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Abode Home to close this summer

WICHITA — Not quite six years after trying to bring business to downtown, Bill Jackson is closing his Abode Home.

"We've got a lot of bummed people," Jackson says. "We tried for six years and just absolutely could not make it work."

When Jackson chose to open his contemporary furnishing store just east of Old Town at 1330 E. Douglas, a lot of people questioned if the concept would work there.

A focus group, though, convinced Jackson that the store could be successful.

"They thought downtown would be a good place for people east and west to come shop," he says.

That didn’t happen, though, so Jackson will close sometime in July.

"We finally had to say it wasn't going to work."

Part of the problem has been the economy, Jackson says.

He belongs to an association of furniture retailers, and he says they're all reporting poor sales.

"Absolutely none of them have made any money in the last four or five years," he says. "It's just been a horrible time in the furniture business for the last 10 years."

The experience hasn't changed how he feels about downtown, though.

"We believe in downtown Wichita awfully a lot," Jackson says. "We're a firm believer."

Check back for more details later today and in The Eagle tomorrow.