OLDTOWN, Idaho – One of the region’s last Ben Franklin stores is closing.
The retailer in Oldtown, Idaho, has begun liquidating its merchandise, and sales will continue until the store is cleared out, longtime manager Tom Watson said.
The store operated under the Sprouse-Reitz name when Watson started working there 29 years ago, and it switched to Ben Franklin in the 1990s. A local landmark, the store has been known for its affordable merchandise, including camping gear, household items and craft supplies.
“We are your old five-and-dime. We would be comparable to a Woolworth’s,” Watson said. “You could buy everything here from suspenders for your logging pants to craft paper for your scrap book.”
Since each franchise is locally owned, Ben Franklin stores can adjust their merchandise to meet local customers demand.
“If we could find a supplier at a price people were willing to pay, we would stock it,” Watson said. “That was our strength.”
The store is closing because it’s lease is ending. The building at 201 E. Fourth St. sold earlier this year and the new owner has other plans for the property, Watson said.
Besides Watson, 13 people work at the store.
A Ben Franklin store in Cheney closed in 2012.