While it may not quite be Maytag, the closing of Brown’s Shoe Fit Co. will be a significant loss to Newton. The store located at 117 First Ave. W. on the south side of the square will be leaving town on June 15.
“It’s just been rough the past few years,” Brown’s owner/manager Doug Woodford said. “Brown’s has always tried to be very loyal to communities and we’ve had a great run here, I mean for years and years this was a top store in our company. The commitment was still there and just through a different chain of events it was time for us to move on.”
Brown’s is currently based in 12 Midwestern states and has nearly 80 locations. Brown’s has been in Newton for nearly 60 years and had been at its current location on the square since 1998.
Woodford said the Grinnell, Pella and newly opened Ankeny stores could provide the same quality service customers have come to expect from the Newton location.
Before the store closes, it will have sales and marked down prices on every item in stock. Woodford said that one employee will be retiring after the closure and another will transfer as a part of the assistant manager training program. Woodford accepted a promotion to take over a store in McPherson, Kan.
“For a number of people, it will be a loss. They have shopped here since they were little kids and have been very loyal,” Woodford said. “For those people, it will probably be a tough transition.”
Woodford said customers have reacted differently, but mostly seemed saddened by the closure.
“Mostly coming in and saying how they are going to miss us and telling us different stories about how they shopped here when they were kids and things (like that),” Woodford said.
Woodford posted a final message to the community on Brown’s Facebook page, but wanted to issue another one.
“I just want to thank the community for welcoming my wife and myself,” Woodford said. “Really taking us in and being a part of the church community and all you guys at the paper were great. Basically everyone just welcomed us with open arms and it’s because of you that we are getting another opportunity.”
Staff writer Ty Rushing may be contacted at (641) 792-3121, ext. 426, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.