The Spokesman-Review


DirectBuy’s Spokane showroom has closed

WEDNESDAY, MAY 11, 2011, 5:57 P.M.

Company seeks new location for Spokane-area members

The Spokane showroom of DirectBuy, a nationwide, members-only shopping club, closed this week.

A spokeswoman at DirectBuy’s Indiana headquarters, however, said the company is trying to find a new showroom for Spokane-area members.

Company spokeswoman Sara Butler said DirectBuy is looking for another Spokane location to open a showroom. It’s also looking for another franchisee to run the business.

The previous Spokane franchisee was not identified in an email the company sent to its roughly 2,300 Spokane-area members.

DirectBuy has about 130 stores in North America, which sell discounts on furniture and household items. People join by paying between $3,000 and $6,000 for memberships that vary from two to three years, and then pay renewal fees when the terms expire. In return, DirectBuy offers members chances to buy products from several hundred manufacturers at discount-club prices.

Butler said DirectBuy could decide to open a corporate-run store in Spokane if the company finds a new building but not a new franchisee.

“We think the Spokane market is a very good one,” she said.

The Spokane franchise opened in December 2003 and operated in a showroom at 10102 E. Knox in Spokane Valley.

As the economy declined, the number of DirectBuy showrooms shutting down has increased, according to national news reports.

Butler said until a new showroom opens, Spokane members can visit the nearest DirectBuy showroom in the Tri-Cities. Or they can use the company shopping site, which includes live “shopping agents” who will assist in product research and selection.

All previously ordered purchases will be delivered through another company DirectBuy has arranged to serve as its “receiving partner,” according to Butler.

Butler wouldn’t say whether DirectBuy members have the option of gaining a refund for cancelling membership.

She said, instead, that members with concerns can call the company’s (800) 827-6400 number or email memberrelations@directbuy.com.



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