Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXV, No. 23
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Coldwell Banker Princeton Office

Prudential Fox and Roach, Realtors

Gloria Nilson GMAC Real Estate

Henderson Sotheby's International Realty

N.T. Callaway Princeton Office

Stockton Real Estate, LLC

Weichert, Realtors

Advertise in Town Topics

Iris Interiors

Advertise in Town Topics

Weather Forecast

It’s New to Us by Jean Stratton

FAMILY AFFAIR: “We carry top brands of better quality offered at discounted prices. The lines we choose provide real value for the customer.” The Thompson family is proud of Rider Furniture’s longevity and fine reputation. Shown left to right are owners Bill and Sue Thompson, with their son, Bill, Jr., who has now joined the family business.

Rider Furniture on Main Street in Kingston Marks 20th Anniversary in Current Location

A 20th anniversary! A 34th anniversary! Rider Furniture at 12-14 Main Street in Kingston, is celebrating both of these milestones. In a time when many businesses are here today and gone tomorrow, this is a proud accomplishment indeed.

Customers keep coming, report owners Bill and Sue Thompson. Those new to the store will find a wonderful array of furniture and accessories, and long-time regular customers know there is always quality, value, and personal service.

“The business has really evolved,” points out Mr. Thompson, “and it keeps on growing. We give people a fair price and real customer service. We guarantee our furniture, and we do what we say we’ll do. We have built an excellent reputation, and people can count on us. We offer hundreds of manufacturers, and we discount every day. We want people to compare our quality, price, and service.”

Mr. Thompson’s knowledge of fine furniture has been acquired over many years in the furniture business. He started out early. As a boy he worked for the late Ben Rider, owner of Rider Furniture in Kingston. “Originally, the business was refinishing, repairing, and antiques, and I became interested in good furniture,” he recalls. “I bought the business in 1977, and eventually began selling reproduction furniture.”

Excellent Showcase

While he continued to enjoy the hands-on refinishing work, Mr. Thompson says that the new furniture became more of a focus. The business expanded to such a point that in 1991, it moved to the current location, a spacious building, part of which dates to 1750. It is an excellent showcase for the furniture.

Customers will find furniture and accessories of all kinds, including lamps, clocks, and a big display of framed art in all sizes. Area rugs and mattresses are also available.

A variety of sample room settings, such as dining room, bedrooms, and home offices, are situated throughout the showroom. Customers enjoy browsing, and it is helpful for them to see the possibilities for their own space.

Leather is a big item, and it is offered in sofas, chairs, and sectionals in many styles. Its durability is an attraction for many customers, and brown and burgundy are especially popular colors.

“Our Vara-Tilt leather chair with ottoman is a big favorite,” reports Mr. Thompson. It is similar to a recliner and very comfortable. It’s one of our biggest sellers, and is also available in fabric.”

“We sell a lot of sectionals, too,” adds Mrs. Thompson. “We offer especially nice upscale styles.”

Entertainment centers, particularly TV consoles for the popular wide screen TVs, home offices, as well as dining room and bedroom sets, cabinets, desks, sleep sofas, and swivel gliders continue to be in demand.

Youth Furniture

Youth furniture is another important area at the store. Sample room settings include cribs and bunk beds, desks, book cases, etc. The popular “Built to Grow” Stanley Youth Bed converts from a crib to a toddler bed to regular twin bed, notes Mr. Thompson. The bunk bed can convert to two twin beds. The Stanley line of youth furniture is discounted 50 percent throughout June.

Customized special orders is a steadily growing part of Rider’s business. It is a big trend, and there is a myriad of choices. “We have a lot of upholstered furniture, and the customer can pick from thousands of fabrics,” points out Mr. Thompson. “We have set up our porch to display all our fabric samples. You can choose whatever you want, and it’s all custom. You can even pick out the style of the arm or leg or base and back of the sofa. We have gotten more into the custom end, and it’s really popular with people.”

It is available in many areas throughout the store. For example, the the Custom Shoppe Home Office for a stylish and comfortable workspace offers choices in every area. “You can customize everything: size, hardware, with choice of knobs, color of cabinet doors, wood, and finishes. There are just so many options, and it is a fraction of the cost of what it would be to have a cabinetmaker come and do it.”

In addition, dressers and dining room tables can be customized to color and style. “The Bermex line of tables from Canada are best sellers,” reports Mr. Thompson. “You can choose the leg for the table, the style of the table edge, and the apron under the edge, as well as the color. Bermex furniture will be available at 50 percent off this month.”

A big sampling of area rugs is on display, including various sizes and patterns. “You can even take a sample rug home to see how it looks with your decor,” advises Mr. Thompson.

New to Rider is the iComfort mattress, notes Mrs. Thompson. “It has memory foam/gel, and adjusts to your body shape. It is very supportive and also extremely soft and comfortable. People love it.”

Framed Art

Also very popular is the large selection of framed art, including paintings and photography (especially black and white). “Some people come in and buy six to eight at a clip,” says Mr. Thompson. “All kinds, all sizes, and all framed. We let people take a painting or lamp home to see how it fits in their house.”

Another service Rider offers is decorating help at the customer’s home from one of the store’s on-staff decorators.

Over the years, in addition to residential work, Rider has provided furniture, including custom offices, to many institutions, including Princeton University, and local businesses.

Rider has on-going monthly sales, including its big anniversary sale this month, in addition to its regularly discounted prices. “We offer good, better, and best — something for everyone’s pocketbook,” says Mr. Thompson.

As the Thompsons point out, “We offer quality for price — real value. We also hand choose our lines and do all our own delivery. Our son, Bill, Jr., has joined the business, and is doing deliveries now. We look forward to continuing to being a furniture resource for the community. We are grateful to have had the support of so many loyal customers over the years who come from all over the area and beyond. We feel very fortunate. We have continued to grow even in an uncertain economic environment. We always try to treat people the way we want to be treated: fairly and with respect. Our quality products at reasonable prices, our great sales team, and our nice atmosphere always bring people back.”

Rider Furniture is open Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday until 5, Sunday 12 to 4. (609) 924-0147. Website:

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