Business

Bellingham has relied on this home goods store for 17 years, but changes may be coming

Longtime Bellingham home-improvement store owner talks about his decision to sell business

Andy Brauner, owner of Buyer's Market, talks about his time owning the business and why he wants to sell it on Wednesday, March 21, in Bellingham.
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Andy Brauner, owner of Buyer's Market, talks about his time owning the business and why he wants to sell it on Wednesday, March 21, in Bellingham.

You may see changes at Buyer's Market, as its founder has decided to sell it.

The longtime Bellingham business, which sells home products that include doors and flooring as well as other finished products, is up for sale. The 12,000-square-foot store is at 2111 Iowa St., near the Roger Jobs car dealership.

Owner Andy Brauner said that while he's loved running the store, he's ready to try something different. He started the store in November 2001, a challenging time given the economic recession following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

While it is unclear what changes a new owner would bring to the store, Brauner expects they would continue to do things that would differentiate it from the big box home supply stores. He said that would include selling things you wouldn't typically find in chain stores and putting a heavy emphasis on customer service. That was key to surviving as a business, he said.

His business started off with a unfinished products for homes, like wood or grout. He found his niche to be more in the new finished products, so items like doors, bathtubs, wood flooring, faucets and gadgets became the company's focus. Buyer's Market also has specialists for home improvement, including a kitchen designer, as a way to set itself apart.

The store's business is tied to housing, so it's had to ride through the ups-and-downs of real estate. In today's market of rising home prices and low inventory, he said about 70 percent of Buyer's Market sales are from customers doing remodels. Some are remodeling to sell the home, but many homeowners are remodeling because they know it is challenging to buy a house in this area and would rather improve the place they have, Brauner said.

There is no announced sales price for the business, which has seven hired employees. For details about the sale, call Brauner at 360-752-2897. For details about the business, visit buyers-market.net.

Dave Gallagher: 360-715-2269, @BhamHeraldBiz

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