Family-owned Texas retailer to close final 2 stores after 78-year run

AUSTIN, Texas — Louis Shanks Furniture will begin the going out of business process this week after 78 years in business.

The Austin, Texas-based retailer has been family-owned and operated for four generations and has stores in its hometown and in San Antonio. An independent, regional retailer became nationally recognized by the industry and its customers for its fine furniture selection and impeccably vignetted showrooms. Four generations of the family have contributed to the longevity of Louis Shanks Furniture and maintained the ideals that Louis Shanks founded the stores with almost 80 years ago.

Louis Shanks got his start in the furniture industry as a factory representative for Kroehler Manufacturing Co. His retail journey began when he moved his young family to Austin in 1945 and partnered with John Stanford to open the Fourth and Congress store in downtown Austin. Five years later, that partnership dissolved, and he founded Shanks-Meyers with new business partner Harry Meyers.

Shanks bought out Meyers in 1954 to become Louis Shanks Furniture on Lamar Boulevard. A growing market led to continuous expansions that began with converting the historic Hitchin’ Post Restaurant into additional showroom space in 1960; a second store on Anderson Lane in 1974; and entry into the San Antonio market in 1983.

In 1995, new locations opened in Houston and Sugarland, paving the way for Louis Shanks’ debut in Furniture Today’s Top 100 rankings at No. 77 in 1996. It rose to No. 69 just two years later.

Michael Forwood, left, Becky Forwood, Amor Forwood, Susie Forwood and Marissa Kashani

The going out of business sale begins Sept. 21 in Austin at 2930 W. Anderson Lane, and in San Antonio at 11035 IH10 West at Huebner. Furniture promotional sales specialists Planned Furniture Promotions is handling all liquidation details and events across the two stores with a combined 200,000 square feet of merchandise.

“We are honored to be part of this historic moment as we assist Louis Shanks Furniture, an iconic institution in the furniture industry, with their final and most significant sale,” said Tom Liddell, senior vice president. “This is a celebration of their decades of excellence and an extraordinary opportunity for consumers in the Austin and San Antonio areas to experience the legacy of Louis Shanks Furniture one last time. This marks the end of an era, and we at PFP are thrilled they have entrusted us with this pivotal project.”

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