CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. – Rada’s Men’s Wear, a family-run, local retail landmark since 1967, will hold a quitting business sale beginning this week, owner Rick Rada said today.
“This business has been a family affair since day one. My mom is going on 85 and she still comes down here half a day each week,” Rada said. “I’m going at this as a celebration of 43 years of being in business in this city. I don’t want it to be a sorrowful thing. I want to make sure we thank all our customers and friends who have supported us over the years – and I consider all of them to be friends.”
Rada noted that the public sale begins on Thursday. The store will extend its business hours from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on weekdays, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Saturdays and noon to 4:00 p.m. Sundays.
Rada’s father, Bob, had worked at the Boston Store from the late 1940s into the mid-1960s. When the owner of another clothing store, Bill Stumm, passed away in 1967, his wife put the business up for sale.
“Dad had a mortgage on a house and seven kids. He went to the bank and said, ‘This is what I want to do.’ The banker said, ‘We know you and trust you, Bob. How much money do you need?” Rada recalled. “That’s how it got started.”
Rada was two weeks shy of his 13th birthday when he started working at the store in the spring of 1967 and has worked there ever since. He and one of his brother purchased the store from their father in 1990. Rick assumed sole ownership when his younger brother opted for a different career path.
One unusual moment he recalled during the store’s long history was when former Gov. Tommy Thompson stopped in to purchase a shirt and make a quick wardrobe change after he’d had chocolate milk spilled on his white shirt while visiting Chippewa Falls.
Rada said changing consumer trends have contributed to the demise of many men’s stores in recent years.
“Next week will be a rough one,” he acknowledged as he discussed the sale. “But we’ve had 43 years, most of them very good because of the great customers we’ve served over all that time. That’s what I’m focused on and that’s what I’m going to remember most.”
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