The economic downturn is hitting local stores especially hard. Saddest among those affected are the decades-old establishments suddenly facing bankruptcy or liquidation. Recent news affects numerous local stores with particularly long histories:
- 1868: that's when long Strouse's department store in Evansville, Ind., first opened, and the family-run business has been run by the founder's great-grandson for the past 47 years. But Strouse's is beginning liquidation this month and closing around the end of the year.
- Across the border in Ohio, Holcomb's KnowPlace is ending a 137-year-run and closing its last 10 locations. The chain has been slowly closing locations all year.
- 89 years: that's how long Hunter Furniture in Birmingham has been open. But current owner Bob Hunter is closing up shop with a final sale starting next week. Hunter cites a combination of factors in the decision to close.
- Compared to the stores above, 1977 sounds like yesterday. But 32 years is a long time for a hometown hardware store to thrive, so in Milwaukee, residents of Edgar are stung that Hardware Hank hasn't found a buyer and is planning on closing.