End of an era: Watson#039;s closes doors after 47 years

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 10, 2005

A long-time Camellia City business will be closing its doors in the coming months.

Founded by A.T. Watson and his son, William Hinote Watson, Watson's Home Furnishings first opened in downtown Greenville in 1958.

In the mid-'70s, the furniture store moved to its current location on the Greenville By-Pass.

The upcoming store closing is not a sudden decision, but a move the family has considered making &#8220for a while.”

&#8220It's something we considered and thought about a lot, especially after my father died (in July 2004). But we have really enjoyed our time here in Greenville,” William Watson, the third generation of the family to run the business, said.

Watson, who grew up immersed in the furniture business, said he will miss &#8220dealing with folks I have known all my life.”

&#8220It's also been nice being my own boss,” he added.

The businessman, who has been commuting from Montgomery each day, hasn't yet decided what he will do after the store is closed.

&#8220I like the furniture business, and it's possible I may stay in it in some capacity.”

Watson said it is a struggle nowadays for small, family-owned furniture stores like Watson's to survive.

&#8220A lot of dealers demand a certain amount of volume before they will sell to you, and our market hasn't allowed us that volume. We just don't have the population.”

Watson said, no matter what his future holds, Greenville will always be special to him.

&#8220We love the people of Greenville and have really enjoyed doing business in this town.”

The Watson's building has been sold, and Watson expects to be out of the building no later than March 2006. In the meantime, he has been busy marking down merchandise for the store's going out-of-business sale.

&#8220It'll be a big adjustment, but sometimes you have to do what you have to do. We appreciate everyone's support throughout the years,” Watson said.