Who will come to the aid of the Insta-famous looted blue sofa?
Durban, KwaZulu-Natal (26 July 2021) – A Durban furniture store is getting closer to recovering its notorious blue sofa, which was stolen during the recent riots when its showroom was ransacked.
The San Pablo Corner Sofa, a genuine leather sectional with “elegantly sloped armrests and supporting headrests,” is at an area near Quarry Road in Durban, according to social media tips received after Leather Gallery’s call for aid with information on the couch’s whereabouts.
The missing blue sofa gained notoriety after Leather Gallery placed an appeal on Instagram for help locating the “beloved” sofa which is now “stranded in the cold.”
Social media users answered quickly, with the majority providing the exact location.
— 👀 (@Miss_Zoe101) July 13, 2021
According to Leather Gallery owner Greg Parry, the response from customers and the community regarding the location of some of the stolen merchandise from the Leather Gallery Springfield showroom has been overwhelming.
“We are in the process of investigating the information received from many individuals,” Parry noted.
“We have taken every tipoff into consideration and are compiling the many reports we received from the public about where some of our furniture could potentially be located.”
When the blue couch, which starts at R67,999, was photographed at an informal settlement hours after it was taken from the Springfield showroom during the Durban riots, it became the subject of a meme which went “viral”.
It’s now up to Leather Gallery to figure out how to get the Insta-famous piece of furniture back.
“We want to take all of the necessary precautions as we understand that the situation is still potentially dangerous and can become volatile at any moment,” Parry added.
“We would love to retrieve as much of our looted stock as possible,” he continued.
“However, along with the safety of our customers, our employees’ safety is extremely important to us, and we would never want to put them in a potentially dangerous environment.”
Meanwhile, he expressed his sincere sadness for the riots, looting, and arson which has caused so much loss and ruin.
“We are extremely fortunate that our warehouses were heavily guarded and so were not affected,” he said.
“Additionally, 10 of our 11 stores were protected by security, police, communities and our own management and owners and so were not affected by the violent looting.”
He went on to say, “Unfortunately, as many people are now aware, Springfield Value Center was severely looted and burnt down. We are heartbroken that our flagship Leather Gallery showroom [there] was completely looted and the building completely burnt as a result of the arsonists.”