Written by David Castellon
There are no “Going out of business” or “Everything must go” signs lining the walls of Wholesale Appliance Depot in north Fresno, but by the end of the year the business will be gone.
The signs for a big, final sale may go up before that, said Jim Malkasian, who co-owns the business with his brother.
Business has been good selling new but scratched-and-dented ovens, washers, dryers, refrigerators and other appliances to the public.
Why close down a successful business? It’s not his choice, said Malkasian, explaining that his landlord has sold the 30,000-square-foot building at 5577 N. Blackstone Ave. that he and his brother have leased for a dozen years, and the new owner will take over the building Jan. 1, 2020, the day after his lease runs out.
Malkasian said the building was purchased by entrepreneur Ken Sarachan, owner of Rasputin’s Music & Movies, the largest independent chain of record stores in the Bay Area.
The Berkeley-based business, which specializes in selling CDs, vinyl records and DVDs, also has stores in Stockton, Modesto and Fresno, the latter a stone’s throw away from Appliance Depot.
No record of the sale has yet been processed by Fresno County, but property sales in the county are backed up and can take weeks to process.
It’s not clear if Sarachan plans to move the existing Fresno Rasputin’s store to the larger building or if the newly-purchased building will have anything to do with the record and movie store chain.
Repeated calls to Sarachan to inquire about his plans for the newly-purchased site — which before becoming an appliance store was a Copeland’s Sports store — weren’t returned, and a broker involved in the sale declined to discuss those plans.
For his part, Sarachan’s Mad Monk Holdings, LLC, recently snapped up another San Joaquin Valley property. The corporation purchased a former OSH site in Modesto earlier this year, reported The Modesto Bee.
As for the appliance store, Malkasian said once the lease ends, so will the business, as he and his brother don’t intend to reopen elsewhere.
“Why aren’t we going to open up another store? Probably because we don’t want to have to start over again. It’s tough to start over again, moving a business,” he said. “I’ve got other things to do.”