Hanska Furniture closing

Staff photo by Fritz Busch Darlene and Steve Odegard stand in their Hanska Furniture Store Thursday. After 40 years in business, they say is time to begin their retirement after their merchandise is sold.

HANSKA — After 40 years in business, Hanska Furniture is having a going out of business sale.

The store was well-known for it’s radio commercials with Darlene and Steve Odegard’s children Christian and Stephanie that said “everything is always on sale and free delivery too.”

After the huge store closes, things won’t be the same in downtown Hanska.

On Thursday, shoppers walked the store, looking at a variety of household furniture and accessories. Furniture was being loaded onto several trucks outside the store.

“When everything is gone, it’s time for us to get our retirement started. We’ve got three grandchildren and a step grandson. We just want to spend time with them,” Darlene Odegard said Thursday.

The Odegards went into business in December 1983. Darlene Odegard said it was a rough winter the first year with bad storms almost every week.

“When people lost electricity that winter, we sold all the kerosene heaters the previous furniture store owner (H. C. Johnson) had in the store,” Darlene said. “We also sold cameras and film besides furniture at first.”

It’s crazy to think it’s been 40 years since we started Hanska Furniture,” said Steve Odegard. “At the time, it was scary, but rewarding,” he added. The original store was previously owned by H. C. Johnson of Hanska.

“Hanska was very supportive as we began our venture. Growing up here didn’t hurt. You know almost everybody. The local folks wanted us to succeed,” Steve added. “Small towns need every store front and business they can keep. A few years went by and the hardware store next door came up for sale, giving us the opportunity to stock more items in every category. The attached garages next door worked as warehouses as we got busier.”

Odegard said he felt the key to surviving is to do things when you can afford them.

“Borrow money only when necessary or for merchandise to keep your selling floor well stocked,” he added.

“It’s been great working with my wife since 1983,” Steve said. “Some people say I couldn’t work with my spouse. Our likes and dislikes are so similar and communication is important. We’re each other’s sounding board.

“We’re one of only a few family-run furniture stores left,” he added. “Being aware of people’s needs at all ages and taking time to help them before and after a sale. If someone has a problem, do your best to take care of it. Whether its a lift chair or recliner mechanism. That’s something we do, even if they didn’t buy it from us and they’re not getting help from anyone else.”

Odegard said people remember a good deed and “word of mouth” advertising can’t be beat.

“We’ve been lucky to have had great, helpful, patient and kind sales people and courteous and careful delivery people. Service goes a long way,” Steve Odegard said.

“We want to thank everybody for their support,” said Darlene. “We service people all the way to the Twin Cities, Rochester, Blue Earth, Hutchinson, Tyler, Bird Island.”

The store continue to offer free delivery up to 40 miles from Hanska.

Store hours are expanded now. They are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.


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