Bernie & Phyl’s to open first store in Maine

Light House in South Portland

Home Furnishings Association member Bernie & Phyl’s will expand its footprint farther north, opening its first furniture store in Maine later this spring.

The company is taking over a former Toys R Us space across from the Maine Mall in South Portland. The move into the 42,000-square-foot store follows a similar trend among other furniture retailers eager to take on store fronts vacated by legacyretailers consolidating or closing altogether.

Company CEO Larry Rubin said the store in Newington, N.H., which borders Maine, draws a lot of customers from its neighboring state, indicating it was time to push north.

The company purchased the former Toys R Us store for $7.7 million, according to Rubin. He said the store will hire about 25 employees.

Rubin said that the company expects the store – scheduled to open over the Memorial Day weekend – to generate about $15 million in annual sales, helping to increase the company’s total annual sales to $150 million after about a year in operation.

The South Portland store will feature Bernie & Phyl’s primarily mid-priced assortment from lines such as Klaussner, England, Ashley, Tempur Sealy International and Southern Motion.