The Heart Of the Home
We've been serving residents in the Faribault area for over 6 decades and look forward to another 6!
At Erickson Furniture, we're large enough to accommodate all of your home furnishing needs, yet small enough to provide friendly, hometown hospitality. We're a company built on integrity, loyalty and the drive to provide only the best in quality furnishings and customer service.
Erickson Furniture, in Faribault, MN, officially opened its doors in 1956; but the name itself goes back to 1932 when the previous generation of Ericksons operated a furniture showroom in Willmar, MN. And even beyond that, our family's experience and history within the furniture industry dates back to 1921.
Today's Erickson Furniture store remains successfully grounded in Faribault, and as in the past, is still family owned and operated. Our original Faribault showroom was 6,000 square feet located at 129 Central Avenue North. As we grew, so did our need for a larger space. The store's second Faribault location, 417 1st Avenue NW, was a plentiful 9,000 square feet. But eventually we outgrew that space as well.
In 1971 we relocated to our current Faribault location, 30 5th Street NW. Completing a full renovation prior to the move, we now operate with over 16,000 square feet of showroom space and 20,000 square feet of warehouse space (we maintain two warehouses). With all that space we are able to masterfully showcase a large selection of furniture pieces and styles perfect for any room in your home. From traditional to casual and from high-end to most affordable, we offer something for every taste and every budget.
In the spring of 1915, Charles Peterson opened a furniture store in Evansville, Minnesota. "Charley," as he was known, was married to Enuna Lindstrom (sister of Caroline 'Lindstrom' Erickson). In 1921, 28-year-old Oscar Erickson, the oldest son of Caroline and Gust Erickson, bought his uncle Charley's furniture store.
During this time period in the early 1900's it was common for furniture stores to coincide with funeral home services. At the time of the purchase Oscar was not a licensed mortician, so he hired out the embalming for his funeral cases while he handled all the other aspects of the funerals.
In 1923, Oscar took a short leave from the business to receive his mortician's license. During his absence, his father and possibly his brother, Loren, helped run the store.
Loren officially joined the firm in 1925. The pair, Oscar and Loren, opted to purchase John Sather's furniture business in Elbow Lake, MN. While there were two of them and two stores, it was not an equal split of ownership; Oscar owned the Evansvi1le store and one-half of the Elbow Lake store while Loren owned the other half. For a handful of months they shuttled back and forth between Evansville and Elbow Lake. Later in 1925, Loren traded his half of the Elbow Lake store for the entire Evansville store; Oscar then owned the Elbow Lake store and Loren the Evansville store.
1928 brought about another business change: they opened a store in Frazee. Loren then traded one-half of the Evansville store for Oscar's half of the Frazee store. Brother Vernon joined the staff at that point, working in the Evansville location.
In the fall of 1930, Loren sold the Frazee store to buy a store in Wahpeton; the deal went through In 1931. While in Wahpeton they purchased the Abercrombie store, hauling all of its stock to the new Wahpeton location. They sold most of the Abercrombie stock in the Wahpeton store and divided what remained between the Elbow Lake and Evansville locations (the Wahpeton location was then sold).
Upon learning about a store for sale in Park Rapids, Vernon, Loren, and Oscar together bought out the stock and rented the building. It was 1932 when Loren and his wife moved to Park Rapids to run that store; Vernon ran the Evansville store and Oscar headed the Elbow Lake location.
The trio then heard that the Nelson and Benson furniture store in Willmar was for sale and, on September 15, 1932, Oscar and Vernon signed the lease in Willmar. After a close-out sale in the Park Rapids store, they hauled what stock remained to Willmar.
It was 1932, and, to quote Reuben Bengtson in the November 8, 1982 edition of the Willmar Daily Tribune, the country was in "the depth of the depression"... "unemployment was rampant" and "the courageous brothers Loren, Oscar and Vernon purchased the Willmar Furniture store in the present location and began the long climb to the top spot as one of the leading furniture and appliance stores in the state." Mr. Bengston also said the crops were poor that year, farm prices were low, and the winter was "cold and foreboding." Vernon said the "smart folks" in Willmar guessed they would last six months. They did; plus another six months and 49 years.
Back in 1932, before the Erickson men had any inkling that their business would last this long, Vernon discovered that their names, Loren, Oscar, Vernon Erickson formed the acronym "LOVE." This became their trademark on heart-shaped tags with the words "Quality Furniture, the Heart of Your Home." When Oscar's only child Roger joined the company he suggested adding an "R" (for Roger) at the end of the acronym, which would have made it "LOVER," but this was vetoed. They knew advertising was essential and they did a great deal of it. A competing merchant once called them "advertising fools" (fools maybe, but we're still here today)!
In 1933 the trio made a deal: Oscar and Vernon would run the Willmar location, and Loren the Elbow Lake store. The funeral business continued in Elbow Lake and Evansville. It's not known when they closed out the Evansville store, but they dissolved the three-way partnership during the 1940's.
In 1947, Loren built a furniture store in Hoffman and a funeral home in Elbow Lake in 1948. In 1951, Oscar and Vernon opened a furniture store in Benson, managed by their nephew Donald Graville. Oscar's son Roger worked with Don from 1954 to 1956, at which time he purchased a store in Faribault, Minnesota. The Benson store was sold in 1957 when Don purchased a store in Fairmont which he ran until he retired.
Oscar retired in 1955 (Willmar), Loren in 1963 (Elbow Lake), Vernon in 1984 (Willmar), Don in 1982 (Fairmont), and Roger in 1992 (Faribault). Upon Roger's retirement, his son Paul bought the Faribault store, which he continues to operate today. In August 1990, Roger's daughter Katy joined the team as designer and buyer.