Furniture store buys Taylor Brothers building; plans to open this summer

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By Tom Wilmoth

    A Franklin County furniture business plans to expand into the Bedford market, following its purchase last week of the former Taylor Brothers building off Independence Boulevard.
    Virginia Furniture Market announced its expansion into this market this week, moving into the building at 1052 Independence Blvd, adjacent to the major retail center anchored by Wal-Mart and a variety of other businesses.
    The 22,000 square foot retail store and additional warehouse space are slated for a summer opening following renovations to the existing buildings. Additional acreage at the site will allow substantial room for expansion, a release from the company stated.
    "It's a positive use of a vacant building," stated Bedford City Manager Charlie Kolakowski.
    Kolakowski said he was pleased that the business will add to the retail choices and options for residents of this area. "I'm sure it will bring some more employment and retail activity," Kolakowski said.
    The building had been vacant for the past three years.
    "We are excited by this new location which will allow us to better serve the Bedford, Forest and Lynchburg markets," stated Joel Shepherd, president of Virginia Furniture Market. "We will be able to provide customers in those market areas with a broad selection of our best selling products from our main stores which are located south of Roanoke on US 220 in Franklin County.
    "In addition we are pleased to be able to expand our business during what has been a difficult economic environment for many retailers," Shepherd noted.
    Virginia Furniture Market, a furniture and home décor retailer, has been in business since 1997. The company's retail operations comprise of about 100,000 square feet of furniture and home décor retail space.
    Included in those is Virginia Furniture Market, Just for Kids (specializing in kids and teens furniture), VFM Outlet and the Blue Ridge Market Place (featuring wall décor, lamps and accent furniture).