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BENNINGTON — More than 30 years ago, wholesaler C. and D. Distributors, Inc., gave Denise Cyr furniture on consignment for her new, 3,000-square-foot store on Main Street, Bennington Furniture, which opened in 1987 near Henry’s Market. Last week, Bennington Furniture, which now encompasses five stores in three states, announced that it has purchased the business that helped it get its start. “It’s come full circle, basically,” Cyr’s son, Michael Fiacco, today the president and owner of Bennington Furniture, said in an interview on Monday. C. and D. changed its business model in the late ‘80s to become a direct-to-consumer retailer, rebranding as the Old Brick Furniture Co., according to a news release announcing the deal. The Old Brick, which today has stores in Albany and Schenectady, became known “for low-pressure, non-commission sales teams and outstanding customer service,” as well as low prices. Following the acquisition, all five of Bennington Furniture’s retail stores — in Bennington, Manchester and Rutland, Vermont; Queensbury, New York; and Pittsfield, Massachusetts — will become Old Brick Furniture Co. stores. Adopting the new moniker “was a tough decision,” according to Fiacco, who said he first ran it by his mother and key employees. “You have to go one way or the other” in a deal of this type, he said. The Albany-based Old Brick’s business model, which is geared toward warehousing and rapid delivery, is more “scalable” and better equipped to compete against e-commerce giants, Fiacco said. The acquisition will strengthen the newly merged business in Vermont, New York and Massachusetts, he added. Fiacco said he was part of the same furniture-buying group as Henry Terk, the longtime president of Old Brick, and the two executives became friendly over the years. They reached a deal on the acquisition by the end of 2019, according to Fiacco, but the closing was delayed by the coronavirus pandemic. The pandemic and state-imposed shutdowns last year made for a tough two to three months for Bennington Furniture, Fiacco said, though the business was able to retain about a third of its workforce for e-commerce. Since reopening, “business has come back,” he added, though supply chain-related issues remain. Fiacco attributed Bennington Furniture’s longevity to the industriousness of its employees, many of whom have been with the company for decades. “When you have a very good staff that knows what they’re doing, it allows the company to grow,” he said. Despite the name change, the merger will not mark the complete end of the Bennington Furniture brand. Its design-forward “Bennington Custom” line, which the business’ “current customer base has grown to love,” according to the release, will be offered at the rebranded Old Brick stores.

BENNINGTON — More than 30 years ago, wholesaler C. and D. Distributors, Inc., gave Denise Cyr furniture on consignment for her new, 3,000-square-foot store on Main Street, Bennington Furniture, which opened in 1987 near Henry’s Market.

Last week, Bennington Furniture, which now encompasses five stores in three states, announced that it has purchased the business that helped it get its start.

“It’s come full circle, basically,” Cyr’s son, Michael Fiacco, today the president and owner of Bennington Furniture, said in an interview on Monday.

C. and D. changed its business model in the late ‘80s to become a direct-to-consumer retailer, rebranding as the Old Brick Furniture Co., according to a news release announcing the deal. The Old Brick, which today has stores in Albany and Schenectady, became known “for low-pressure, non-commission sales teams and outstanding customer service,” as well as low prices.

Following the acquisition, all five of Bennington Furniture’s retail stores — in Bennington, Manchester and Rutland, Vermont; Queensbury, New York; and Pittsfield, Massachusetts — will become Old Brick Furniture Co. stores.

Adopting the new moniker “was a tough decision,” according to Fiacco, who said he first ran it by his mother and key employees. “You have to go one way or the other” in a deal of this type, he said.

The Albany-based Old Brick’s business model, which is geared toward warehousing and rapid delivery, is more “scalable” and better equipped to compete against e-commerce giants, Fiacco said. The acquisition will strengthen the newly merged business in Vermont, New York and Massachusetts, he added.

Fiacco said he was part of the same furniture-buying group as Henry Terk, the longtime president of Old Brick, and the two executives became friendly over the years. They reached a deal on the acquisition by the end of 2019, according to Fiacco, but the closing was delayed by the coronavirus pandemic.

The pandemic and state-imposed shutdowns last year made for a tough two to three months for Bennington Furniture, Fiacco said, though the business was able to retain about a third of its workforce for e-commerce. Since reopening, “business has come back,” he added, though supply chain-related issues remain.

Fiacco attributed Bennington Furniture’s longevity to the industriousness of its employees, many of whom have been with the company for decades. “When you have a very good staff that knows what they’re doing, it allows the company to grow,” he said.

Despite the name change, the merger will not mark the complete end of the Bennington Furniture brand. Its design-forward “Bennington Custom” line, which the business’ “current customer base has grown to love,” according to the release, will be offered at the rebranded Old Brick stores.

Luke Nathan can be reached at lnathan@benningtonbanner.com.

Luke Nathan can be reached at lnathan@benningtonbanner.com.


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