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Jax Daily Record Friday, Jan. 31, 202005:10 AM EST

Baer’s Furniture says store is in ‘ideal location’

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The Pompano-Beach based chain plans to open at the end of 2020 at 7760 Gate Parkway near Ikea.

Baer’s Furniture Co. President and CEO Jerry Baer said the Florida-based family-owned company studied Northeast Florida to choose the right site for its northernmost Florida store.

“We think we have a really ideal location for your market,” Baer said.

Baer’s Furniture Co. President and CEO Jerry Baer

Baer’s Furniture Co. bought property at 7760 Gate Parkway and is developing a two-story, almost 85,000-square-foot store that Baer estimates is an investment of $15 million.

The city approved a permit in December for RLH Construction LLC of Oviedo to build the store at a cost of $7.6 million. Dasher Hurst Architects of Jacksonville is the architect.

Baer’s Furniture Co. paid $3.3 million for 4.12 acres in October 2018, buying the land from the Skinner family.

Baer expects to open the store by the end of 2020 and employ about 50 people. It will be the Pompano Beach-based company’s 17th Florida showroom.

The site, at northwest Gate Parkway and Point Meadows Drive near Interstate 295, is convenient from St. Augustine to South Georgia, he said. The nearest location to the south is in Orlando.

The Jacksonville store is across Gate Parkway from Ikea, the popular Sweden-based self-assembly furniture company.

That doesn’t concern Baer. The stores are different concepts – do-it-yourself vs. full customer service from a Florida-built business.

“We wouldn’t have bought it if we didn’t think so,” Baer said of the location. “We focus on taking care of the customer with the best quality furniture.”

Baer’s Furniture operates primarily in the Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Orlando, Naples and Miami areas. In addition to Jacksonville, Baer’s is looking at additional markets that include Daytona and Tampa, he said. 

This year is the company’s 75th anniversary. “It is the same family ownership, but it is our team of people” who make it successful, Baer said.

The company employs about 800 people, with one non-family member there 57 years and several on staff for more than 40 years.

Baer said two members of the fourth generation are working there full-time.

Baer expects to open the store by the end of 2020 and employ about 50 people.

“We are a generational business,” he said.

Baer’s describes itself as “Florida’s premium furniture and mattress store.” It sells furnishings for living room, dining, bedroom, home office and entertainment spaces.

Baer’s Furniture displays galleries of brands, such as Natuzzi Editions, Tommy Bahama Home and Outdoor Living, Bernhardt, Hooker Furniture, Universal Furniture, Coastal Living and Lexington.

It can provide special and custom-ordered products. It also offers interior design services.

FurnitureToday described Baer’s as a high-end retailer and ranked it No. 43 on its 2019 Top 100 U.S. Furniture Stores list with 2018 sales of $191 million, up 7.2% from 2017.

Baer estimates annual sales were about $192 million last year, similar to 2018.

The furniture industry news site said Baer’s locations average about 50,000 square feet. Baer said stores range from 28,000 to 100,000 square feet.

“We’ve been doing this a long time,” he said. His grandfather taught him to provide quality products and “outstanding customer service.”

 “There aren’t too many furniture companies 75 years under the same family.”

The company has been family-owned and operated since 1945 when Jerry Baer’s grandparents founded it in South Bend, Indiana.

His uncle, Chairman Robert Baer, moved to Florida in 1968 and opened the first Florida store in Dania. The family followed over the next six to eight years.

“And the rest as they say is history,” Baer said.

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