BY JENNIFER BAILEY
At one time downtown there was a plethora of stores where shoppers could buy men’s clothing — Sears, J.C. Penney, Meis Brothers, Deutsch Brothers and Montgomery Ward.
One by one they left, or moved “uptown,” but Mag’s Men’s Wear, 55 N. Vermilion St., remained.
In the next few weeks, however, Mag’s will close up shop. Owner Gene Schroeder, 80, said it is the right time to close the store.
He said he thought he was old enough now and “better hang it up.”
The name for the store came from initial owner Clarence Maggart.
The store, Mag’s Wear-Haus, was located in the 700 block of North Vermilion Street since the late 1970s. It moved downtown a few years later.
Schroeder had worked 30 years with Barrick and Son Funeral Home prior to getting involved with the store in the 1980s with his then wife, Sally. Schroeder became full time around 1997.
“I’ve been here ever since,” Schroeder said. “Downtown has changed considerably.”
Schroeder said there just isn’t the foot traffic like there used to be downtown.
Schroeder said he’s appreciated his regular customers and others who’ve stopped in during the years. He’s continued to carry various styles and sizes of clothing.
Schroeder said he loved meeting with customers and “giving someone that personal service. I enjoyed that.”
He’s not sure how soon he’ll close the business, but it likely will be in a few weeks, in early August.
He’s selling his remaining merchandise, which includes suits, sport coats and slacks, shirts, jackets, ties, belts, shorts, sweaters and other items, in addition to the racks, forms and other store fixtures.
Schroeder, who also owns the building, said he’s had interest expressed in the space. The future for the building is unknown right now.
“It’ll be a change,” Schroeder said about not going into the store each day.
He’ll continue his involvement with the Vermilion Festival Chorus.
Hours for the Store Closing Sale are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.
Downtown Danville, Inc. executive director Dana Schaumburg said Mag’s Men’s Wear is a long-standing business in the downtown and Schroeder has been a big contributor to the downtown.
He’s been a constant in the downtown as it’s seen a lot of changeover, Schaumburg said.
“We’re sad to see it go,” she added.
Schaumburg said that space is a “great retail space,” and she doesn’t think it will be an empty storefront for long.