Successful salesman retires from furniture business

Published 5:25 pm Tuesday, July 12, 2022

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AHOSKIE – Alton Bazemore knows the ins and outs of the furniture business. But after more than 25 years of helping people purchase the perfect décor for their homes, he’s decided to retire.

Bazemore’s last day at Farmer’s Home Furniture, located on Main Street in Ahoskie, was Thursday, June 30. The store was adorned with signs thanking him for his years of service, and his coworkers put together a luncheon to celebrate.

“Right now, I’ve got mixed emotions,” he said, standing in the store’s showroom on his last day of work. “I just feel excited and sad at the same time.”

Bazemore got his start in the business when the Heilig-Meyers furniture store used to occupy the space. He’d been working for a wholesale company that shut down, and then Heilig-Meyers hired him as an outside director. A few months later, his boss asked if he’d like to work in sales instead. Bazemore said he was a bit skeptical at first, since he’d never been a salesman before, but he took the opportunity.

“It started off a struggle, but the Lord just came through,” he admitted.

That sparked a career which continued even after Heilig-Meyers closed and Farmer’s Home Furniture opened. He’s seen a lot of things change over the years, from furniture styles to technology improvements.

“I often saw retail sales as a rollercoaster,” Bazemore explained, “But that’s the economy. That’s life.”

Despite being on a “rollercoaster,” Bazemore was more often at the top than not when it came to his sales numbers. The company recognized him multiple times for being a successful salesman. Most months he was the top seller, or at least in the top five.

“He has been one of the reasons why the store has been so successful,” said Farmer’s Home Furniture Manager Connie Bazemore. “He will be greatly missed.”

Part of Alton Bazemore’s success has been from repeat customers, who’ve come back time and again because they know he’ll provide them with great service. But overall, he thinks it’s how he treats customers that has made the difference.

“When you’re selling furniture, or whatever you’re selling, you treat people like you would want to be treated. I think that has helped,” he said. “I believe you treat people right, fair, and courteous, and they’ll remember you.”

No matter how much the business has changed over the years, Bazemore said how he treats people has never wavered.

With retirement under his belt now, Bazemore said, of course, he plans to enjoy more time with his family: his wife, Diane, their two children, and one grandchild. He also plans to continue his focus on ministry. He’s served as pastor at New Holley Grove Baptist Church in Colerain for over 15 years.

“The Lord has blessed me to this point, and I’m looking to Him to direct my path on the next journey of life,” he concluded.