” Susie Smoler said. “We want to provide this service for the market.”
The couple anticipate opening Allens Home’s new location almost immediately after closing the current store — marking a new chapter for a business that began in 1925. It was purchased by Susie’s grandfather David Krantz in 1944.
The business was originally located in South Omaha. Howard Krantz, David’s son and Susie’s father, moved the business to its current location. Along with his wife, an interior designer named Barbara, Howard helped elevate Allens Home to its current stature as a business willing to try new things within the industry, according to Susie.
Although Howard died at age 82 in 2016, his influence lives on.
“We talk about him every day. He’s totally with us in spirit,” Susie said.
The Smolers said Howard lived by the mantra of work hard and play hard.
“(That) was a very important part of his life,” Susie said.
Howard’s outlook has carried down to his daughter and son-in-law, who became involved in the business in 1983 and have no plans to retire any time soon.
“As long as we’re healthy and having fun, with time to enjoy the other aspects of life, we will be doing it,” Susie said.
Those other aspects include visiting their two children and their spouses in Los Angeles and Austin, Texas. They’re also waiting for the birth of their first grandchild in February.
While the new space will be smaller and the Smolers will likely be visiting family more often, customers shouldn’t expect much else to change.
The Smolers said they will continue to offer similar styles of inventory. They hope that their 15 staff members — some of whom have been with the company for more than 20 years — will follow them to the new store.
“We love the people that work here,” Stewart said.
The Smolers’ dog Petunia, an 8-year-old cavalier King Charles spaniel, will continue to be the friendly face greeting customers at the new Allens Home.
The Smolers don’t anticipate that people will have much trouble finding Allens Home’s new location once it opens.
“We have found that our consumer finds us,” Susie said. “The people that are walking in our door know exactly why they’re here.”