Eye on KELOLAND: Family and the furniture business

Eye on KELOLAND

A new furniture store option is coming to northeastern KELOLAND, but the names behind it will probably sound familiar to you.

The Malchow family name goes way back in the Aberdeen business community.

Mark Malchow’s grandfather Bud started Malchow’s Home Furnishings back in 1945.

“My dad came back in the late 60s as a second-generation business owner, and then I joined my dad about 20 years ago as a third-generation,” Malchow’s Home Furnishings President Mark Malchow said.

In October of last year a fire destroyed the building on the city’s Main Street and its inventory.

“I was definitely devastated with that at the time. Your family business and tradition is all of a sudden up in flames, per se. But the unique part about that is my dad turned to me that evening and said, ‘Mark, you’re going to have a lot of opportunities come your way,'” Malchow said.

Mark’s father Tom was right.

Montgomery’s president Eric Sinclair called Mark.

“Immediately my reaction was devastation, and I wanted to call Mark and just let him know that we could do anything he needed us to do to help him,” Montgomery’s President Eric Sinclair said.

“I remember Eric just saying, ‘Don’t need to talk, but if there’s anything you need we can help you with, just call,'” Malchow said.

Weeks later, the pair talked again.

“He called back again and said, ‘What if, what if we would partner together in Aberdeen,'” Malchow said.

“Just from knowing the family so well, I know how our cultures are very similar and how Mark and Tom are very similar to my father Clark and myself as far as how we operate our businesses, how we interact with others, and I just thought it could be possible,” Sinclair said.

Much like Mark, Eric comes from generations of experience in the furniture business.

“Montgomery’s started in 1888 in Dakota Territory in Alexandria, South Dakota. One of my distant relatives, he was a wood worker and he built caskets and furniture on a little Main Street business,” Sinclair said.

Today Eric’s family operates Montgomery’s stores in Sioux Falls, Watertown, and Madison.

Eric describes the store coming to Aberdeen as a “full fledged” Montgomery’s with furniture, mattresses, lighting, flooring, and window treatments.

The new store will be located at the former Office Max location. It’s just between Target and Walmart.

“This is really two longstanding furniture families, both in eastern South Dakota with almost 200 years of experience, coming together and working to create great, long lasting business here in Aberdeen,” Sinclair said.

Mark’s role with Montgomery’s will be managing partner.

“The main reason I joined my dad about 20 years ago is I loved working with people. I love helping people find the piece of furniture or the carpet that they want, but at the end of the day I really just enjoy interacting with people. This business is a people business,” Malchow said.

A Tom Malchow retirement sale will begin August 27th in the Office Max location.

An expansion of the building will also be underway.

The grand opening of Montgomery’s in Aberdeen is set for the first quarter of next year.

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