May 7, 2007
Wisconsin’s independent retailers work hard to surviveBy Barry AdamsWisconsin State Journal

WATERTOWN – The zipper was just 2 years old when Eli Fischer and a partner opened a clothing store on the west bank of the Rock River.

Now, after 112 years in this city’s downtown, Fischer’s Department Store is closing.

The store, believed to be the last family-owned department store in Wisconsin, is where confirmation students bought their first suits, high school students picked up gym uniforms and grooms rented tuxedos.

Over the last five years, it also has been a hub of creativity in an effort to fight off the end of a retail era. The clothing line was changed to more high-end products, an Internet retail Web site was created, the building was sold and floor space reduced from 15,000 to 3,000 square feet.

But the moves came at a time when most shopping for clothes is done at big-box retailers in Madison, Milwaukee and nearby Johnson Creek, and years after the departure of other downtown clothing stores like J.C. Penney, Kline’s, Kern’s and Krier’s Store for Men.

“It’s probably more sweet than bitter,” said Eli Fischer’s great-grandson, Todd Fischer, 40, the store’s general manager. “We look at what a great opportunity we had rather than the discouragement at the end.”

Read complete article.

Social Connections

Gift Shop Plus Spring 2024 has arrived, and it couldn't be a more gorgeous issue! 🌷 Cover to cover, this edition is packed with the latest trends to help guide business as you begin to think about the next buying cycle in just a few months. "Radiance, Redefined" (page 54) introduces four jewelry makers, unveiling the freshest trends in the market. To learn which eco-conscious companies are launching collections that positively impact the planet, flip to "Green-Living Essentials" on page 62. We're also thrilled to introduce a new category for us at the magazine: Sports & Tailgating. Head to page 66 to read about products that will elevate the tailgating experience and learn how to merchandise for the NFL's budding demographic. Also in this issue is our Stationery Lookbook, Halloween & Fall Décor feature and dozens of the freshest product offerings. Read our Spring 2024 issue here:📸 courtesy of Océanne. ... See MoreSee Less
View on Facebook
Gift Shop Plus Spring 2024 cover
Get one year of Gift Shop Plus in both print and digital editions for just $16.

Interested in reading the print edition of Gift Shop Plus?

Subscribe Today »

website development by deyo designs