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Interior of Locker Room while sharing floor space with Griffith Furniture (December 28, 2020). Photo: My Ferndale News

Ferndale businesses turn to sharing space to survive challenges during COVID-19 pandemic

FERNDALE, Wash. — A couple Ferndale area businesses, faced with different challenges due to current market conditions and government reactions to the COVID-19 pandemic, have turned to opening parts of their business facilities to other businesses to create what is hoped to be mutually beneficial arrangements.

Locker Room Co-Owner Jake Locker said they have faced government health emergency mandates to close their indoor fitness facility off and on since March this year. At best, they have been able to occasionally operate the gym at reduced capacity and provide fitness classes online.

Back in mid-November, Governor Inslee announced new business guidelines that included gyms having to shut their doors again and that order has remained in place to-date. At the time, officials with the Locker Room posted on their Facebook page that announcement held “potential devastating effects to our business and community” and they were going to work to persevere by continuing to sell smoothies, apparel and exercise equipment.

Locker said long-time friend and Griffith Furniture Owner John Griffith contacted him with an idea that might help the Locker Room endure yet another business closure order. Griffith suggested making space within the Locker Room facility, located at 1859 Main Street, Suite 103, to display furniture from Griffith’s Furniture, located in Bellingham, for retail sale and Locker Room would earn a commission for each item sold. Retail stores are currently not facing the same requirement to close as are indoor athletic facilities so while the space could not be open for gym purposes, it could remain open as a retail showroom.

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Locker said he liked and appreciated Griffith’s idea and began temporarily selling furniture from Griffith Furniture out of his facility. According to the Griffith Furniture website, the Ferndale location is stocked with “reclining sofas, stationary sofas, coffee and end tables, bar stools, recliners, bedroom furniture, mattresses from Sealy, Beautyrest and King Koil, wood rocking chairs, tv consoles.” John Griffith said they were not sure how long it would be needed but it was simply a case of 2 local businesses helping each other out.

Locker said they are also selling new and used cardio vascular workout exercise equipment including elliptical machines, stair steppers and treadmills.

Interior of Locker Room while sharing floor space with Griffith Furniture (December 28, 2020). Photo: My Ferndale News
Griffith Furniture inventory on display inside the Locker Room (December 28, 2020). Photo: My Ferndale News

Another Ferndale business, Dakota Creek Guns & Outfitting at 5060 Pacific Highway, Suite 14, is now sharing space with another business.

Dakota Creek Owner Jeff Gunter has been able to remain open but is in an industry faced with inventory shortages. According to national reports, demand for firearms spiked this year. While increased demand should be good news, manufacturers haven’t been able to keep up, especially with COVID-19 mandates impacting supply chains. As a result, gun stores, including Gunter’s, have been reporting smaller inventories to sell from.

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This presented an opportunity to share what otherwise would be empty shelf space with Forgotten Treasures & Antiques. According to the Dakota Creek Facebook page, this introduced “man cave stuff and antiques” to their showroom.

Gunter was unavailable to be interviewed for this story.

Forgotten Treasures sign displayed at Dakota Creek Guns & Outfitting (November 20, 2020). Photo courtesy of Dakota Creek Guns & Outfitting
Forgotten Treasures sign displayed at Dakota Creek Guns & Outfitting (November 20, 2020). Photo courtesy of Dakota Creek Guns & Outfitting

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