The Times West Virginian

Business

June 8, 2014

Flu’s Store offers quality products at ‘decent price’

FAIRMONT — At Flu’s Store, LLC, customers can find quality merchandise at fair prices, and business practices that are honest.

About two weeks ago, owner Alan Fluharty opened this new business, which buys, sells and trades items, on Meadowdale Road in Fairmont. Customers can get to the store by taking Exit 139 (East Fairmont/Pricketts Creek Road) and driving 2 miles up Route 73 North.

Fluharty, a Fairmont native, lives in Catawba just half a mile from the shop. The store name comes from Fluharty’s lifelong nickname, “Flu.”

He purchases and sells tools, jewelry and furniture, including dinette, living room and bedroom sets. Appliances, such as refrigerators, washers, dryers and air conditioners, are also available.

In addition, the store features some new items in the box, such as generators and weed eaters. Toward the end of June, guns and ammunition will be for sale at the location.

Another unique feature of Flu’s Store is its separate primitives section. In addition to a variety of antiques, the special room includes handmade furniture and locally made candles, tarts and burners, and rediffusers.

“I try to spread my money locally to keep small businesses going,” Fluharty said.

He finds much of the merchandise for his shop by going to auctions or buying whole estates or the contents of storage buildings.

“My stuff is really quality. I don’t take in junk,” Fluharty said. “I’m just trying to give someone a quality piece for a decent price.”

With the costs in today’s world and the fact that many people are living on fixed incomes, Fluharty wants to help people out.

“I want to make it right for everybody, treat everyone right, and I work with my prices if I can,” he said.

He has actually been doing this work on the side for about five years. Because of this experience, Fluharty gets calls on a daily basis from people who are looking for particular pieces, which he may already have or can try to find for them. Customers also contact him to see if he wants to purchase items from them, and he can come to them for those transactions.

Also, for a small fee, Fluharty helps customers who purchase appliances or other large items from the store by offering delivery in the local area.

People in the area may remember Fluharty from when he used to own Smoke House BBQ in Fairmont. Before opening Flu’s Store, he worked at Mylan for eight years.

He decided that he would rather be self-employed than work for someone else, and he said he enjoys the freedom that comes along with owning a business and not having to punch a time clock.

“It’s all up to you whether you succeed or you fail,” he said. “It’s not depending on anyone else.”

Fluharty spent about two months completely renovating the building on Meadowdale Road, which was formerly the home of a bar. The huge project included painting; putting in new floors, lighting and doors; and installing an extensive security system.

He said his 9-year-old son, Landon, has helped him out a lot with the business and will be able to carry on the trade someday. Fluharty’s girlfriend, Amber Martin, has also played a big part in getting Flu’s Store up and running.

During its short amount of time in business, Flu’s Store has seen a lot of traffic stopping by, Fluharty said.

He already has big plans in mind for the business’ future. Next year, he intends to create a garden center and become a Bass Pro Shops distributor, and he also wants to add some storage buildings.

“There’s a lot of room to grow,” Fluharty said. “But you’ve got to crawl before you walk.”

Flu’s Store, LLC, is currently open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. The business plans to expand its hours in the future.

For more information, call 304-612-8601.

Email Jessica Borders at jborders@timeswv.com or follow her on Twitter @JBordersTWV.

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