Harlem Furniture is steeped in history. Named Harlem Furniture because of its flagship location on Harlem Avenue, the company was founded by Sam Berman in 1912 in downtown Chicago, where he sold furniture door-to-door. The retailer sells furniture by the room at a discount and operates nearly 25 retail stores, primarily in Illinois, under The RoomPlace banner. Private equity firms Pouschine Cook Capital Management, Bear Growth Capital Partners, and Mercantile Capital bought a controlling stake in Harlem Furniture in 2005. The move eventually spurred a change in the executive suite. In November 2009, founder Berman's grandson, Bruce, left as president and CEO; he remains on the board and as a shareholder.