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J. Taylor Hogan store closing after five decades
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J. Taylor Hogan store closing after five decades

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Linwood “Bert” Butler is ready to call it a career and close J. Taylor Hogan Inc.

Butler, 59, who owns the shop at 308 Libbie Ave. in Richmond’s West End, said he plans to clear the merchandise in the next two months as his lease expires.

He said he store’s inventory — china, crystal, silverware, figurines, furniture and other gifts and collectibles — is marked 40 percent off.

The company’s interior design business will continue under the Hogan name, with designer Jan Sappenfield operating from a business space yet to be determined.

Butler, speaking by phone from his Florida residence, said he will remain a partner in the design business, returning to his Richmond home at times to assist.

He said he considered selling the gift shop business or investing further in it, “but those didn’t seem to be the best options. I decided to close while we’re ahead of the game.”

J. Taylor Hogan has its roots in The Furniture Studio, a shop that opened at 11 E. Grace St. in 1952. It has operated under the current name at its Libbie Avenue address since 1958.

Butler has been with the company 36 years, he said, first as an employee, then as business partner with the company’s founder and namesake, who died in 2011.

The shop has 11 part-time employees.

“We have a great staff,” Butler said. “They really know what they’re doing. They have served our customers well and the customers have come back to us, some of them for generations.

“We decided to go ahead and put things on sale for the holidays so people could find great bargains for gifts and for themselves,” he said. “We really want to empty the building.”

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