The Long’s goodbye
West Side bedding store to relocate to the UES in 2020
By Jason Cohen
After more than a century as a fixture in the Upper West Side, Long’s Bedding will be closing at the end of the year and relocating to the east side.
In April, the store put a sign out front saying it will remain at 121 West 72nd Street through the end of 2019, and move to 1220 Third Avenue off the corner of East 70th Street next year.
This four generation family business began in 1911 as a small factory in Harlem by Max Long. The first retail store opened at 153 West 72nd in 1936 by Harry Long. Harry moved the store down the block to 121 in 1962, where it is today. Bob (third) generation is still on his first job since 1963. Bob’s wife, Judie, started in 1983. Their daughter, Terri (fourth generation), came into the business in 1997. Terri operates the store today, with her parents in active supporting roles.
Terri Long told the West Side Spirit that moving from the west to the east side was one of the toughest choices she ever had to make.
“We had wanted to stay and we tried to stay” she said. “We just couldn’t come to terms with our current landlord. It wasn’t a decision that we took lightly.”
With high rent and online retail, remaining open on the West Side simply wasn’t sustainable anymore, she said. Long noted that she and her family came to this realization about a year ago.
According to Long, finding a new space was a challenge. They needed a place that was accessible, close to their clientele and large enough for all of their beds. The East Side location is all of that and it is 1,000 feet bigger.
“We wanted to stay as close to our customer base as we could,” she said. “We have always prided ourselves on showing a wide selection of beds. The East Side I hope will be a space that will be inviting and accepting to all.”
Reflecting back on the 108 years of being in business, Long credited their success to the service to the customers and accessibility. Someone from her family is always there to help customers and this has led to the majority of their sales being done by word of mouth.
Long noted that they do not advertise or carry the three big “S” brands, Sealey’s, Serta and Simmons. Instead, Long’s Bedding offers a wide selection of beds from boutique mattress companies from throughout the country.
Over the years, Long’s has become a hotspot for celebrities as well. The wall of the store is filled with photos of famous people, including Mandy Patinkin, Paul Simon and John Lennon.
“We’ve worked hard to provide a level of service, selection and quality that I think is unmatchable in this industry,” Long remarked.
Long recalled how she used to love coming to work with her dad as a child. She wrote fake invoices and adored seeing him do his job.
She worked briefly for a couple years at a few different places, but then came home to work with her family.
“I’ve been here longer than I’ve not been here,” Long said.
While the move is eight months away, she is filled with mixed emotions.
“When I think about the actual physical move it’s overwhelming,” she said. “The East Side space will be a fresh, new, mindful, well thought out experience and space. I hope that the West Side follows us to and decides to take the journey with us.”
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