Custom Futons in Dubuque to close store, focus sales online - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Custom Futons in Dubuque to close store, focus sales online

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Many small business owners across eastern Iowa use the Internet as a way to expand their product.

But the Internet has prompted one family-owned eastern Iowa business to give up on the traditional storefront altogether to focus on Internet sales.

Andy Parker and his wife started Custom Futons in Dubuque in 2006. Parker said in the past couple of years he has noticed his storefront business has plateaued.

"What we see moving forward and what we have seen from the past two years is a steady increase in online business." Parker said Thursday.

Parker said he thinks Custom Futons is such a generic name that it is easy to find online.

"So we have been drop-shipping custom-sized mattresses right to our customers' front doors as far as Florida, Texas, and I've even sent a couple to Alaska," Parker said.

He said earlier this year he decided it was time to close up the storefront and move the business online.

"It's where the most promise is for us in our business right now," Parker said. "The overhead to run a storefront is becoming not very cost-effective for us, and for what we can run a business online, it just becomes a pretty smart decision to convert our store to an online store."

Custom Futons is currently holding a store closing sale.

Parker said once the store is cleared out they will close up the storefront. He said he believes that will be before June.

Betty Jane Candies is another family-owned business in Dubuque. Betty Jane Candies has multiple store locations in Dubuque and Cedar Rapids. But owners say they use the Internet to sell their products to a larger market.

"We ship anywhere in the U.S.," president of Betty Jane Candies, Drew Siegert, said. "Sometimes it is difficult to deal with the hotter states, but there are ways around that with ice packs and expedited shipping."

Siegert said this time of year is a very busy time for the company -- both in store and online.

"We are averaging about 30-50 orders a day online," Siegert said.

Siegert said Betty Jane Candies have been shipped to every state.

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