Monday, October 10, 2011

Ferrell's downtown I.F. building for sale

After 52 years at its Broadway and Park Avenue location, Ferrell's is looking for a smaller place to do business.

"We've got three floors and we only use one of them," said owner Brant Tueller, who has been with the store since 1963. At present, Ferrell's sells only men's clothes, but there was a time not so long ago they had women's apparel, western clothes and everything you needed to be a Boy Scout or Scout leader.

"We used to be a full department store," said Tueller. "(Now) we just take what Wal-Mart leaves us. You can't compete with a company that makes more money than a lot of third world countries."

Sixty-eight years old and ready to retire, Tueller said he can sell the business easily enough. Ferrell's has loyal customers and stocks quality products. It's the 14,000-square-foot building, which he owns, that could take some time, he said. "Real estate is so soft now. The economy is the biggest problem right now. I've been through a lot of bad economies, and this is really serious."

If they do manage to relocate, he anticipates it will be somewhere other than downtown Idaho Falls, which is better suited to smaller, more specialized retail. Ferrell's started in 1950 in the building that now houses Destinations Inn. In 1959, the business moved in when J.C. Penney moved across Broadway. But both Penney's and the Bon Marche moved out in the '80s, and other department stores like Block's went away then, too.

"It's been a good business," Tueller said. "I've raised six children here."