A longtime Lancaster business selling wicker and rattan furniture will be closing its Manheim Township retail store but will continue to make cushions in Clay Township under a new owner.
Wicker Imports, which began at Park City in 1975, will close its retail store at 1766 Oregon Pike in mid-December, according to John Dorofee, who bought the business in 1988 and will now be retiring.
A “store closing” sale is underway, which Dorofee expects to last until Dec. 16, although he said it might end a little earlier or extend a little later based on inventory.
The 65-year-old Donofree cited some recent health problems as a factor in his decision to retire, adding that the experience of having to curtail some store operations during the pandemic made him realize he could do without it.
While the retail store will close, a growing side business selling replacement cushions will continue under employee Wendy Whitcraft, who is buying that operation for an undisclosed price. Dorofee said making and selling replacement cushions constituted about 10% of sales in 2005, but now accounts for 70% of the business.
Whitcraft will relaunch the cushion-making business in January as Cushion Crafters, operating out of commercial space at 1780 Clay Road in Clay Township. It will have a handful of employees and maintain two Wicker Imports websites where most orders originate.
While it won’t have a retail showroom, Whitcraft said customers will be encouraged to visit the Clay Road location to see products or inquire about orders.