A look into Houston's retail past

Suniland Furniture

Suniland furniture (pronounced Sunny-land) opened in 1927, coincidentally the same year as competitor Finger Furniture. Originally Suniland operated out of a large house at the corner of Main (known as S. Main at the time) and Anita street. Opening during a boom before the Great Depression Suniland Furniture would outlast many other competitors of the time. This necessitated a new building and in 1930 the store moved a block up the street to 2817 Main. This building would serve as the headquarters, warehouse, and showroom. The new building featured six large bay window covered by awnings. Blue laws of the time required furniture stores to close on Sunday, window shopping proved to be the only option for customers wishing to browse.

The original house was demolished by the 1940s. The 1930 building managed to stick around until 2017 when it was demolished and the block redeveloped as housing. Source: 1930s Advertisement

Throughout the years Suniland’s operations would grow, with separate carpet and commercial furniture stores opening under the Suniland banner. By the 1970s Midtown Houston was falling to the same issues Downtown had faced 10 years prior. With most mid to higher income families moving to the suburbs retail was following. Sunniland announced their intentions to move to West Houston in 1974, the new store at 2800 Fondren was designed to resemble a luxurious ranch rambler home. Which were at the height of their popularity in Houston at the time. This new showroom featured fully covered walkways around the entire length of the showroom building, improving on the original window shopping design by quite a bit.

3016 Main StHouston, TX 770021927-1930 Original Store built as a house
2817 S Main St Houston, TX 770021930-1975 Replacement for original store, expanded over the years
2320 McKinney St Houston, TX 770031957-1967 Suniland Thrift Furniture Shop
3705 Westheimer Rd Houston, TX 770271958-1974? Suniland Carpet Clearence Center
2303 Main St Houston, TX 770021958-1976 Suniland Office Furniture
6702 Gulf Fwy Houston, TX 770871965-1973 Suniland Thrift/Wayside Furniture
7301 Clarewood Dr Houston, TX 770361970-1994 Wayside Furniture/Suniland Factory Outlet
7207 Wynnwood Ln Houston, TX 770081974-1990? Suniland Carpet Warehouse
2800 Fondren Rd Houston, TX 770631975-1994 Main Location became Louis Shanks
235 Farm to Market 1960 Rd W, Houston, TX 770901987-1994 Cypress Station became Louis Shanks
14023 Southwest FwySugar Land, TX 774781992-1994 Sugar Creek Store become Louis Shanks

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