Longtime Johnson County furniture store has retirement sale

Traditions Furniture has operated in the Strang Line Car Barn and Power Plant building since 1990.

Traditions Furniture has operated in the Strang Line Car Barn and Power Plant building since 1990.

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Robin Van Huss and Art Davis had long said they would retire when Tom Brady did.

A year ago, they sold their Traditions Home store in Wichita, which they opened in 1984. Brady had announced his retirement, then changed his mind.

Now the couple are closing their Traditions Furniture store in downtown Overland Park, which opened in 1990 in the historic Strang Line Car Barn, as Brady again announces he will retire.

“I was like, ‘he didn’t retire, how dare him.’ But now he is retiring as we are closing this store,” Van Huss said with a laugh.

Traditions Furniture, 7400 W. 79th St., is temporarily closed to the public. It will open at 10 a.m. Friday for its “$3 million retirement sale.”

Inventory includes furniture, lamps, rugs, artwork and other home furnishings from such brands as Stickley, Sherrill, Stressless, Century and Theodore-Alexander.

It had a private sale for longtime customers on Wednesday with lines forming at 8:30 a.m. for the 10 a.m. opening.

Two hours later, a line of patient customers waiting to pay snaked around the front half of the store. Some held Tiffany-style lamps, decorative silver bowls and wine glasses. Many were holding tickets for furniture pieces they planned to cart home that day or have delivered later.

The store offered a range of prices, from faux greenery for a couple of dollars to a Stickley dining room table, originally listed as $16,981 but now $8,987. Customers also were trying out the leather loungers throughout the store.

“They’re happy, they’re having fun, but they are also sad,” Van Huss said. “We’ve always been known for having the best quality and great prices. Business has never been better. We’re just retiring from the furniture business. There is something to be said for going out on top.”

Traditions Furniture is in the limestone Strang Line Car Barn and Power Plant, owned by the Overland Park Historical Society.

William B. Strang founded the interurban railway in 1906. It transported passengers between downtown Kansas City and Olathe, establishing Overland Park and accelerating the development of Johnson County. One wall of the building has a mural, historical photos, maps and other memorabilia.

“We have options. Do you lease? Do you sell? So we are engaging a professional who will help us explore the benefits of our options,” said Brad Moore, the historical society’s executive director. “You just aren’t going to find a building with that much square footage on one level in downtown Overland Park.”

The building, about 6,700 square feet, also has a parking lot with nearly 30 spaces.

Van Huss said Traditions will be in the building until every piece is sold and existing special orders are fulfilled.

“It’s a happy closing and we are going to make it a happy sale,” she said. “All of them will be able to get a fabulous treasure.”

Van Huss and Davis plan to concentrate on their dozen commercial properties in downtown Overland Park and Wichita.

This story was originally published February 9, 2023, 10:12 AM.

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Joyce Smith has covered restaurant and retail news for The Star since 1989 under the brand Cityscape. She appreciates news tips.

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