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Iconic Spokane business, Huppins, sells retail store to Bellevue company

<p><p>Longtime Spokane retailer, Huppin’s, which transformed over 114 years from a tailor shop to an electronics powerhouse, is changing again with the sale of the retail store on North Division Street. </p></p><p><p>Huppin’s Life + Technology Connected, at 8016 N. Division St., has been purchased by Wipliance, a company founded in 2006 in Bellevue. </p></p><p><p>Huppin’s owner, 61-year-old Murray Huppin, said while the sale of the retail store has been completed, he will continue to run the One Call side of the business, which focuses on custom integration for retail and businesses for things such as automated lighting, window treatments, smart home features and full-audio systems.</p></p><p><p>“During COVID, we did a major transformation of the retail store,” Huppin said. “The way we saw the online business really take off, it kind of came to me: If you can buy it online, why are we selling it in the store?”</p></p><p><p>Huppin said he has for years known Wipliance owner Lee Travis and has a lot of respect for how he built his business in Bellevue.</p></p><p><p>“He is somebody I’ve gotten to know through industry associations,” Huppin said of Travis. “He runs a terrific business and is tremendously regarded and respected. And, the timing was just right.”</p></p><p><p>In a statement, Travis said the branding transformation at the store will occur over the next year. The North Division retail space is now a by-appointment design center featuring Wipliance’s family of products and services. </p></p><p><p>“We have been inspired by the Huppin’s brand and its legacy since we started our company back in 2006,” Travis said in the statement. “Our own mission statement centers around delighting clients. Huppin’s has operated with this mission in mind for the last 114 years and we are proud to be adding their team to our family.”</p></p><p><p>The ownership transfer occurred this past weekend. That store opened in 2013 after Huppin’s operated for 60 years at 421 E. Main St., in downtown Spokane.</p></p><p><p>“I’m the fourth-generation owner of our family business,” Huppin said. “We’ve operated for 114 years. I’ve always wanted to figure out how we are going to extend Huppins into the next generation.”</p></p><p><p>Huppin’s in 1994 spun off the OneCall mail-order division of the business from the retail store. That has morphed into an online business, in which OneCall has become the larger portion of the Huppin’s business.</p></p><p><p>For example, about 20 employees worked at the store but about 60 work for OneCall. Terms of the sale to Wipliance were not disclosed.</p></p><p><p>“My focus really has been on the online side of the business for the last 20 years,” Huppin said. “If we look at the beginning of my family business, my great grandfather was a tailor. We’ve had major transformations.”</p></p><p><p>The next phase will be the first without a physical store.</p></p><p><p>“I feel really positive about it,” Huppin said. “I think it’s a great opportunity.”</p></p>

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