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Ramsey’s Furniture readies for end of an era

This story was co-written by news editor, Evan Newton.

For the past 105 years, Ramsey’s Furniture has been a staple in Newton County. Now, as of this week, the four-generation, family-owned and operated business announced it is readying for the end of an era. 

In a press release shared by the company on Tuesday, Becky Ramsey and Tony Ramsey shared their gratitude for the Covington community that their family has served for over a century. 

“Ramsey’s Furniture has always put our patrons first. We are a community-minded business and pride ourselves on our integrity and personalized customer service,” Becky and Tony said via a press release. “As we prepare for our final days in business, we want to express our deep gratitude to our dedicated staff and the generations of patrons who have supported us loyally for over a century.”

When asked why the store is closing now, Becky told The Covington News that it was not as simple as one particular reason.

“There were a number of factors,” Becky said. “Tony and I have come to the decision that it’s best for the family and for the business to close at this time.”

Becky said that the plan is currently to figure out how to distribute the inventory first and that more decisions will be made “as the time goes on.”

A plan to distribute that inventory has already been set in motion. 

The store began its liquidation sale on Feb. 22 and will continue until further notice. The store will then permanently shut down when the liquidation sale is complete.

At 1145 Clark Street in Covington, the 30,000-square-foot building offers a selection of home furnishings, which includes one of the largest selections of La-Z-Boy furniture in Georgia. 

In the liquidation sale, discounts will be offered up to 65 percent off all accessories in addition to selling Heirloom rugs and Howard Miller floor clocks. 

This has gone hand-in-hand with the stores’ 105th anniversary sale. Becky said that there were various options presented to them on how to close the store, but decided to ask another furniture company, PFP, to bring in its inventory and have its anniversary sale.

So far so good, according to Becky.

“We have signed a contract with them. And the sale’s going extremely well. But it really has just started,” Becky said. “I’m amazed how quickly it is moving.” 

The aim is to remove all the inventory.

Ramsey’s Furniture was first established in 1919 by Coe David Ramsey Sr. The business would continue to run through four generations of the Ramsey family, with the late husband of Becky, Sam Ramsey, taking over the business after graduating with a business degree and serving three years in the U.S. Air Force.

In 1997, Sam brought in his cousin Tony to help run the family business.

Severe economic factors such as The Great Depression, the 2008 recession and the COVID-19 pandemic all affected the business over its long tenure. But through it all, they persevered.

Becky looked back fondly on the hard times the Ramsey family had to go through to maintain the livelihood of the business.

“Looking back over the corporate minutes of the business, it’s amazing what people before us have done to run this business and to keep it going,” Becky said. “There’ve been terrible, terrible times. And people in the family had to really step up.” 

Becky shared that Sam and the family’s commitment to stepping up carried over to more than just the furniture business. 

“Try to be kind. There’s more to life than just making money. We try to help people. Sam really…that was top of the line with him,” Becky said. “Toward the end of his life, he became very interested in the homeless shelter with Rev. Clara Lett and was very instrumental, I think, in helping them at times. When he was mayor, he was in a position to do some things, too, to help people.”

Sam also served as the mayor of Covington from 1988 to 2008. Becky is the organist at the First United Methodist Church and Salem Campground. 

According to Tuesday’s press release, the Ramsey family has also given support to the Salem Campground, Kiwanis Club charity and various churches in Covington. 

Ramsey’s Furniture has garnered recognition throughout its history, too.

Since 2018, Ramsey’s Furniture has been voted Best Furniture Store by The Covington News. Sam was also featured in The News’ 2021 Men of Newton magazine. Ramsey’s Furniture was featured as a Community Cornerstone in The News’ 2023 Newcomer’s Guide as well. 

Despite the ending of an era, Becky said that the Ramsey family is grateful for the loyalty that the community has provided her family. 

When asked how she felt, Becky summed up with two words, “Profound gratitude.”

Becky hopes that going forward, the customers that supported the Ramsey family will continue to support others in the community as much as they supported them.

“If it hadn’t been for our customers, we couldn’t have stayed in business. But they have been loyal and we appreciate that tremendously,” Becky said “I know that they will continue to support this community. “

“There are deep roots here with many of the families and a few coming in that have fresh potential, fresh insights. And I think that combination is going to be excellent.”