RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The year was 1967 and Park Avenue in Rutherford was bustling with commerce when Ed Lanni's father relocated his appliance store from Jersey City.
"My father had a store in Jersey City called Ferris House Bazaar and he moved it to Rutherford," said Ed Lanni, who announced he is closing the beloved family appliance store at the end of March.
Ed and his older brother took over the store from their father a year later and ran it together until 1988.
"My brother died of cancer. Then I was on my own," Ed said.
Having great employees was a key to his success, he said, adding much of staff has been with him over 20 years.
"It's always about customer service."
The father of three daughters and grandfather of eight from River Edge saw a lot of changes in the more than five decades he's been in business.
"Credit cards, that's one of the one biggest changes. Everyone used to pay cash and came in every week to pay on their account," he said.
The big box stores were the big game changer.
"The big boxes, they were a killer. But we joined a buying group and could get the prices," he said.
What he regrets the most, however, is how people won't be serviced the way they should.
"This is a family atmosphere here. That's what I feel sad about."
He knows he's serviced generations of families.
"I was trying to think if we made four generations in one family, but I think three is as high as it goes."
"This town has been wonderful. I will miss everyone here. The police, churches, schools...everyone," he added.
Although he had the business up for sale, there were no suitable offers.
"This is not the kind of business you can just jump into," he said.
Lanni said he's not sure what he will do next.
"I'm not retiring," he said.
Everything in the store and warehouse is being liquidated.
For more information see Lanni's website or call 201-933-0655.
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