It seems as if everything has changed in the furniture industry. The recession has hit furniture stores harder than most others. That's why I was especially interested in Gabberts' warehouse sale, which starts today (Friday, Dec. 3) at noon.

I got a sneak peek yesterday. The amount of sale merchandise seems a little smaller than than the sales in the former warehouse in Edina on Cahill Rd, but one store rep said that it's about the same, $3 million worth. 

To give an idea of the size of the sale, I counted about 15 sectionals for sale, 25 dining tables and scores of leather chairs and sofas. Leather chairs ranged in price from about $900 to $1,300 and leather sofas from $1,487 to $1,700. Brand names included Bernhardt, Southern, Bradington, and Hooker.

The Stickley selection near the back is excellent--sofas, chairs, rockers, bed frames, chests and accent pieces. A Stickley Argyle Gathering Table was $1,147, regularly $2,083, an excellent deal for a finely-crafted table.

Disappointments included a small number of rugs and art pieces at modest discounts. The art reminded me of an old Dayton's warehouse sale where a local frame shop would bring in over-priced art just for the sale.

Here are the details: Gabberts' warehouse sale (new location -- former Rum River Lumber building, 10141 Woodcrest Dr., Coon Rapids, 952-927-1500, includes merchandise discounted up to 70 percent. Besides plenty of upholstered and leather furniture and case goods, there are mattresses and accessories, said marketing manager Peggy Jennings. Gabberts' previous warehouse sale was in 2008, not counting the sale in the soon-to-be Dock 86 space last year. (That was mostly furniture from Hom, which purchased Gabberts in 2008.) Hours are from noon to 8 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Items will be added daily. Delivery fees in the metro area are $89 to $199 (free for mattresses more than $999).