Furniture Store's Financial Problems Fall To Customers

Tom Spheeris
Tom Spheeris
Ashley Furniture opened the Waikele store in 2003
Ashley Furniture opened the Waikele store in 2003

KAILUA (KHNL) - A major furniture store on O'ahu closes, leaving lots of unanswered questions, and frustrated customers. Ashley Furniture in Waikele shut down last Friday.

Newleywed Tom Spheeris and his wife bought their living room furniture about six weeks ago.

It was supposed to be delivered next week, but since Ashley went out of business, it looks like they may never get the furniture they bought and paid for.

Tom Spheeris and his new bride wanted some new furniture for their new home.

"Just got married and kind of want to start over and get good stuff," he said. "We traveled the whole island, probably went to every store on the island and finally settled with Ashley furniture."

They decided on a red sofa and two chairs. They paid with a credit card and were told their furniture would be delivered in six to eight weeks. But early this week, Spheeris received a letter from Ashley Furniture.

"It basically said you're out of luck," Spheeris said.

The letter read in part: "...Ashley Honolulu will be unable to process the delivery of this merchandise ... Please note that McClain Auctions will be unable to assist you with any questions regarding reimbursement of credit for your deposit ... Please contact your credit card company to inform them that you have not and will not be receiving the merchandise."

Spheeris is outraged.

"I've never heard of anyone doing business like that," he said. "It's completely ridiculous."

He went with Ashley partly because it is a major company.

"When you have national backing, you really don't want to tarnish your name like this," he said.

Spheeris has only one request.

"Get me my furniture!" he said.

For the time being, the newlyweds will have to make do with their old furniture.

"We've been sitting on a worn-out futon mattress and we would like to move forward," Spheeris said.

They want to move forward, get their furniture and put all of this behind them.

Multiple calls to Ashley Furniture in Hawai'i were not returned.

But a spokesperson at Ashley headquarters on the mainland says each store is independently owned and operated. The parent company, she says, has no comment.