RED WING, Minnesota (WCCO) — It’s been a staple of the Red Wing community for over a century. Josephson’s, a men’s clothing store, served its end customers on Tuesday as the current owner retires.
“Everyone comes here,” said customer Frank Voth. “He’s been there forever.”
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Alfred Josephson opened the store in 1878. They had several locations before Tom Withers and his wife Denise took over in 1992.
“They told us when we bought it that we could change the name, change whatever we wanted, and I looked at my wife and said, ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. not,'” Withers said.
After three decades of upholding Josephson’s legacy of customer service and fair pricing, the store closes and loyal customers say goodbye to a place that was more than a sale, but an experience.
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“It’s like he had a knack for when I walked in, he seemed to have a shirt and tie for me, and if he didn’t we’d come up with something,” Voth said.
To celebrate Wither’s retirement, the store held a customer appreciation event on Thursday.
“I was so humiliated by my clients that it became difficult. The first time someone brought me a plant or a card, I almost cried,” Withers said.
He says he will spend his retirement with his two children and three grandchildren. He will also celebrate his 45th wedding anniversary.
“I would like the walls to talk sometimes, because I’m sure Alfred and the fathers before Tom, they also have stories to tell about things here,” Withers said.
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A new owner bought the store and plans to reopen it this fall under a new name, but still offering similar menswear services.