By Shereen Siewert

Two years after converting Furniture Plus to WG&R Express, company officials announced they will close several central Wisconsin locations including one in Wausau.

Stores in Wisconsin Rapids and Stevens Point will also shutter before the end of the year. The Wausau store is located at 1815 Stewart Ave., next to Buffalo Wild Wings and within steps of two other furniture stores.

WG&R Furniture on Friday issued a news release announcing the impending closures. The strategy behind changing from Furniture Plus to WG&R Express was parf oa deliberate effort to bring a low cost business model to smaller markets, officials said.

“Unfortunately, Express has not been as successful as our other brand concepts, so we’ve made the difficult decision to not renew our exiting leases and instead focus on growing our flagship brand,” the news release stated.

Employees in the stores targeted for closure could be offered positions at other locations within the company, officials said. The company employs about 260 people.

The closure process will begin after Labor Day.