New chapter for Houle family as nearly 70-year-old family business to shut its doors

Co-owner Marty Houle said they recently sold the building and it was the right time to wind down operations

Janet Lukan and Marty Houle pose inside Houle Furniture, the store they co-own. The pair announced Monday that they had sold the building and would be winding down operations of the furniture store which was opened by Marty's dad Paul in 1952. (Peter Lozinski/Daily Herald)

A Prince Albert institution with an almost 70-year history is getting ready to close the doors for good.

Houle furniture is closing its doors. The company was started by Paul Houle in 1952. Paul has since passed, but the store was passed down to his son, Marty. He has been running it with co-owner Janet Lukan.

Marty explained that they recently sold their building, and the time was right to leave the furniture business.

“The timing is good,” Marty said.

“I’ve been here for 27 years, and Janet has been here for 20 years. We’ve certainly had some great relationships with customers. We’ve had a long history but it’s just time to make some changes.”

Houle doesn’t know what’s happening to the storefront, though he thinks it will likely remain a retail operation of some kind.

Houle said it’s a little bittersweet – he worked in the store as a kid, grew up in the store and then left before coming back as an adult to take over operations.

Marty said his mom and family are excited for them to move into a new phase of life.

The next step, he said, will be to draw down the inventory. He said a sale will be happening in the near future.

“We have a full warehouse and we’re going to have to clear everything right to the bare walls. Everything is for sale,” he said.

Marty said he and his family will stay in the area, but that they have no immediate plans.

“The one thing I always say is that we’re very thankful for the support from P.A. for as long as we’ve been here,” he said.

“It’s been a joy, working for ourselves, and being able to be in the furniture business. I always say I encourage people to seek out self-employment. It is really gratifying.

“It’s time. It’s a great opportunity to move on to the next phase of life.”