10:20 a.m. UPDATE:
This is the letter from Mike Simon to his customers:
My father, Sol, who was a founding partner when the original Merra-Lee Shop opened 82 years ago, taught me to face facts and look to the future. The fact is our retail businesses at the corner of State and Third streets are no longer profitable. As landlord as well as merchant, I realize the Merra-Lee Shops need to close.
The Merra-Lee Shops, including , , , and will be closed Friday through Tuesday to reduce prices and prepare for The Merra-Lee Shops Going Out of Business Sales starting Wednesday, Nov. 16. We have more than $1 million invested in fall and winter inventory that must be liquidated. Please shop early while selections are at their peak.
Starting Wednesday at 9 a.m. sharp, you can save up to 50 percent or more on all the clothes, accesories and shoes you count on from us. Each of the shops is participatiing, and all inventory is included (except breast prosthesis products.)
We are having several store hours during the first week of sales:
- 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 16
- 10 a.m. to 7 .m. Thursday and Friday, Nov. 17 and 18
- 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 19
- 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 20
Many of you know I am also co-owner or The Little Traveler, our unique 36-room store in a Victorian house. The Little Traveler is a cornerstone of Geneva's shopping community, and I will focus my energy to making it even better.
The world changes, and while this marks the end of the Merra-Lee Shops, my commitment to Geneva runs deep. Once the Going Out of Business Sales are over, we will be redeveloping our property on South Third Street to strengthen our downtown.
Thank you to the many customers and employees who are all such a big part of the Merra-Lee family. We've made countless friends for which we are so very grateful. I will continue to do everything I can to merit your continued confidence.
9:30 a.m.—A Chamber of Commerce e-blast has just announced the closing of all Merra-Lee Shops—longtime institutions of downtown Geneva.
Mike Simon wrote this in the Chamber of Commerce e-mail.
"Dear Fellow Chamber Members,
"Today marks the beginning of the last chapter of the Merra-Lee Shops. Afer 82 years, we are closing our doors. Our Going Out of Business Sale will start next Wednesday. Meanwhile, the stores are closed while we prepare.
"As some of you know, I am co-owner of . That business continues to be strong, and I'm looking forward to being able to make it even stronger as I will be able to devote my full attention to it.
"Merra-Lee's closing doesn't signal a weakness in the uniqueness of downtown Geneva. On the contrary, if not for the vibrancy and creativity of our many retail and restaurant neighbors, and the tremendous work of the , we would never have survived this long.
"I look forward to redeveloping our storefronts in order to bring stronger tenants to the downtown, and to being part of Geneva for many years to come."