Sale of building housing Pelzl’s remains in limbo
Pelzl's Do It Best Hardware and V and S Variety Store owner Don Pelzl said he's pleased with closeout sales at his longtime Tonganoxie store.
But a sale on the building itself still is in limbo.
"I've had several; nothing has worked out," Pelzl said, referring to inquiries about purchasing the business.
As for someone seeking to buy the business and continue it as a hardware/variety store, Pelzl hasn't entertained any interest in that department.
"We're going to reach a point where it's not feasible to sell it that way because it wouldn't be (feasible) to restock the store," Pelzl said about potential buyers.
In August, Pelzl announced he would be closing the doors on his business, which has been in downtown Tonganoxie -- in the 400 block of Fourth Street -- since 1979.
At that time, Pelzl, who is 70, said he planned to run the business for a few more years. But those plans changed earlier in the summer. His son has cancer, which played a role in the decision. And, he said the opening of a new Wal-Mart Supercenter in 2002 in Bonner Springs has led to a leveling off of sales, Pelzl said.
Starting today, items in the Tonganoxie store are marked down 50 percent from their original prices. Previously, items were 40 percent off.
"Actually its' been going very well," Pelzl said. "We're running out of some things, which is what we hoped to do.
"We're pretty well pleased with what's happened so far."
And, Pelzl hopes to have everything sold by the end of November.
"We're not quite sure what we're going to do with what we have at the end, but we'll face that at the end," Pelzl said. "There are several possibilities."
An auction would be one option, as would selling to people who specialize in buying out store merchandise.
Regardless of how the merchandise is sold, one thing is clear -- there will be a definite void in Tonganoxie when the store closes.
Just ask some of Pelzl's customers.
"They're all concerned that we wouldn't have any hardware stores when we're gone," Pelzl said. "People say they don't know what they'll do because they get most of the little items they need."
In the final months of the store's existence, Pelzl said he's thankful for the many purchases by numerous customers.
"We really appreciate all the customers who have been coming in and participating in the sales because it really helps us," he said.
Before entering the retail business, Don and his wife, Jeanene, taught for about 18 years in Kansas City, Kan. Both are trained musicians. Don taught music, while Jeanene taught library science.
During the first years of the family managing the Tonganoxie store, Jeanene worked at the store, but later retired for good.
Their daughter, Beth Tiner, has worked at the business full-time since the mid-1980s and has been in charge of merchandise purchasing.