NORWAY – A longtime Main Street business is shutting down.

Main Street Furniture and Appliances, which has been advertising liquidation prices for the past month or so at its 313 Main St. location, has posted a “store closing sign.” The bad economy is the reason, owner Chris Shorey said Tuesday.

“We’ve been at it for a couple of years and things have been bleak,” Shorey said. “We decided to close rather than duke it out.” He took over management of the store about three years ago when his father, Frank Shorey, decided to retire, and just when the national economy was heading into a recession.

Chris Shorey said sales had been down 30 to 40 percent for the past several years. “We cut where we could,” he said. The business might have continued if they had seen any hope for a turnaround, he said.

“It stopped being fun a couple of years ago,”he said. “We said, ‘Let’s move on.’ I have a new job. I’ll be OK. And Dad will retire, finally. He’s been trying to. He deserves to.” His father plans to retire in Florida in the fall.

Chris declined to name where he will be working, but he will remain in the area.

Frank Shorey bought the store more than 30 years ago from the Schiavi family, which opened it in the mid-1900s. In 2007, Chris Shorey took over the store then known as Western Auto of Norway from his father and gave it a new name and a new look. Main Street Furniture and Appliances phased out the store’s hardware and lawn and garden sections to focus on furniture, appliances and bedding.

Shorey, 44, of Norway has run into some setbacks, including a fight with the Norway-Paris Solid Waste Board over new disposal fees and regulations that he said at the time threatened to put him out of business. In February, he  pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography charges in Oxford County  Superior Court. He got a one-year suspended sentence and two years of probation.

The Shoreys own the building and will put it on the market, but Chris Shorey said he is afraid the economy will hinder the sale. “It’s likely it will not move quickly,” he said.

The merchandise will continue to be sold at significant reductions. Whatever is left at the end of the next several weeks will be auctioned off, Shorey said.

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