It has been difficult to close the store, but Peggy Bieber, the owner, told me it has been gratifying to hear customers stop in and tell her how important it has been in their lives.
The store opened more than 21 years ago as the Little Professor Bookstore and has been a haven for book lovers ever since. The competition from big box retailers, Amazon.com and ebooks has been too much for many small independent bookstores, including Chapter 1, to overcome.
Originally, Bieber thought the store's going-out-of-business sale would last until mid-May, but her most of her merchandise sold quickly.
The shelves have been purchased by the Alexander Mitchell Public Library.
Bieber said she will not miss her 50-mile commute from Leola to Aberdeen every day and is looking forward to having a summer off for the first time in decades. She won't be retired, however. She is going to do all the office work for the family cattle ranch.
There is a new temporary store in the Lakewood Mall called the Garden Party. Owned by Janet Anderson, the store offers decorative garden items, such as statues, birdbaths, bird feeders, sun catchers, rain gauges and other items.
"Anything to add flair to a garden," Anderson said.
The store is an extension of the Hallmark store in the mall and will be open until May 31.
It is managed by Jill Cutler and Diane Ligtenberg.
While the Garden Party does not sell seeds or plants, those will be available in the Lakewood Mall parking lot. A temporary greenhouse has been erected in the south lot. It is expected to open soon, said Brandon Christiansen, mall manager.
Herberger's will open early today and Saturday for its Community Days. The business furnishes coupon books to nonprofit groups, which sell them for $5 each. The groups get to keep 100 percent of the sales.
The promotion is done twice a year and raises about $8,000 annually for about 30 nonprofit groups, said Stuart Lonning, Herberger's manager.
Those who would like a coupon booklet can buy one at the door from representatives of several nonprofits. Store hours are from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. today and from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday.
Herberger's staff has also been selling coupon books with that money split between nonprofit groups.
It has been a couple of months since JC Penney started its new fair, square pricing strategy and it has been working well, said Curtis Clifton, manager.
The company has gone toward an everyday low price model rather than relying on sales and coupons.
It is still an education process for customers who have not been to the store recently, but the regulars like that they don't have to wait for a item to go on sale to get great prices, Clifton said.
The store still has sales on the first and third Fridays of the month, which it calls Best Pricing markdowns.
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