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Beloved Red Wing Menswear Store 'Josephson's' Closes After 144 Years

RED WING, Minn. (WCCO) -- It's been a fixture in the Red Wing community for more than a century. Josephson's, a men's clothing store, served its final customers Tuesday as the current owner is retiring.

"Everybody comes here," customer Frank Voth said. "It's been here since forever."

Alfred Josephson opened the store in 1878. They had several locations before Tom Withers and his wife Denise took over in 1992.

"They told us when we bought it we could change the name, change anything we wanted to, and I looked at my wife and I said, 'If it ain't broke, don't fix it,'" Withers said.

After three decades of upholding the Josephson's legacy of customer service and fair prices, the store is closing, and loyal customers are saying goodbye to a place that was more than sale, but an experience.

Josephsons Red Wing
(credit: CBS)

"It's like he had a knack for when I was coming in, he seemed to have a shirt and tie laying there for me, and if he didn't we'd find something," Voth said.

To celebrate Wither's retirement, the store held a customer appreciation event on Thursday.

"I've been so humbled by my customers that it's made it hard. The first time somebody brought a plant or card in for me, I just about cried," Withers said.

He says he will spend his retirement with his two children and three grandchildren. He also will celebrate his 45th wedding anniversary.

"I wish sometimes the walls would talk, because I'm sure Alfred and the fathers before Tom, they've got stories to tell about stuff in here, too," Withers said.

A new owner has bought the store and plans to reopen it this fall under a new name, but still offering similar menswear services.


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