Photos by Retiring Guy
Schroeder's Department Store endures, adjusts and remains a staple in downtown Two Rivers.(Wisconsin State Journal, 9/10/2018)
In 2008, selling shirts, shoes, ties, dresses and just about anything else was a tough gig.
But Schroeder and Kronforst, often times over beers at Kurtz’s Pub & Deli down the street, ultimately came up with a plan to allow the legacy of their great-grandfather and his three brothers to continue 127 years after the store’s doors opened downtown in this city of about 11,000 residents.
Their success comes as most downtown department stores in the state have closed and some of the biggest national retailers are contracting, have gone out of business or shuttered their brick-and-mortar operations in favor of on-line sales.
Those that remain include Nina’s in Spring Green, founded in 1911 and owned by the same family since 1916. Sheboygan Falls has Evans, an 18,500-square-foot store founded in 1936; Bradley’s in Delavan was established in 1852 and has been in the same location since 1887; and the Tomah Cash Department Store opened in 1900 and has three floors and 30,000 square feet of merchandise.
Original 8/3/2017 post, "Late to the party: Schroeder's Department Store in Two Rivers celebrates 125 years in business (last year)", starts here.
Photo by Retiring Guy\
Iconic Two Rivers store celebrates 125 years. (Manitowoc Herald Times Reporter, 10/7/2016)
The ensuing years have seen sweeping changes the sisters believe have saved the business and put it on a more stable course for the future.
They’ve since leased out nearly half of the 18,000-square-foot store to four outside retailers — the Read Apple toy store, Intertwined Yarn Shop, Home Sweet Home Décor and the Quilt Shop of Two Rivers.
Those businesses are all integrated into the store layout and supplement the coffee shop and clothing business that make up Schroeder’s.
The move allowed them to generate new revenue from space they no longer needed. It also allowed them to maintain the department store concept, but without managing as many departments and without the same staffing needs.